Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dreams of Seasons Passed

This post is dedicated to this dreamy dancing life and some key performances that have arisen from soul, imagination and sensation during the past 5 moons (except Memorial Dance which was a homage to WW II veteran Kazuo Ohno presented on 5/31/10 with live video released publicly on 6/1/11 in memory of sensei's passing 1 year ago).
Memorial Dance was performed at Langley Middle School as part of the poetry of veterans shared for VRC Annual Memorial Day Tribute event.

People Get Ready was an improv performance offering by facilitators Melinda Harrison and Maureen Freehill, to close the Significant Other butoh & LifeArt Mastery workshop at NatureMoves studio in Boulder. Music is Vanilla Fudge's "People Get Ready."

Significant Others Final Dance Offerings: Meha & Momo

Cottonwood Sunrise was a dancing gift after the Significant Other workshop in Boulder, CO offered by WilderDancer Christine Palafox. A homage to sunrise and the presence of her neighborhood cottonwood tree. David Harrison accompanied, we danced and she directed the score. Camera by John Lorette & Momo. The full piece is included here to get a sense of actual sunrise time/light shifts.


Lady of the Lake on MayDay was an event directed by accordion player Jason Webley for one of his four "death rememberings" on cross-quarter days in 2011; leading to a culminating performance on 11/11/11. Only participants in these events will discover the location of a final performance on 11/11/11. This dance happened on MayDay eve on Boat Street in Seattle from 11:11pm till late into the night during about 11 trips as about 11 passengers headed out on a 100 year old boat to drink and offer healing medicine tea into the lake. Maureen was the "Lady in White" while Rick was "St. Joan's" captain and Lee Atwell filmed.

Hitobashira is a piece that Maureen has been creating since 2001 with imagery from Japanese history stating that human sacrifices/suicides were common when building bridges or castles or when lovers were wanting to be together for eternity. Most commonly the accompaniment is a score composed by sound artist Pamela Z specifically for this piece. This performance was at 11:11 on 3/11/11, the morning of the Japanese tsunami and improvised with dancer Delisa Myles under a bridge in the snow melt in Prescott, AZ. Camera by John Lorette.

Dream Lake was a solo piece in Rocky Mountain National Park at an alpine lake of that name. Filmed by Momo & Richard Shane.

Still Moment(s) Rising is a edit mash-up of 3 different performances of the same short piece about a spring shoot rising from the cold ground into the sunlight. One is at Unitarian Universalist in Freeland, Wa; one at Unity Church in Langley, Wa and one at BeBe Theater in Asheville NC for the Fools Butoh Festival there in April.

Thank you all for watching and offering reflections below. The spaces for the Somatic Building Internships are steadily filling. Contact Momo soon if you are interested in joining us sometime this summer. It is so wonderful here....a dream coming true!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

bones on the beach

My daughter Liz tells me that she dreamed she lived in a house of bamboo. In the dream, Liz’s Grandmother (my mother, no longer living) visited and told Liz that the house was not really made of bamboo, but was made of her bones. Mom told Liz she didn’t need to be afraid. Because the house was made of her bones, she'd would always be present and there for her.

Liz’s dream story stayed with me as I left from the city where I dance often with the lake and with nature where I find it http://www.youtube.com/user/shagdora2#p/a/u/2/6947wI3MMN0.

When I visited the Pacific northwest (Washington, Vancouver Island) earlier this month, I felt and saw my mother’s bones everywhere. I felt those bones in the red cedar, in the Douglas fir, in carvings in the museums, washed up on the beaches, and in my own body. (The older I get, the more I look like my mother and the more my hands and feet resemble the limbs and roots of a gnarly old tree.)

The rain forest is lovely, wet, and full of evidence that what appears to be dead is fertile, growing, very much alive.

The soil itself is clearly alive, and on more than one occasion the living dirt became my significant other dance partner. In my own practice I danced with the living giants (how could I ignore them?) and I also danced with the “dead” trees who nurse young new plants and critters and fungus and who knows what all else. As I danced I thought how nice it would be to belong here where the dead and the living support and nurse each other.

A message from Momo reminded me “enjoy the nurse logs....they love you too.”

On the beach I found myself face to face and limb to limb with the bones of the Grandmothers, the trees, my significant others. During my dance, I found myself losing balance, struggling, stumbling and awkward before finally curling in their laps. I learned to be quiet and still and to let rare moments of sunshine bleach my bones.

I touch you
I see you
I smell you
I dance with you
I taste you

Your bones are my bones
Living in me now

As I live in you.
As I dance with you.

