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Au Merle Enchanteur

Learning the Elm Dance in preparation for my training as a facilitator of the Work That Reconnects reconnected me with my love of sacred circle dancing.

The Elm Dance is originally one of the Bach Flower Dances and I was lucky enough to meet a teacher of these dances in Perpignan, Stéphanie. I am so happy to have learned some beautiful dances, not only related to the Bach Flowers but a variety of others, with this sensitive, poetic teacher.

Stéphanie put me in touch with Global Circle Dance Day. Scroll to the very bottom of the page on that link to see the Elm Dance and 2 others that were highlighted for their celebration in July 2022. I particularly love E La Ruota Gira, a very joyful song that evokes for me Italian madrigal tones.

I was very glad to participate in this festival on 10 July 2022 by integrating a dance for each stage of the spiral, in an introduction to the Work That Reconnects co-facilitated with my friends Amaya and Marjorie at the Merle Enchanteur. We thus celebrated Global Circle Dance Day during the Open House weekend at this beautiful and dynamic eco-centre near Toulouse, hosted by Anne, l'InspirActrice!

One of the dances I have learned from Stéphanie which I particularly appreciate is this one, clearly explained in this video. (4 mins)

If you enjoy the beautiful song on which this is danced, written by Carolyn Hillyer, here is a magnificent video of the music, illustrated with amazing landscape art by the Earth Mothers.

In the course of 2022, I had the great pleasure of an online dance experience with Lina Kriskova, who combines the spiral of the Work That Reconnects with dance sensibilities. Dancing online may sound unlikely, but Lina has an amazing way of making the experience a beautiful opportunity to connect through movement, despite the participants being physically distant from one another. And in fact, being in the cocoon of one's own home gives a different kind of freedom and interiority when dancing, also.

Lina says this about her work:

I create and offer workshops of the Work That Reconnects combined with conscious dance, as for me this work is even more powerful once it passes through our bodies. In movement, without words, connecting to and expressing our emotions becomes easier, and we can let the wisdom of our bodies speak to us through movement. I live and work in and around Argenton-sur-Creuse, dans l'Indre.

Contact Lina via her email address here if you wish to find out how to participate in one of her workshops :

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photo offerte aux danseurs par Théâtre du Châtelet et Théâtre de la Ville, organisateurs de l'événement

And finally, a personal memory that is still very moving for me, the opportunity to dance in a creation by the incredible choreographer Akram Khan to celebrate the centenary of the end of World War II.

In the final months of my life in Paris, after 30 years of living there, I was able to participate in this event with over 700 people dancing on the forecourt of the Hôtel de Ville in Paris. The dance was called Kadamati. (video 8 minutes)

I am so grateful to have taken part in this amazing experience, which was a kind of culmination, harvesting the richness of my years in Paris, before I left for a new life in the burgeoning world I feel part of now. I quote from the website of Akram Khan: "At once spiritual and universal, Kadamati – meaning ‘clay’ in Bengali – conjures up the idea that we are somehow all connected, and it is vital to return to the essence of the ritual and the body as part of a unified movement."