Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sanctuary and the Heart-Fire

An angel told me, "The only way to walk through fire without getting burned is to become fire." Drew Dellinger
It seems there is so much peace within our hearts and at the same time such a passionate and wild fire.

While care-taking for my elderly mother, who is recovering from a femur fracture and surgery in her nursing home, I am reminded of the necessity of  an open-heart of compassion while holding onto an inner fierceness while being her advocate. 

There is such a tendency, it seems, to over medicate seniors with morphine so they will not experience any pain. But how is the pain determined and what is too much medication? How do you determine pain when the patient is unable to speak because there is too much medication? If there is too much medication, my mom is 'snowed,' as they call it, so she can not eat or drink - which would mean a certain dwindling into dying.

This dance was inspired by the challenge I have been having of finding balance for my mom's well-being so she could move into a place of healing and so she would not pass away because of a broken leg - from the reprocutions of being overly medicated.

This dance was a prayer for her, and for all the elders who are in pain, as they move closer to their end of life, towards the realm of light, spirit and the realm of mystery... May they find inner peace on their journeys...
Here, at my childhood home, building a fire in a rusted old steel drum I found in the garage, on a frosty star-filled night in the woods behind the house -  dancing the wildness of the inner flame - the fire of the soul's inner sanctum.
Grateful for our dancing journey here with Momobutoh Company...

New Years blessings to you all!


Friday, December 30, 2011

to breathe in small spaces

"I'm sttttttttttrechinnnnnn
now I'm breathing, sweet releasing
yes, to remember.
now I'm giggling cryin laughin
m o v i n g
a simple sacred danceofbliss .....just bein"

I was walking around Paris with my family a few days ago. It was very crowded and some what of a tense day. shoving, language barriers, traveling difficulties, grey weather. after a few failed plans, my family settled on visiting Notre Dame. we waiting in the long line that was moving rather quickly. it was cold. no one in line with me was chatting or joking. we were tired. as we approached the Church, there was a sign: "no flash photography, no talking, remove your hats" we all obeyed. upon entering the church I immediately felt it- SANCTUARY. i sat by myself in the back of the dark church and released. cried. sighed. i admired the beauty of this place and the candles flickering in the glow amidst the expansive architecture and stained glass. This church was filled with tons of people, a lot of the very same people I had been sharing my day with on the crowded trains and streets, but the energy was so totally different. Sweet Peace. I collected myself and found my family. The energy between all of us had changed. We had needed that moment of Sanctuary, as we all do from time to time. How simple, and yet how powerful sacred space can be. Its funny how we can forget that, or refuse to acknowledge it, or even fight it. Sometimes Sanctuary is given to us, but sometimes we must seek it out, or create it.
I have been creating sanctuary for myself wherever I am by lighting a candle. Sometimes I make a ritual out of it, creating a lot of space and time, burning sage, and performing other rituals...but other times just the act of flame to wick is enough. I find that no matter what state I am in or what little space I have available, lighting a candle helps me to center myself, to quiet, and to realign. To breathe. Perhaps I'm reconnecting to my fire essence. . .

i am very thankful for the Dance of this passing year and all it has taught me.
So many Gifts and Challenges.
2011 was a year of fighting, growing, searching and moving. Of adventure, freedom, and being humbled. i danced fast, i danced hard, i danced for the show of it, and then finally i danced stillness. gratitude.
as i move forward into 2012 I am focusing my practice more on drawing, writing, and scoring.
and of course, learning, expanding, being, playing, sharing, staying.
i look forward to sharing images of my current practices very soon, once I return to the U.S. next year!
I wish you all Love and Blessings for the New Year. I look forward to moving and sharing with you all.