Thank you trees, thank you grandmothers, thank you Momma, Thank you Momo and all The Others.

music Red Planet by Arborea

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cold damp Earth

I am alone.
Silence surrounds me.
 Only the occasional bird song
I find a fern. She is at the base of a tree.
This could be any fern at any tree.
But today I decide to dedicate my dance to the uncurling of her leaves.
My body mirrors her struggle against the sometimes cold wind.
Words start to come out of my mouth.
'I am hungry'.
'I want to grow.'
'I HAVE NO PLANS. I trust the Universe to provide for me.'
Meanwhile my physical body starts becoming weaker... I am starving. So hungry all of a sudden that my normal energy starts to disapate.
Still I keep moving.
The fern calls me. She moves me.
I find my hand suddenly on the moist earth.
It rips out a baby plant.
All of a sudden my heart is filled with sorrow. HOW can we live so unconciously? _ As to rip living beings out of the earth for no reason. All of that hard work; their whole life was spent organizing their solid roots and then a big clumsy hand destroys it in one swift swoop.
I dance the sorrow dance.
I craddle the still breathing plant in my arms and dance for it.
'I want to grow'
'I have no plans'
'I am soooo hungry' Feed me mother earth, nourish me.
Slowly my dance ends in that moment of time...
yet my walk home continues in the same sort of manner.
My feet move and my arms paint the picture of the woods around me.
With my hands I gather and disperse the energy of each attentive living breathing plant being.
I orchestrate oxygen.
Into my lungs and out again.
This cycle will never cease as long as I experience this life.
This too is my dance.

The path to the unknown. May we all walk along this path with an open and trusting heart.

Are all trees really one and the same??

Monday, May 23, 2011


Hi there.
I wanna talk to you.
Yeah, You !
I wanna speak with you in a language without words. . .

I long to look inside of your eyes,
witness the gateways open across time and space,
and play with that inner child waiting.

mine says:
Hi there!
Wanna be friends?
Wanna Dance?
Wanna plaaaaay?
its getting kind of lonely here
talking in this screen to screen way

Today I'll hold our spirit sticks and send a call to you,
my salmon brother and sister souls
remember how we gave birth and died together?
mated, rose again and tied ourselves willingly to the crimson cord;
laughing, giggling, suckling all the way. . .

I dance for you.
I dance for us.
I dance for creation, destruction and all that is in between.

I dance for the days that I don't want to dance,
when I feel like I can't
when excuses are more rampant than inspiration or self truth.

I dance for healing, for transformation
I long to dance for social justice and Mamma Earth too.
Yeah I have dreams
dreams I can speak of, thanks to you.

Today I'll find my nature friends
special significant others
whispering sweetly
When I myself am quiet.

I hope to meet you there
eyes, heart, and palms wide open
in the soft heart of dawn calling

Friday, May 13, 2011

sweet honey bees

let us sing a song to thee
oh my sweet honeybee
let us sing a song to thee
oh my sweet honeybee
you are the one we've been waiting for...
- from Mountain Man's "Sweet Honey Bee"
I have been feeling a sad helplessness lately in regards to the disappearance of the honey bee populations. "Quietly, globally, billions of bees are dying, threatening our crops and food. But a global ban of one group of pesticides could save bees from extinction." (From the AVAAZ petition site).
I have to think that by signing environmental petitions, such as the ones that circulate from AVAAZ, National Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity, Change, etc. are making a positive impact in preserving our Mama Earth. It would be too unbearable to think that these small actions we take are not being received or listened to.
The following is a recent link to a petition site whose intention is to help prevent 'colony collapse' if you would like to join me in signing it. Mounting evidence points to pesticides -- and three “neonicotinoid” pesticides in particular: clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiomethoxam. http://www.change.org/petitions/earth-to-epa-bees-need-help-now
Although I am assuming pesticides and fungicides are being used to produce such spectacular tulip beauty, today, I was so enamored by the presence of bees bumbling amongst the tulips...
Todays dance practice was inspired by the appearance of the elusive sun, the ocean of color-filled fields and was one of connecting with 'significant others' in the form of tulips and bees...
A dance celebration of beauty in our natural world... oh, and if you look carefully you'll be able to see bees flying by in the film ;~)
Music: Mountain Man
Last year's dance with the tulips and link to that blog post here: 'cultivating beauty..."
Music: Jennifer Berezan
Grateful for the opportunity to share and collaborate and to witness... such inspirations... thank you all, thank you, Momo... love...
Visist our collaborative blog here: Momobutoh Company

Friday, May 6, 2011

don't fence me in

I was feeling claustrophobic in both my car and within my being, in that 'URGHH!!!' kind of way, after being stuck in a slow moving train of cars heading north from Seattle. It took me three hours to drive a distance that usually takes an hour. I realized the irony that most of the traffic congestion was due to the fact that city folk, including myself, were trying to escape to the country to visit the spectacle of the tulips in full bloom during the weekend's "Tulip Festival" in the Skagit Valley.

