Over the past year I have had the incredible opportunity to join the Artist Dream Family, a performance ritual group that reminds the audience we are all creators of our lives. This IS the dream. This weekend we experienced a powerful exchange with a community, watch a clip of it here! I am realizing that they showed us the dream. I have always dreamed of the ultimate performance ritual where the audience shows up as complete collaborators in a celebration of life. Last night I was sharing photos of our performance this weekend with a dear friend of mine… and then started to talk about my life long dream to ultimately have a touring dance company that leads community rituals for transformation. My friend stopped me and pointed out that it’s already happening, “you just showed me the photos.”
I got still. Every little piece of me that questions if my dreams are possible was poised and I realized that while I had been carrying a very specific idea of what this would look like in the future, I suddenly could not explain the difference between my dream and what had occurred. I received the magic of the performance on a deeper level.
This happening that occured this weekend had every aspect of my dream… I am totally in love with the performers, they are my spirit tribe: Evan Worldwind on the didj, Kevin Nathaniel on the shakere, and my dancing sistars DeeArah Wright and Sunder Ashni. (And in spirit with us Zen Marie Holmes, co-founder of Arstist Dream, and Rajeeyah Finnie, the fourth member of our Goddess Manifest Circle.)
I have known each of them for years, and we each LIVE for our art. We all have a relaxed and deeply committed relationship to our dance or our music. We truly truly want to see empowerment in communities through art. Oh, and I kept dreaming that we would be outside. We were under the sky, I kept watching the stars as my spine arched and the air moved through the bamboo leaves. We were in the Healing Spirit Garden at Wall St. International. Now let me just say, that entering this community was a pure gift. There were golden lion statues in the vegetable garden, what?! Ok dream casters, you really know what lights me up. (Can I even tell you how nature moves me with the existence of this creature!)
There were tables of crystals, and people who knew their healing properties. There were beautiful clothes, mudclothes, jewelry and lavendar sandalwood massage lotions. There were several massage tables positioned over the garden where people were giving and receiving life energy. All of this was happening while the music medicine moved through the garden. As we arrived, a family of 3 young brothers performed together. The youngest was 4. Impeccable. Clear, singing, playing the guitar, spitting words about the world we have given them and their readiness to take it on. Now when a 4 year old is singing about the life ahead of him with these positive vibes… the world changes, and we adults are looking at each other with wet eyes, trembling lips, the light shining so bright. We literally had a rainbow over the stage, Goddess/God, thank you for your light design and I don’t just mean in the sky.
When we went into the audience to invite them to dance, a circle formed. They entered one at a time, and bathed in the life force of the community, it was ON. Gravity was playing with us as men flipped, hips shook, cries of ecstasy rose percussively from our mouths, babies came in some with Mamas and some solo. The ancestors danced through us, the future generations danced through us. “Heal thy self, heal thy self, heal thy self!” The circle chanted, not because we lead them, but because the healing gave us these words to join our voices. One of the “audience” members came up onstage and took the mic and started rapping, 2 drummers came up onstage with a djembe and conga, one woman started playing Kevin’s shakere. There was no “audience” and “performer,” there was no “dream” and “dreamer,” we were One.
One of my sisters Dee Arah, has been organizing her community for years with such devotion and I’ve been watching it change her dancing. We joined some of the “audience” members on the stage and I don’t think it was a coincidence that they pulled Dee Arah into a duet. It was a true embodiment of the “audience” and “performers” co-creating. At one point the 3 of us became the “back up” dancers to the “audience” solos. Watch the video of the audience taking over the mic!
When we brought our sweating, breathing, healing bodies to a stillness the organizer of the event, Professor, called us into a healing circle. He orchestrated the energy that was buzzing through us into a circle of our 50 bodies and we positioned our hands, our hearts, our chanting for community healing. What blew me away, was not only the power of the energy moving through our bodies, but the fact that the entire community was participating. So this is what it feels like when the whole community knows how to ground, how to intend, how to breath together and connect with spirit. Then Professor invited those who wished to receive healing to enter the circle. The healing of the community came from within us, we became stronger, more focused, more powerful as we channeled our energy into the center.
A few days have come and gone since this event, and I am feeling closer and closer to those that I experienced it with. Rather than thinking the Dream will be happening in the future. I am tingling as I realize the power we are and the way dance and music become the medium of our life force and the artistry of being together.
Thank you Michelle Jolene for taking photos and videos of this magical night!