Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cycle of Life & Death: 11/11 Ritual Pilgrimage

It is time to initiate a new cycle of life with the MomoButoh Dance Company. Our new group blog at, co-created & authored by our "Inner Circle" of member/practitioners is the external blossoming of a deep rooted and long developing inner practice. With the guidance and facilitation of Artistic Director, Maureen "momo" Freehill, this company grew from the hearts, bodies and souls of a committed group of individual artists. In the tradition of Maureen's long time sensei (mentor) Kazuo Ohno, each of us seeks to engage in soulful creativity, communication and transformation through our butoh dance offerings to the world. We have vowed to intimately unite our butoh dance practices with all aspects of our cycles of daily life & death. We hope you will subscribe to this blog as a gateway into our thriving community and consider diving in and becoming an active member yourself. We invite you to join our ongoing projects, training, performances and activism that enrich our lives and world with the good, true and beautiful. Feel free to contact Maureen "momo" anytime for a free introductory MomoButoh Dance session (in person, by phone or skype) to explore whether this might be the appropriate co-creative path for you.

The cycle of Life/Death is unmistakable when intermingling with spawning salmon. This is why MomoButoh engages in our annual ritual butoh pilgrimage to dance for and with the spawning salmon at Mile 11 on Highway 11 on 11/11 @ 11:11. For the past 4 years, MomoButoh Dance Company has spent most of 11/11 on a grueling journey of spawning, death and rebirth at Oyster Creek. In past years we braved storms, road closures, landslides, ferry cancellations, equipment failure and more to share our dance here. The event featured a 2 hour butoh dance ritual performance with 6 dancers and two musicians offering prayers, dances, stories and songs to the non-human beings of this sacred site. MomoButoh Dance Company Inner Circle members arrived from all four directions with participants from Toronto, Virginia, Colorado and British Colombia joining our local Washington State contingent from Seattle, Bellingham, Bellevue, Port Townsend and Whidbey Island. We were especially happy to be visited by salmon leaping with us along the shoreline as bald eagles and crows swooped all round our swimming bodies. We feel blessed by this opportunity to continue the Oyster Creek/Mile 11 Salmon Habitat Restoration Project. We were so grateful for the hospitality of our host who's home rests cozily at this powerful intersection of road, creek, shoreline and railroad--a crossroads of the living, mating, dying and birthing that provides a nourishing foundation for us all.

Thank you for taking time to be with us here; to witness and explore this journey. We hope you enjoy these reflections through photo, video and word about our experience this time around. Please help our process by leaving your own reflections and aesthetic response, this butoh ritual/rite of passage cycle is not complete until the offering is received by our greater community--that is you.