Not bearing to drive any further in traffic, I pulled off the highway to find my own personal space to dance freely within. I was stunned by the beauty of this wildlife sanctuary I stumbled upon at the edge of the sea at the end of a dead-end street.

While editing later that evening, I remembered Joni Takanikos' version of Cole Porter's song from her album "Love In a Mist, Devil in a Bush.” She is a beautiful soul who I met at a retreat, and also who I shared MomoButoh workshops with in the past.

The lyrics speak so much of what I was feeling earlier that day - my soul's desire to dance freely into the expansive space of sky while at the same time feeling an earthward, grounding connection. After feeling so 'soul-repressed' from the bumper to bumper commute, I felt so grateful to receive so much energy from our Mama Earth that had a balancing effect inwardly - releasing the stress of the traffic-filled commute.
Don't Fence Me In
Give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above
Don't fence me in
Let me ride thru the wide-open country that I love
Don't fence me in
Let me ride my cayuse where the west commences,
Gaze at the moon until I lose my senses
Can't stand hobbles and I can't stand fences
Don't fence me in.
Just let me sit by myself in the evening breeze
Listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me away, forever, if you please
Just don't fence me in
Don't fence me in...
This moon-time, Momobutoh Company is dancing with significant others in the forms of plants and animals... here, the connection was more with the significant other elements of earth (grounding) and sky (freedom).
Grateful for our ever evolving Momobutoh connections! Thank you Momo - greatly inspired!
Music: Joni Takanikos
Visit our collaborative blog here: Momobutoh Dance Company

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rose and Cactus Flower S.O.

i am in love with discovering my significant others.
a tire swing teaches me balance
a blade of grass and breeze preach ease
listening . . .
reveling in every precious moment
i can't help but beam.

i am surprised again and again.

"and i find i know what i already knew"
I had a lovely dance with a rose bush in my grandma's garden.
after asking to be shown my S.O., a hawk flew overhead and my core led me to the pretty pink blooms.
When I got closer, I became more connected with their sturdy trunks and spiky thorns.
What a tough and beautiful flower!
Next my attention was brought to a tipped over cactus flower, growing sideways in the grass.
I danced its sharp thorns, its prickles and horns.
I danced its buds, closed oh so tightly, waiting to BURST!
I danced the in between of blooming soft pink rose petals
and tight closed cactus buds.
Then I thanked the flowers with words and a playful spraying from the hose!
This too became a dance, the water crystals dusting the flowers, dusting me, relieving us both of the bright sun. The water cast rainbows before us both, me and my Significant Others. :)

Aesthetic Response to Dreaming of Balance

During our last lovely conference call for the month of May, among many things, MomoButoh discussed our INTENTION. . . and one of our intentions is to connect to each other. I want to deepen my connection to this work and all of you, so here I am with my first attempt at a creative aesthetic response.

I wanted to keep it simple. So I witnessed Lee's video Balance. I am very inspired by Lee, and her obvious deep commitment to this work and her generous offerings on our blog here. My intention is to reach out, and give a creative response to her dance, in hopes that we will all find new and exciting ways to reach each other across the distance.

After watching the video, I immediately turned the camera on and let whatever wanted to come out, come out. I was a bit shy, it being my first try, but it felt pretty good.
I seemed to hit on something by playing with balance on the bed behind me.
So I turned the camera on again and filmed a short response to Lee's dance by dancing while her dance was playing on my computer. I couldn't see it, but I could hear the music, and the sounds of her dance. I used my imagination to recall my favorite images from the video. I did not edit the videos at all. I did the whole thing pretty quickly so as to not allow my censor to come into play.

So here is my response:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Learning to Be(e). . .A Significant Practice

My experience with the MomoButoh South East tour has been a catalyst for a lot of change in my life. Actually, to be honest, the change began when I answered the call for our ritual pilgrimage to the spawning salmon on 11/11.
Upon returning from our 11/11 dance, I was ecstatic, floating on a high of newfound consciousness and love. Holding dearly onto the seed of an apple that Momo have given me, I knew this was a seed of big changes to come in my life. But, like my dear teacher Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates (aka Dr. T) says: “Consciousness is temporary”. Soon after all the lightness had exploded out of me, a very dark phase began again in my life. I was lost, and confused. I couldn’t figure out the puzzle pieces, how to continue the practices on my own. I slipped back into unhealthy habits and wallowed in my shadow side. I was frustrated- I thought this BIG change had happened in my life, and there I was, seemingly still stuck in limbo.

