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YOGA/DANCE

A program to explore the stylistic and thematic similarities between contemporary expressionistic dance forms and contemporary fluid yogic forms

Practitioners of yoga have long recognized the connections between their practices and forms of dance. It is a Hindu belief that the world of mass, energy, space, and time is a result of the dance of Shiva, Nataraja, "the Lord of the Dance." The popularity of flowing forms of yoga such as Anusara are testament to the benefits of a yoga practice that shares similarities with dance. In all religious traditions, musical production and ritual dance have long been acknowledged as sources of body awareness, spiritual awakening, and interpersonal connection.

The postmodern dance culture, digital dance culture, club or 'rave' culture ~call it what you will~ is a decades long worldwide phenomena in which millions of people participate every week. Practitioners have long appreciated, experienced, and discussed how dance music inspires body awareness, spiritual awakening, and interpersonal connection. In these dance culture contexts, the body, carried by music, is in a state of heightened self-awareness. New poses and postures, dance gestures, futuristic kinetics, a novel martial art, (post)modern expressions, and/or yogas are emerging from this culture.

In order to explore the similarities between yoga and dance, so as to mutually benefit both artforms, we propose a series of sessions in which the signature elements of yoga are blended with the signature elements of the rave culture. The program is simple and requires three elements to begin: a suitable yoga studio, a yoga instructor who is experienced in yoga/dance, and a DJ who is sensitive to the goals of the project.

A session will be organized like this: The DJ and yoga instructor will orchestrate a routine together before the session. The session will be organized to conclude near dusk. They will enter the studio before the arrival of students and set up the DJ equipment in the back of the studio, which will consist of a table, two 15-inch speakers, two turntables and mixer, requiring approximately 8 linear feet of space. The instructor will be in the front of the studio, as is traditionally practiced. Students will enter at the appropriate time, well aware of the program, and dressed appropriately.  The program will follow the pre-practiced routine likely to assume the structure of a 20 minute warm up period, followed by a 40 minute intensive practice, concluding with a 20 minute calm-down period. The DJ will follow this basic routine with a liberal degree of autonomy to "read" the yoga practitioners needs, offering musical selections likely to inspire a deepening of the practice. This may take the form of a mixture of down-tempo, classical, and ambient music in the first 20 minutes. This may be followed by intelligent dance music (IDM), 'micro' house, and electronica. Concluding audio selections will maximize the open receptivity of the practitioners to deliver spoken works by Swami Satchitananda, Ken Wilber, Ram Dass, e.e. cummings, Dalai Lama, etc. (or something capable of surprising instant Zen satori!).

It is projected that the program will be suitable for individuals with intermediate yoga training and/or a youthful/athletic disposition as it is assumed that the program will be mildly demanding on the cardiovascular system.

The Center for Landscape & Artefact is researching the points of contact between religion, space, and movement. Within the personnel for the Center for Landscape & Artefact is a DJ who has been experimenting with these types of musical arrangements for several years as adjuncts and inspiration to his decades long yoga practice. The CLA is also in consortium with yoga teachers who have been experimenting with teaching dance/yoga hybrids for over 20 years. The CLA is in cahoots with the Seattle area digital dance culture. Ample discussions suggest that many of these dancers are very excited to attend this program. Likewise, our connections to yoga practitioners in the Seattle area will result in many yogis registering for this program, making this program self-sustaining and fruitful in its goal to explore the connections between dance and yoga while merging the dance and yogic communities.

The work schedule of both the CLA resident DJ and yoga teacher makes it likely that this program will occur on Saturday evenings. We are currently exploring the rental of suitable studio space. If you are interested in participating please email us [+].