a very Special Thank You to our Mentor Momo. . . <3

SOMA ~ Sanctuary Of Moving Arts ~ SONGS

Voice and song are the newest conscious layers to my DailyDance practice at Butopia. This month I entered the space of SOMA (Sanctuary of Moving Arts) and/or the LAND here at Butopia to deepen my relationship and understanding of our plant relatives. The trees have been especially strong. Alder, Douglas Fir, Maple, Cedar, Madrona and Yew have all shown up to dance and sing with me during December. Today Aloe Vera and Sea Vegetables guided a student and I to learn more of the feminine/yin way of being in the body; with dance & voice.  New songs and dances have emerged and always my deepest prayers, pains and joys of my heart are illuminated and given guidance. Whatever is "up" on a given day I can bring it into the Sanctuary of WildLife and ask plant relatives for witness and support. The two videos here reveal a peek into of what came to pass.
     I have committed to many practices this year related to nurturing the WildLife Sanctuary here. My foundational practice consists simply of setting aside all the ToDo lists of life, all electronic communication devices and social engagements and going to practice on the LAND for 1 or more hours each day. I have never had a consistent PLACE of my own that is available 24/7 to support and uphold my butoh practice and Embodied Art journey. It is a dream come true that simply requires my embodied attention and presence and in return, I am healed. I receive songs, dances, insights, answered prayers, beauty beyond measure, deep connections with the heart & soul of myself & others. I am so grateful and humbled by this gift.
      Still, there are days that are cold, there are resistances inside and out, there are distractions and pulls that I occasionally do allow to keep me from receiving this gift. Having YOU to witness and join me in this process gives me the strength to delve into that fathomless mystery of my body & soul. It supports me to follow my true nature and set aside the blaring never-ending drone of industrial-socio-economic conditioning that says: "don't let go" "there is nothing for you there" "who do you think you are?!" "that is dangerous, stupid & crazy" and all sorts of other negative messages preventing a life of DANCING (and singing) FREELY.
     Thank you for your company, thank you for your witnessing, your love and your own commitment to showing up. See you in the Sanctuary. Thank you for reading, watching, subscribing and following our collaborative blog. If you feel called, connecting directly with me to explore whether this type of Embodied Arts practice might be something for you. MomoButoh Dance Company members and myself are always happy to welcome new community members. Sanctuary Songs Wood Songs in SOMA

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

wild life sanctuary

This is graphic recording of our 12/10/11 Conference Call with MomoButoh Dance Company by Patricia Kambitsch.  So powerful to cycle through the word, image/drawing and then again into the body movement/dance when we connect and co-create with one another. I invite all members to do this consistently. Thank you Patricia for helping us Re-Member!

Monday, November 28, 2011

PAPERBARK WONDERMENT/A significant other practice/to awaken wonder.

I have noticed over the past month or so a great sense of inertia, within mind, within body. A real resistance to what is, to change, to flow, to movement, to dance, to LIFE! This heavy sense of inertia, had me questioning the very essence of movement…movement is… movement comes from…goes to… unmoved mover..immovable..…will I move again…Did I ever stop? I long to find the wonder in it all again - Regaining a sense of wonder is surely key to unlocking inertia..?I took these questions to a beautiful old Paper bark tree at the foot of my mothers yard. The sunlight, peeping through her branches beckoned me to play...and finally... I was inspired to move…

I dance with Paperbark tree/she gives me her bark/floating through/spring sunlight skies/warm bones/twisting limbs/like twisting branches/we ARE seed/we ARE soil/we grow as tree does/rooted to earth/forever reaching to heaven/we ARE axis/divine conduit/Soul IS constant/Motion is constant/never ceasing/only passing through us/ without containment/Resistance IS DANCE

Wise paperbark/has seen me grow/knows all my stories/watches silently as the world changes/if I cannot dance with her/I cannot dance at all/if we must know what moves us/why we dance?/all we need to do is look at paperbark and listen/how then could we not begin to dance?/how could we not remember/ that to move/we must be moved/to be moved/we must first see the wonder!/the wonder of every leaf/every string of bark/every paperbark.

Friday, November 25, 2011

tar sands, pipelines and oil spills

Britannia, B.C.

"...if you're a poor forlorn oil industry feeling unloved and under assault, what do you do?
There's really only one answer: Flash your wad...

The other side -- that is, scientists, Nobelists, and the kind of average people who went to jail in record numbers this summer to block the plan -- doesn't have that kind of money. We've had to figure out other currencies to work in: spirit, passion, creativity... But if money's the only thing that matters, we're done for anyway. So we'll keep using science and art and courage."    Bill McKibben  

Blog catching up - dance /photos from several weeks ago... I have been so deeply moved by the peaceful protests occurring in both Canada and the United States against the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Northern Gateways Pipelines and also, more importantly, the Alberta Tar Sands themselves. I have been feeling that as much as we seem, as a species, to be evolving in very inspiring ways towards a 'unity consciousness,' a sense of being related to not only one-another around the planet, but also to other beings, we are also moving towards a directly opposing, but just as strong trend, towards destroying our mama earth and all that reside upon her, at all costs.
"But it is hard to speak of these things / how the voices of light enter the body / and begin to recite their stories / how the earth holds us painfully against / its breast made of humus and brambles / how we who will soon be gone regard / the entities that continue to return / greener than ever, spring water flowing / through a meadow and the shadows of clouds / passing over the hills and the ground / where we stand in the tremble of thought / taking the vast outside into ourselves."
Billy Collins
When I feel overwhelmed with despair for the destruction of our world, and the wild beings that reside upon her, I dance...  I wrote the following several weeks ago:

i am dancing because i have to... for the bears, the salmon, the caribou, the wolves, the migrating birds  and all the creatures whose lives are being threatened from the increased pollution and habitat destruction...  because i am canadian and it is unconscionable to me that the current government is supporting an oil extraction method that is the dirtiest energy project in the world, one that is devastating to all beings on our precious mama earth...i am dancing in solidarity with the indigenous peoples whose health and lives are being jeopardized by the alberta tar sands upriver of their communities... because human rights are being violated... i am dancing because i have to... because sometimes it feels my heart will explode with pain and anger at the lack of respect some human beings that run corporations have for all life and for future generations... i dance... i dance...
Thank you for viewing this post. I hope it may inspire you in some way. I am grateful for Momo and Company for being able to share our dance offerings here...
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering, and may our thoughts and actions contribute to that happiness and freedom from suffering for all beings...
Music: Dean Evenson
Photos: Brooke
Visit Momobutoh collaborative blog here: Momobutoh Dance Company

Monday, November 21, 2011


Revisiting the 11/11 site, dancing as and with the salmon, the bear, the eagle, the human(s). Integrating them all into my own nature, my own place in the cycle of life. Looking into and forward to the future. I'm grateful for and to all of the beings I have communed with, especially to Momo and all those who shared this time and place and dance with me. Many thanks to all!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spawning Practice

"Butoh plays with time and also perspective....If we humans learn to see things from the perspective of an animal, an insect, even inanimate objects, the road trodden everyday is alive--we should value everything." --Tatsumi Hijikata

A surprise discovery on the wild Stehekin River--little Sockeye Kokanee Salmon are spawning freely! Such an inspiration in preparation for our 11/11/11 dance to honor the salmon life cycle at mile 11 on highway 11 at 11:11am. MomoButoh Dance Company members will gather from all over the continent at Oyster Creek for our 5th annual ritual butoh performance. This year we have 11 dancers working with live musicians, singers, story tellers and poets. We will offer 11 unique site-specific scores revealing 11 segments in salmon's life cycle:
1 ~~>))))> Salmon legends of seaside native people...
2 ~~>))))> Salmon struggling for survival with humans due to overfishing, dams & toxic spills...
3~~~>))))> Salmon "in between" moving up & down river, not knowing whether they will survive the journey...
4~~>))))> Salmon as prey for bears, eagles and other predators...
5~~~>))))> Salmon meeting a lone fisherman standing in stillness sensing the connectivity of the freely flowing current...
6~~ >))))> Salmon babies eating their egg sacs & everything else they can...
7~~~ >))))> Salmon struggling to return to their birthplace & home stream...
8~~>))))> Salmon eggs waiting to hatch, floating aloft in current...
9~~~~ >))))>Salmon males & females spawning...
10~~ >)))) Salmon dying & offering flesh to future generations.
11~~~~>))))>Salmon move en masse to swim freely in the open sea!

On the bank of the Stehekin, among the Kokanee, I discovered the ripples, the resting, the joy and pain of struggle against obstacles. The release of the body, the floating of the spirit! Thank you dear swimming relatives, it is for your life, your increase & your vitality that we offer our dance.
Our flesh is your flesh, our eyes are your watery eyes, our spines your spines, our struggle your struggle, our love & death is yours as well. May our dance reveal our deep gratitude for your beauty, presence & gifts.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

From Point A to Be : aesthetic response to the aspen fall

My dance of 28 min edited to 8 min. and with sound! Thank you to Azumi Oe, for helping me!

I moved from point A, on the Stairs that are brand new and look like an engineer built them (not a dancer) so I was making friends with them ... to to the bench I bought for my mothers memory, (I wore her dress here) sharing my sorrow and saddness with her; to the Solar Panels where I felt invaded by an unnatural structure until I chose to dance on it and again became friends ... to my "wishbone tree" a grieving tree for my giving spirit in black; to my burial in dirt and cleanse w warm water by women. This is apart of my Universal myth; my story of birthing my life from dance. Point Be is the place inside, imbedded, embodied, impacted, implanted ... I dance to BE.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

From Point A to Be : aesthetic response to the aspen fall

How do I see the universe? What is my creation story...

