Revisiting the 11/11 site, dancing as and with the salmon, the bear, the eagle, the human(s). Integrating them all into my own nature, my own place in the cycle of life. Looking into and forward to the future. I’m grateful for and to all of the beings I have communed with, especially to Momo and all those who shared this time and place and dance with me. Many thanks to all!
“Butoh plays with time and also perspective….If we humans learn to see things from the perspective of an animal, an insect, even inanimate objects, the road trodden everyday is alive–we should value everything.” –Tatsumi Hijikata
A surprise discovery on the wild Stehekin River–little Sockeye Kokanee Salmon are spawning freely! Such an inspiration in preparation for our 11/11/11 dance to honor the salmon life cycle at mile 11 on highway 11 at 11:11am. MomoButoh Dance Company members will gather from all over the continent at Oyster Creek for our 5th annual ritual butoh performance. This year we have 11 dancers working with live musicians, singers, story tellers and poets. We will offer 11 unique site-specific scores revealing 11 segments in salmon’s life cycle:
1 ~~>))))> Salmon legends of seaside native people…
2 ~~>))))> Salmon struggling for survival with humans due to overfishing, dams & toxic spills…
3~~~>))))> Salmon “in between” moving up & down river, not knowing whether they will survive the journey…
4~~>))))> Salmon as prey for bears, eagles and other predators…
5~~~>))))> Salmon meeting a lone fisherman standing in stillness sensing the connectivity of the freely flowing current…
6~~ >))))> Salmon babies eating their egg sacs & everything else they can…
7~~~ >))))> Salmon struggling to return to their birthplace & home stream…
8~~>))))> Salmon eggs waiting to hatch, floating aloft in current…
9~~~~ >))))>Salmon males & females spawning…
10~~ >)))) Salmon dying & offering flesh to future generations.
11~~~~>))))>Salmon move en masse to swim freely in the open sea!
On the bank of the Stehekin, among the Kokanee, I discovered the ripples, the resting, the joy and pain of struggle against obstacles. The release of the body, the floating of the spirit! Thank you dear swimming relatives, it is for your life, your increase & your vitality that we offer our dance.
Our flesh is your flesh, our eyes are your watery eyes, our spines your spines, our struggle your struggle, our love & death is yours as well. May our dance reveal our deep gratitude for your beauty, presence & gifts.
My dance of 28 min edited to 8 min. and with sound! Thank you to Azumi Oe, for helping me!
I moved from point A, on the Stairs that are brand new and look like an engineer built them (not a dancer) so I was making friends with them … to to the bench I bought for my mothers memory, (I wore her dress here) sharing my sorrow and saddness with her; to the Solar Panels where I felt invaded by an unnatural structure until I chose to dance on it and again became friends … to my “wishbone tree” a grieving tree for my giving spirit in black; to my burial in dirt and cleanse w warm water by women. This is apart of my Universal myth; my story of birthing my life from dance. Point Be is the place inside, imbedded, embodied, impacted, implanted … I dance to BE.
Dancing through the changes. Bringing in more presence. Breeze is blowing, body’s flowing Humbled by the great full moon Bowing to the elements
My struggle in finding my own home- That home that is constantly within myself. Struggling with the Maya- the outward distractions and suggestions of pre-judged life. What obstacles am I swimming upstream against? My own angst, fears, and forgetting. Forgetting that too my body will die, my purpose complete in this physical realm, releasing into the greater cycles of existance- exisDANCE. So I seek to find connection in all of my surroundings. Where is my home? What is my bodily purpose? Won’t I constantly be fullfilling this purpose by connecting to my own home within my center. In someway our lives reflect that of the struggling salmon; swimming against all odds to find their original birthing place, only so many make it to then mate and release their physical bodies a few hours- days later. How many of us are in a struggle to connect? To remember our true home- our birthing place. The place where the soul dwells, the place we all know deep inside our hearts? And: when we find our home- will we remember it? How many of us are willing to sacrifice our lives for the continuation of the life cycle? What a beautiful release…. honoring our mother… allowing for our bodies to decompose in the earth they were created. Nothing is wasted.
I have been working on my score for 11/11/11…
I will be stationed by a tree. Representing the return home portion of the life cycle of the salmon-
Again trees have entered my life: representing the grounding of both earth and connection to sky.
In the Yakima Canyon I was inspired to dance spontaneously wearing my recently passed father’s hat (circa 1940’s), embodying my inner feeling tones amongst the stark surroundings – barren but filled with light. I adore the desert landscapes as it is a place of wide open spaces that allows for such a feeling of connection to that which is greater than ourselves.
