QUARTERLY CONVERSATIONS - Is THIS Sacred Dance? Panel # 1
Date: February 20, 2021-
Location: On Line - worldwide
The Sacred Dance Guild is hosting a series of “Quarterly Conversations between February 2021 and February 2022 as part of the celebration of our 63rd birthday which was February 10, 2021.
As all of us are exploring and expanding our connections during this personal, collective and worldwide experience we wanted to extend the conversation and reflection on the question “Is THIS Sacred Dance?” as far and wide as possible – both from a physical perspective but also from a philosophical perspective. What does “fit” under this umbrella we call Sacred Dance? We have realized that some people have a very narrow concept understanding that when they hear that term it means something specifically “religious”, others think of a particular type of dance such as Sacred Circle Dancing and pretty much everything in between. So – we decided to through open our screen doors and invite panelists from a wide range of backgrounds, experience and understandings to have a conversation and invite others to sit around the table with us.
PANEL # 1 : “Is THIS Sacred Dance?”
This moderated panel will ask questions of FIVE dancers representing different backgrounds and experiences focusing on the areas of:
- Social Justice – Leah Mann – Leah Melani Okamoto Mann has utilized dance and embodied practices for social justice/social healing and transformation for over 30 yrs. She Co- Founded Moving in the Spirit (Atlanta, GA) and Lelavision (Vashon Island, WA), where she is also its Co-Director, combining original kinetic musical sculpture, live music and dance, simultaneously, to create radically accessibl rEvolutionary art that elicits delight. Leah focuses on somatic integration/art integration in STEM education. Her equity and anti-racism art acts to re-member the communal body, amplifying the value of its diversity in our collective genius.
- Differing Abilities – Susan Beayni – As a Sacred Dance Guild member, my love of dance nourishes my spirituality. Our 38-year-old daughter, Rebecca, loves to dance from her wheelchair supported by friends/professional dancers. My goal is to build the community’s capacity to welcome people with disabilities with all the gifts and talents that they bring. Two films about Rebecca, “Revel in the Light” and “Dance in the Shadow”, aired in 80 countries and at the United Nations; they can be seen on Rebecca’s website www.rebeccabeayni.com
- Environment/Aboriginal – Dianne Eno – Dianne Eno is an international artist, environmental educator, performer, scholar and artistic director of Dianne Eno/Environmental DanceWorks, known for annual performances on the summit of Mt. Monadnock, the world’s second-most climbed mountain. Designing and implementing numerous programs for children /adults, her accomplishments include integrating dance, Native American Sign Language and natural environments; artist-in-residence at Acadia National Park; founder/director of the Satori Center for Nature and Forest Therapy; certified forest-bathing guide and Usui Reiki Master; a PhD in Environmental/Dance studies.
- Community/Sacred Circle – Laura Shannon – Laura Shannon is considered one of the ‘grandmothers’ of the worldwide Sacred/Circle Dance movement, and has been researching and teaching traditional women’s ritual dances in twenty countries for over thirty years. Originally trained in Dance Movement Therapy and Intercultural Studies, Laura has been on the faculty of the Findhorn Foundation Sacred Dance Department since 1998, is Founding Director of the Athena Institute for Women’s Dance and Culture, and has published many articles and blogs about women’s sacred dance.
- Ancestral Dreaming, Memory, and Continuity – Alaya A Dannu – Alaya A. Dannu, MA is a woman of mixed heritage, born in Texas, raised in NYC. She is an author, a creative artist, sacred dancer, and priestess of her maternal ancestral tradition. Alaya endeavors to illuminate the nature and importance of ancestral dreaming, its ability to enhance the academic and scholarly inquiry, and bring awareness to a matrilineal tradition that has not been explored or discussed within the fields of dream research and women’s spirituality.
Each participant will offer their thoughts on how dance as an expression of the sacred is represented in their focus. The dance floor will then be “open” and a moderator will pose questions to participants and put forward thoughts or questions posed by the “audience” in a format that respects our foundational principals of inclusivity, diversity, equity and access.
LIVE: Saturday, February 20, 2021 – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm EST (Please check your local times)
RECORDED: Saturday, February 20, 2020 – 11:00 pm – 1:00 am EST (Please check your local times)