15 September 2014

..more flowers, part two

"When centering my thoughts on Tribal Bellydance there is a notable and consistent link between the ancient and the present. Less then 100 years have passed since women found their rights in the United States. Yet there was a time when dance, culture and female expression was essential to the developed world. In ancient India and beyond, women, women’s work, and women’s movement was a cornerstone to the sacred wisdom of the ages.

This changed when the teachings where subjected to war, conflict and religious tyranny, not just one war but many. The peoples who followed the ancient feminine practices and union through, became displaced and were either regarded as whores for the dance or hid their art from common face.

I reference India because it was here the journey began out of Asia into the desert. Many know the road and the way, but I want to bring light to the mystery held captured by those who have gypsy in their soul. This mystery lives in the timeless traditions handed down in city streets, desert lands, and alley ways from one human to another, and like all feminine mysteries, it cannot be killed or distorted.

There is a truth, a link and a clear presence this mystery has, and when you dance it, know it, touch it, it is unmistakable.

Our culture limits our language of such things, but I will attempt to explain.
Imagine there is colored paint on the tips of your fingers. You are painting on an imaginary wall as you outstretch your arm. If done perfectly, with integrity, the image you paint is beautiful. Now imagine your feet and hips have paint and they are making beautiful designs of their own. If done perfectly, this will harmonize with your hands. These images together create a lotus flower in space and time. You cannot see it, but it is there and the feeling will be there too.

This is wonderful, yet limited to an individual. Now add in a group of dancers, ALL with the same perfection. An interwoven lotus flower is created. This movement in a group, becomes holographic. This hologram opens a portal and links us with the timeless and mystical past. The feeling is union.

You know this feeling if you have felt it, and usually it happens by mistake. But, like women's rights or the right to dance as a free person seems so common to us now, the truth is, all things come from dedication, time and practice. So, slow down. You do not dance for yourself, you do not dance to impress others, to sell yourself, or to manipulate this force. Be aware of your movement, feel the Sacred Geometry, and become one with this energy, because it is sacred and ours.

Carolena has somehow taped into this lineage from times past and has effectively channeled the ancient teachings into a modern expression. We cannot say how this has changed the world, but we can say there are thousands of Tribal Bellydancers out in the world because of her. Lets try to honer this work by deepening our own experiences of the energy within the dance and hopefully be blessed with the moments of connection to the force we call the Sacred Feminine.

Thank you Carolena for all that you know, channel, and do."
Written by Priestess Shoshana Des Chenes
Performing Artist

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