Momo reminded me that the change HAD indeed happened, and that sometimes it takes seeds a very long time to sprout. And so I soldiered on my journey, forcing myself to trust that change was happening and that soon my dreams would come to fruition.

I like to compare this phase of my life, (the two years post graduating college with a huge smile on my face ready to conquer the world) to some passages from Dr. Seuss’ Oh the places you’ll Go:

“You can get all hung up

in a prickle-ly perch.

And your gang will fly on.

You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch

with an unpleasant bump.

And the chances are, then,

that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,

you're not in for much fun.

Un-slumping yourself

is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.

Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.

A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!

Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?

How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...

or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?

Or go around back and sneak in from behind?

Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,

for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused

that you'll start in to race

down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace

and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,

headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go

or a bus to come, or a plane to go

or the mail to come, or the rain to go

or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow

or waiting around for a Yes or a No

or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite

or waiting for wind to fly a kite

or waiting around for Friday night

or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake

or a pot to boil, or a Better Break

or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants

or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting.”

I finally feel, after touring that I have finally turned the page and am entering my BANGING phase!

I am ready to be brave enough to fail, to reveal, and to meet change with grace and to truly love the flow of my life.

Normally, I want to control EVERYTHING, the outcome of my journey, my dance, the way I look, sound, act. Mostly to impress. To impress whom? Who or what am I waiting for?

And then I realized I am waiting to love MYSELF. I needed to forgive myself, and delve deeply into my own healing process. I have only begun to scratch the surface of this, but it is a practice I am committed to.

I am finding myself. Carolyn Rebecca “Hi-C” Boucher everlovin Booshay. My heart is big, my body is strong, my fire hot and feisty.

I was doing a healing practice where I will take long baths with special candles, stones, salts, and sage. While I was bathing, I began asking, and giving myself forgiveness.

I’m sorry feet, for hating you for being “too big”, for forcing you into much too small shoes, deforming you.

I’m sorry legs, for abusing you.

I’m sorry stomach for torturing you, for starving you, over stuffing you, and all around confusing you- no wonder you can be so sensitive sometimes, never knowing when the next bout of torture will come. . .

I’m sorry breasts for despising your smallness, for hiding you in huge overshaped bras that didn’t fit.

I’m sorry hands

I'm sorry loins

I’m sorry

I’m sorry

And then - - I got to my lungs—and I began to wail.

I’m sorry.

I’m SO SO SO SORRY for filling you with smoke, for destroying you, for hurting you, for stopping short your breath, and silencing your beautiful voice.

I made a vow right then and there I would never smoke again. And I haven’t since.

This work, as much as it challenges and frustrates me, is deeply changing and healing me. I would like to express my heart felt gratitude.

On tour I was given the honor of performing with Momo in Asheville, North Carolina. I was the bee in her Flower Child piece.

She also gave me this poem:

The Invisible Bee

Look how desire has changed in you,

How light and colorless it is,

With the world growing new marvels because of your changing.

Your soul has become an invisible bee.

We don’t see it working, but there’s the full honeycomb!

Your body’s height, six feet or so,

But your soul rises though nine levels of sky.

A barrel corked with earth and a raw wooden spile keeps the oldest vineyards wine inside.

When I see you, it is not so much your physical form, but the company of two riders, your pure-fire devotion and love for the one who teaches you;

Then the sun and moon on foot behind those.


In my mercury retrograde heightened state, I couldn’t quite grasp the poem, or the idea of BEING/BEEING. I wanted to get it right. I didn’t want to disappoint Momo or myself. I am a performer at heart, and I love putting on a good show.

Ah, but that is not really what Butoh is all about. I’m sad to say, I didn’t much enjoy my first on stage Butoh performance. I was very stiff, worried, and clumsy. I was TRYING and SHOWING. I felt very discouraged afterward. Shaking my head at the irony of me, the Bee who couldn’t just Be.

Now I am beginning to see with all of my eyes. With the help of the daily dance practice, and specifically the S.O. practice, I am learning to be, to love me, and to integrate my LIFE/ART process, instead of separating the two. My dream is to live an artful, conscious, and productive life. To taste, to touch, to smell, to feel, to dance, to heal, courageously and with my own brand of unique beauty.

Images from some of my recent S.O. practices:

I look forward to deepened connections with all of you through our vows and practices. . .