This is the dance of my self portrait drawing from the WilderDance Retreat.
I see a black widow spider in my drawing of the aspen fall;
relating to my own cliff fall;
I feel my head, I feel her pain.
I see my feet
I stand for Aspen trees
this only the beginning of
"From Point A to Be"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Scoring high

Dancing through the changes.
Bringing in more presence.
Breeze is blowing, body's flowing
Humbled by the great full moon
Bowing to the elements

My struggle in finding my own home- That home that is constantly within myself. Struggling with the Maya- the outward distractions and suggestions of pre-judged life.
What obstacles am I swimming upstream against? My own angst, fears, and forgetting.
Forgetting that too my body will die, my purpose complete in this physical realm, releasing into the greater cycles of existance- exisDANCE.
So I seek to find connection in all of my surroundings. Where is my home? What is my bodily purpose? Won't I constantly be fullfilling this purpose by connecting to my own home within my center.
In someway our lives reflect that of the struggling salmon; swimming against all odds to find their original birthing place, only so many make it to then mate and release their physical bodies a few hours- days later.
How many of us are in a struggle to connect? To remember our true home- our birthing place. The place where the soul dwells, the place we all know deep inside our hearts?
And: when we find our home- will we remember it?
How many of us are willing to sacrifice our lives for the continuation of the life cycle?
What a beautiful release.... honoring our mother... allowing for our bodies to decompose in the earth they were created. Nothing is wasted.

I have been working on my score for 11/11/11...

I will be stationed by a tree. Representing the return home portion of the life cycle of the salmon-

Again trees have entered my life: representing the grounding of both earth and connection to sky.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

desert weave dance

For a Father

The longer we live,
The more of your presence
We find, laid down
Weave upon weave
Within our lives.

John O'Donohue

In the Yakima Canyon I was inspired to dance spontaneously wearing my recently passed father's hat (circa 1940's), embodying my inner feeling tones amongst the stark surroundings - barren but filled with light. I adore the desert landscapes as it is a place of wide open spaces that allows for such a feeling of connection to that which is greater than ourselves.

Wearing his woven, wool, plaid hat, I was reflecting also on the First Nations story of how Grandmother Spider wove the web of life that interconnects all beings - animate and inanimate.
"When the Universe was still so dark that not even shadows could be seen in the night, Grandmother Spider sat in her web in the Sky World, waiting and watching. No one knows how old Grandmother Spider is, or how long she sat waiting for the Universal Mind to awaken. But, every Creature Being who has ever lived knows her song and dance as the weaver of the Web of Life.
From her web, Grandmother Spider observed the first thoughts as the Universal Mind awakened from the dream... Grandmother Spider took a very deep breath and softly began to sing her weaving song while she danced across the Sky. As she spun her thread, Grandmother Spider envisioned the Web of Life.
Dancing with the colored light, shadows came into being as the darkness took form. More thoughts flowed from the Universal Mind, entered through the Doorway of the Seven Stars, and took their places in the Sky World. These became more stars, suns and planets. Then, many other thoughts entered the Universe, each one taking a specific place according to the universal dream of harmony.
Each thought was a spirit essence who dreamed an individual dream for manifesting life. Grandmother Spider spun her web around each new energy being and the Universal Web of Life shimmered in the reflection of Great Mystery's light."

Told by Susun Weed
Dancing with so much gratitude in my being for the beauty of our Mama Earth / Ocean home...

Music: Philip Glass

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Recently I spent several days trekking around in the North Cascades mountains. This is something I've been doing for over a decade now. Every summer this feels like a cleansing, or a renewal process to me. Both in the shedding of day-to-day concerns (which for this time in the wilderness become mostly irrelevant to me), and in rediscovering my connections with nature.

On this trip I revisited Upper Cathedral Lake, near Cathedral Peak in the Pasayten Wilderness. I find myself repeatedly drawn to this location over the years. It's hard to describe, because I am not sure exactly what it is I am describing, but this place in particular has always felt to me like a place where the Earth's power and energy was concentrated and focused.

I started this dance without a solid intent other than to let the place move me, I became a being emerging from the earth, somewhat intimidated by the huge empty world it saw, pushing against something, excited by the wonder of it all, considering jumping out even further.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

seven seven eleven moon

"Heart is like the moon. Don't keep sorrows in it. Cast them off in waters deep." Rumi

After spending a few days alone in my childhood home one month to the day after my Dad passed (7/7/11), I could feel his presence as I left. Unexpectedly, the motion detector lights at the far end of the house turned on mysteriously as I was packing up my car. I was reminded of the ritual Dad and I had of him standing at the door, waiting and waving as I backed out of the long driveway after visiting with him
Missing him, tears began to flow and I felt inspired to dance my grief, so I threw on a sweater and hat that belonged to him, and just as I set up the camera, a thundercloud overhead began to send rain to the earth - the hugest drops I have seen in a awhile, feeling like they were my tears, washing my spirit's grief...
Driving home, I was inspired to pull off the highway onto a deserted country road to take a photo of the moon, which suddenly appeared through a crack in the clouds. As I pulled to the side of the road, a white barn owl flew across the moon's light and onto a nearby barn roof. Once again I felt insipred to dance, feeling my Dad's presence in the infinite night sky, reminded of the connection I felt with the moon and his passing...

