And Havi Brooks of Fluent Self… all wrapped into a nice not-so-tidy bundle.
Yes, I know it’s been two weeks since this event. But what a two weeks it’s been! And, quite frankly, it was/is a difficult experience to quantify.
The workshop ran from Friday evening through Sunday noon, and was non-stop intense “destuckifying”. One of the other participants remarked Saturday afternoon that she thought there might only be so much destuckifying a body can take at one time. I agreed, and then we all went that step further, which was amazing, much like breathing into a stretch and extending the muscle just a tad further than yesterday.
We spent the weekend writing, doing brain exercises that truly evade description, and practicing Dance of Shiva. (Note, yes, that’s an affiliate link. If you decide you want to buy stuff, I’ll get a percentage. But I’d tell you about it anyway – really.) Now, I’m a very new practitioner of this (I bought the starter kit and started using it less than a month before the workshop) so my thoughts on the subject are still a bit half-baked and soggy in the middle, but here goes —
- Havi promises hot buttered epiphanies – and it has delivered. In spades.
- The basic focus – that of using new patterns to break down old ones in your mind is something I’ve been playing with for a while in my dancing – I tend to call it “sacred movement” when it is intentional and focused on creating something larger than just movement. The concept fits in with my rather wacky pagan view of myself. Shivanata takes the concept a step further and attempts to order the chaos even more. You are supposed to be confused and flummoxed – if you aren’t, you don’ t get those promised epiphanies. This is NOT easy for me. I don’t like what appears to be choreography to confuse me.
- It takes the least time in my day of all the things I do for learning – you can practice shivanata effectively while your tea water boils!
- It’s something I’ll keep doing.
- Despite Havi’s repeated statements and assertions that it isn’t a dance, and it’s misnamed on several fronts, after watching her perform one of the higher levels in a dim room on Saturday night, i would state that the grace, flow and sheer beauty I saw fit my definition of “dance.”
But then again, I go to martial arts competitions to watch the “forms” (kata, poomse, what have you) because they’re dance-like/dancing/sacred movement as well, so maybe I’m not a good judge of the definition of “dance.” (I also really really wish I could have heard Maude Gonne intone Salome, but that’s neither here nor there – that’s sacred sound, which while related, is different!)
What I learned at the workshop, other than specific techniques, was very personal, and some of it I’m not prepared to share yet. I need more space and comfort in my life. The state of my studio has become priority number one for a while. I also need to trust myself more and realize that when my intuition takes the time to tell me I need to do something, it’s not because it likes the sound of its own voice. LOL
Oh. And Selma the Duck? Havi’s business partner. And a really, really cool fowl to hang around with. (But then again, I might be biased… I graduated from the University of Oregon, which makes me… a Duck!) So I had to knit her a scarf of her very own… which she proudly displayed in Havi’s Friday Chicken right after the workshop…