Saturday, February 7, 2015

NaBloPoMo: Inspired Dance

In my post yesterday - scroll down or check here - I mentioned that I possess a limestone Burmese temple guardian at my door. Whether handmade or machine-made, it is of no importance to me. Either way, it is of sentimental value to me. Let me tell you an intriguing story as to why.

Quite a number of years ago, around 1998 I believe, I started to perform spontaneous dance. It started in a workshop when I felt very strongly compelled to dance impromptu for a woman whom I felt blossomed tremendously during the course. I dedicated a dance to her improvising on the spot, moving like a flower, small at first, and then opening up and reaching up towards the sky.

It was an unusual experience for me; however, I enjoyed the experience whilst dancing. Unfortunately, I do not recall how I felt during it, though I suspect that I felt invigorated by this newfound inspiration.

Another event that comes to mind is when I heard an instrumental piece of music composed by Johannes Galli and Michael Summ that touched me to my core. It seemed to connect to my soul at such a deep level which is why I asked Johannes if I could dance to it on the spot as a group were about to hold a meeting.

If memory serves me right, I uttered a very quick silent prayer and took a few deep breaths before proceeding, both most likely for inspiration. Regardless, I danced with ALL my heart, feeling the music in my heart, body, mind, and soul.

It wasn't until afterward that I discovered the title of this musical piece: "Magical Clown." However, I understood some time later when I realized it was most likely due to Johannes' passion of clowning and theatre work.

The CD is "Weltengaukler: Traum" Volume 1. ('Traum' means 'dream' in English.)

That piece still pierces my heart, my emotions somehow, not sure why. Perhaps it's because I find it exquisitely beautiful. I am listening to it now as I type this. It still moves me so deeply, even after not having listened to it for quite a long time.

The music starts off with a gong becoming louder and louder, then a drum, background strings, and then a clarinet (I believe). Well you just have to listen to it! (I would download this piece here if I could, if I knew how.)

I highly recommend, if you get this music, to play it loud (even if just once) so you will FEEL the music, not just hear it. (An aside here: I read this sign when I used to live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada about 25 years ago: "Music is heard with the ears, but felt with the heart." That resonated with me, pardon the pun, and thus I have always remembered that saying.)

This musical piece is only 4:48 in length. Sometimes it gives me shivers and I rarely get that sensation. Furthermore, it usually either makes me cry or close to tears when the music reaches its climax. I actually do not know the reason why this is so, other than perhaps because I find it exquisite.

When I later loosely self-choreographed this piece, I imagined starting small like an animal curled up in a ball, waking up slowly. I danced the four seasons, starting with the birth of spring and ending with the hibernation in winter moving in the four directions, starting with east, then south, and ending in the north symbolic of the Native American wheel or mandala. This is all what came to me intuitively as I heard this music.

I ended my dance with my hands, palms together starting upwards towards the sky and slowly descending downwards, ending in namaste position at my heart chakra.

Due to at least one upcoming event where I asked if I could perform this piece, I decided to purchase an appropriate outfit.

It was largely due to the gong at the beginning of the music, the drum perhaps too (though I suspect it is a djembe, not a tabla) that made me literally envision a Punjabi suit. Thus, I ended up going to Vancouver's Punjabi part of town.

The very first dress my eyes fell upon in the very first store I entered, hung my dress. I knew immediately (claircognizantly) that it was "my dress." After all, it was in my favourite periwinkle colour and with flowers (which I also love)! Plus, it came with a long, two-toned pink and periwinkle scarf to match.

As there were no video shoots of any of my performances (for some unknown reason), I have only photos to show, in sequential order of some of the main moves so-to-speak. Keep in mind that these are not original photos, as I had to take a photo of them in order to post here (due to lack of time and/or lack of knowledge).

I had performed this piece several times at various venues: at a Rumi evening (if I'm not mistaken), at a workshop (with some pictures above), at a former boyfriend's poetry reading at a unique bookstore, at a somewhat darkened cheesecake cafe, at a breakfast mini-lecture gathering, at a graduation class (with some pictures above), at a farewell home gathering of my dance therapy class, at a friend's birthday party.

Back to the Burmese temple guardian ... When my eye saw 'her' - this statue - across a crowded room of South Asian-looking artifacts, I felt a strong compulsion to get a closer look. When I positioned my body in front, it struck me immediately as to why I felt such a gravitational pull. My spontaneous dance (described above) ended in exactly the same position as this statue, kneeling and in namaste position!

WOW! Thus, in complete faith I paid a sum of cash for her, awaiting delivery to my home after work.

Is there an item of your home decor that speaks to you that has strong memories or sentimental value attached to it? And if so why?

This post is linked to the daily #NaBloPoMo challenge for February. (And I will attempt to download music as I was instructed how...hopefully tomorrow or the next day...)


  1. You look sweet in a Punjabi dress, Elly. I would love to see you dance in person sometime :)

  2. Agree with Vinodini! You look so cute! Do you have a video of your dance in the Punjabi suit?

  3. Those are lovely pictures of you dancing and you look so lovely in the suit!! My favorite color too & I am really found of floral prints!
    The statue is very royal. Lovely post. Loved the dance steps, will check out the music.

  4. What a lovely post connecting the Burmese statue and your love for dance! One was meant to lead you to the other, it seems. As others have said, you look lovely in that Punjabi suit. And the joy of dancing shows in the pictures. Thanks for sharing this, Elly.

  5. Thanks Vinnie. ;) It would be fun to go dancing somewhere together...hopefully one day! ;) <3

  6. Thanks Shilpa. I wish there was at least one video and you would think there would be with the number of times I have danced this piece. However, unfortunately there isn't, and I no longer have the Punjabi suit nor dance it. <3

  7. Thanks Inderpreet. :) The outfit did really suit me for sure perhaps because of the colour and that I love floral prints too! ;) And I also love the statue so much that I couldn't sell it when I moved. <3

  8. Thanks Beloo. Yes, it was interesting to connect the statue with my love for dance...who would know until you read this post! ;)<3

  9. You are looking so cute and charming in this dress.Bless you!

  10. Lovely to see you in a Punjabi suit Elly. And love how the statue drew you to it. Nothing happens by chance!

  11. I would love to SEE you dance and HEAR you sing! You are so sweet

  12. Thanks Usha, though I didn't necessarily feel 'cute' or 'charming.' ;) <3

  13. Thanks Susy. :) Yes, the statue was/is pretty amazing regarding its role in my dancing. ;) <3

  14. As far as I know Carol, I generally don't dance AND sing at the same time...or then it's been awhile! ;) <3