Right after Dad passed in the hospice a visitor in the lobby began to play Debussy's 'Clair de Lune,' a song that I remembered hearing waft through our home as a child. Hearing the song so soon after he passed, felt like Dad was being serenaded into the spirit realm with the sounds of the moonlight...

Connecting to my Dad, the moon, the owl, the cosmos and the mystery...

Music: Clair de Lune

Grateful for our deepening connection here to one another... dancing our souls... thank you, Momo, for bringing us together in this most meaningful way....


Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunrise Progressions

I camped out on top of a mountain on Saturday.
I hiked up with a friend of mine- then we set up camp apart from eachother to do a "solo nite" in silence!

The following morning was full of butoh inspiriation moments.
Originally I had the idea to start off before the sun hit my side of the mountain, when it was still super cold, and as the sun progressively rose I would take off layer after layer-
The video snapshots kind of show that but not in the ideal way I would have imagined.

My idea was to meditate for hours on the mountain ridge....
HAHA that went well.
First there are wayyyy  tooooo manyyyyy mosquitos for one's comfort-
Second I have a really hard time sitting cross legged because I have this wierd thing where my limbs fall asleep really quickly.
Third- There was just no way other than to lie down in my tent, to get comfortable to sit without moving for hours on an end.
So thus we revert back to butoh.
Moving in the midst of nature- being comfortable- and attempting to be still.

I found a really helpful way to quiet the mind is to just walk ultra ultra slow- it begins to feel like you are moving at the pace of nature, not at humanities insane speed walk pace

Bliss and love- I like this video- first time I added music

Feet and Face at Lake Tahoe

OK- here we go with the help of Lorenzo!
Sharing online is fun, right!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

I love feeling my feet in fresh water
I touch the softness of wet wood
Strong toes and high arches carry me thru life

My face in the sunset

My feet in the water

Sand and Rocks are hot and cold

My sternum to the sky
I rest on rocks up high
Thank grace for the act of completion...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The God's are Laughing

I had just written an incredible post.... it got deleted.
So here is my second attemt. This goes to show how nothing is ever permanent- change is constant.

My creation story is BLISS.
I realized this
I choose to expand
Opening my arms to welcome space into my hands

My body moves in the way it chooses
In the joy of spontaneous eruption
My soul can taste ecstasy in the simplicity

Bliss is our inherent birthright
To follow, breathe, and be it
Her laughter tickles my belly
she moves me

Inside the vortex of creation
There sits a dancing God
laughing hysterically

Be bliss
In your experience
Let yourself be moved by it

REcognizing my own creation story...
I was birthed from bliss, I was created by bliss, and I will die in bliss

So when I move I can tap into my most raw state.
Freedom of self expression
It doesnt matter to me what anything may appear to be
Rather, I feel what the dance wants to express though my body
There is no seperation between divine intention and human dancing
Or I'd like to believe that
But it is true, the deeper I surrender to the flow the more bliss I find
The more bliss I find
the more I can hear god laughing

Friday, September 2, 2011

momobutoh meeting minutes august 30

I doodled while members of the MomoButoh Dance Company met via Skype on August 30.

The inspiration to co create our creation stories spins in my head and my heart. Thank you to all for your contribution to my life.

Monday, August 29, 2011

consciousness stream

...dancing with MomoButoh Dance Company 11 /11 /10
Photo: Susan Elizabeth Cowperthwaite
'stream of consciousness' installation by katherine kerr
Momo and I... 11/11/10

Spontaneous dance exploration of connecting to the infinite cosmos / consciousness in the finite - in urban North Vancouver with Katherine Kerr's stream / bridge / installation... feeling connection to the life cycles of the salmon... and nostalgia and excitement for Momobutoh's upcoming 11/11/11 dance dedicated to the wellness and survival of the salmon at Oyster Creek... and throughout the Pacific Rim....
Momo and I... 11/11/10 Oyster Creek

Momobutoh Company at Oyster Creek 11/11/10
i dream of salmon coho crisis sockeye collapse bear scat food web tear i marvel again rest its time now nowhere deep...
Thank you for viewing... feeling grateful for this connection with you all... here... Thank you Momo for bringing us together in the dance...
Music: Mountain Man