Made to Dance
Its 4am. I danced for a cumulative four hours today. It was Sunday after all.
For many of us who live in Ubud, Sunday is the day of celebration – celebration through Dance as the co-owner and founder of the Yoga Barn, Charley Patton, transforms the upper studio of the Yoga Barn with tunes it is impossible to resist. From San Francisco, Charley is well versed in dance and the music which fuels it and today (or now yesterday) at the BaliSpirit Festival was no exception.
At 1.30pm the dancers of all ages and background began to gather at Main Pavilion as sounds began to beat out of the speakers and feet followed. If you haven’t participated in a conscious free style dance class before it can be initially intimidating and ultimately liberating. Many I spoke to admitted they had never danced outside of a club before, or at least without a little old school lubrication. Yet the festival is an alcohol free zone and one which is all about conscious movement to enhance conscious thought.
After several tracks had warmed us up Charley brought it down, inviting what must have been several hundred groovers to drop down and sink into the earth. He explained a little behind this philosophy of what is known as Ecstatic Dance and while he did a team of locals (myself and the silent man included) tip toed around giving feet gentle massages and spines a little lengthening, preparing bodies for the journey ahead. Then the energy and sounds rose again, and the following 90 minutes was a whirlwind of sharing and moving.
After four days of continuous yoga workshops and music filled evening my body was exhausted and yet yesterday it forgot as I danced for all those who couldn’t dance and with all who were. I shared dances with many I haven’t had the chance to formally meet – other volunteers, presenters and performers – and the experience bred joy and reflected the unity in diversity of the BSF. Ninety minutes later we were all naturally high and of course a little (or in my case a lot) soaked with sweat and sensation.
And it didn’t stop there. Feeling the effort of my dance I still attempted a final yoga class. But both my hips and mind resisted and I ended up back in the Main Pavilion singing to God with the Maha Kirtan as Punnu Wasu and friends showed us what Bhakti Yoga really felt like. Again the music made it impossible for me to sit or even stand and soon as I back on my feet moving with others who I knew had also already celebrated body and soul with Charley only an hour before. At one point I found myself in a circle of Sisters from Bali to India and back again, smiles wide and hearts open. When the great kirtan finally ended I rode home, literally dancing on my bike, grinning as the rains which had held off for the entire festival gently poured down. It was a moment to refresh and cleanse as the night called us into the final evening of performances at Arma.
Medicine for the People came into our lives one year ago, and for many who live here, their presence and lyrics have become more than a passing inspiration. With a powerful message of waking up to the circumstances life hands us, and rising up in courageous unity, once again I moved beyond the mind until my feet literally began to go numb. Thankfully, the after party provided a much needed space to keep the vibrations moving, as Louh Souloist took charge of the DJ booth and filled the dance floor in a way I have never seen in Ubud (outside of the Yoga Barns studios that is!) Just one request to the powers that be… more dance in this community please! It is clearly loved and much needed. A huge thank you shouts out to Charley, Punnu, Loch and the rest of yesterdays musicians who provided such an incredible means to move and express on the last day of the BSF.
Written by : Administrator