Wearing his woven, wool, plaid hat, I was reflecting also on the First Nations story of how Grandmother Spider wove the web of life that interconnects all beings – animate and inanimate.
“When the Universe was still so dark that not even shadows could be seen in the night, Grandmother Spider sat in her web in the Sky World, waiting and watching. No one knows how old Grandmother Spider is, or how long she sat waiting for the Universal Mind to awaken. But, every Creature Being who has ever lived knows her song and dance as the weaver of the Web of Life.
From her web, Grandmother Spider observed the first thoughts as the Universal Mind awakened from the dream… Grandmother Spider took a very deep breath and softly began to sing her weaving song while she danced across the Sky. As she spun her thread, Grandmother Spider envisioned the Web of Life.
Dancing with the colored light, shadows came into being as the darkness took form. More thoughts flowed from the Universal Mind, entered through the Doorway of the Seven Stars, and took their places in the Sky World. These became more stars, suns and planets. Then, many other thoughts entered the Universe, each one taking a specific place according to the universal dream of harmony.
Each thought was a spirit essence who dreamed an individual dream for manifesting life. Grandmother Spider spun her web around each new energy being and the Universal Web of Life shimmered in the reflection of Great Mystery’s light.”
Told by Susun Weed
Dancing with so much gratitude in my being for the beauty of our Mama Earth / Ocean home…
Recently I spent several days trekking around in the North Cascades mountains. This is something I’ve been doing for over a decade now. Every summer this feels like a cleansing, or a renewal process to me. Both in the shedding of day-to-day concerns (which for this time in the wilderness become mostly irrelevant to me), and in rediscovering my connections with nature.
On this trip I revisited Upper Cathedral Lake, near Cathedral Peak in the Pasayten Wilderness. I find myself repeatedly drawn to this location over the years. It’s hard to describe, because I am not sure exactly what it is I am describing, but this place in particular has always felt to me like a place where the Earth’s power and energy was concentrated and focused.
I started this dance without a solid intent other than to let the place move me, I became a being emerging from the earth, somewhat intimidated by the huge empty world it saw, pushing against something, excited by the wonder of it all, considering jumping out even further.
“Heart is like the moon. Don’t keep sorrows in it. Cast them off in waters deep.” Rumi
After spending a few days alone in my childhood home one month to the day after my Dad passed (7/7/11), I could feel his presence as I left. Unexpectedly, the motion detector lights at the far end of the house turned on mysteriously as I was packing up my car. I was reminded of the ritual Dad and I had of him standing at the door, waiting and waving as I backed out of the long driveway after visiting with him
Missing him, tears began to flow and I felt inspired to dance my grief, so I threw on a sweater and hat that belonged to him, and just as I set up the camera, a thundercloud overhead began to send rain to the earth – the hugest drops I have seen in a awhile, feeling like they were my tears, washing my spirit’s grief…
Driving home, I was inspired to pull off the highway onto a deserted country road to take a photo of the moon, which suddenly appeared through a crack in the clouds. As I pulled to the side of the road, a white barn owl flew across the moon’s light and onto a nearby barn roof. Once again I felt insipred to dance, feeling my Dad’s presence in the infinite night sky, reminded of the connection I felt with the moon and his passing…
Right after Dad passed in the hospice a visitor in the lobby began to play Debussy’s ‘Clair de Lune,’ a song that I remembered hearing waft through our home as a child. Hearing the song so soon after he passed, felt like Dad was being serenaded into the spirit realm with the sounds of the moonlight…
Connecting to my Dad, the moon, the owl, the cosmos and the mystery…
I camped out on top of a mountain on Saturday. I hiked up with a friend of mine- then we set up camp apart from eachother to do a “solo nite” in silence!
The following morning was full of butoh inspiriation moments. Originally I had the idea to start off before the sun hit my side of the mountain, when it was still super cold, and as the sun progressively rose I would take off layer after layer- The video snapshots kind of show that but not in the ideal way I would have imagined.
My idea was to meditate for hours on the mountain ridge…. HAHA that went well. First there are wayyyy tooooo manyyyyy mosquitos for one’s comfort- Second I have a really hard time sitting cross legged because I have this wierd thing where my limbs fall asleep really quickly. Third- There was just no way other than to lie down in my tent, to get comfortable to sit without moving for hours on an end. So thus we revert back to butoh. Moving in the midst of nature- being comfortable- and attempting to be still.
I found a really helpful way to quiet the mind is to just walk ultra ultra slow- it begins to feel like you are moving at the pace of nature, not at humanities insane speed walk pace
Bliss and love- I like this video- first time I added music
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