Carving A Path Together
By Myra Krien In Shimmy Issue 20
"There is almost a sensual longing for communication with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe."
Collaboration: literally to co-labor, or the act of creating with someone else to achieve a higher vision.
Often collaboration can be tricky. On its worst day we argue and are unable to put our egos aside. At its best it is transcendent, the best of both combined to create an even greater end. For some time now, I had been feeling a longing to share a deeper communion and to connect more deeply with others in my field who saw bellydance from a similar perspective. My mission statement for many years now has been, “To uplift and promote the art of bellydance as a healing art for social change.”
In 2012 Tamalyn Dallal brought Kaeshi Chai to my annual National SEEDs Teacher Training. SEEDs® standing for Self-Esteem, Empowerment and Education through Dance, is a youth mentorship program created in 2000 by myself to present to youth the finest instruction in Middle Eastern Arts, along with programming that promotes self-discovery and self-actualization, provides mentorship at a very high level and prepares young women for independence. PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment), created by Kaeshi is defined as, “An international community of artists who utilize dance and music for healing, personal growth and positive change.” Tamalyn had brought Kaeshi because, knowing both of us, it was clear to her that our work was closely aligned. Kaeshi and I recognized each other. It was clear that while our work was taking different forms, we were deeply engaged in the same vision. I was exhilarated by the thought of working together.
Not long after, Kaeshi called me and asked me to be an instructor, performer, panelist, and presenter for a new kind of bellydance experience called the PURE Conference. As she described it, the conference would involve and engage the participants in bellydance on many different levels. Arriving at this conference I was immediately amazed by the company I was keeping. My fellow presenters were so exceptional. Kaeshi had brought the most amazing group together, Antonina Canal Davila, Hanan A Rama, Jorja Rivero, Dalia Carella, just to name a few, all engaged in using bellydance as a healing art for social change. It was so powerful for me and for all who attended to be in a group this aligned in both passion and purpose. The whole experience took everyone to new heights. This has since grown into an annual event.The following year I found myself heading to Mexico City to perform and participate in the weeklong residency that leads to the performance of Keashi’s full stage production that explores the topics of body image and addiction, PURE Reflections: Beauty Re-Imagined. This was an exceptional experience and one that led me to want to share its entirety with both my local community and my greater SEEDs community.
This October, Kaeshi Chai will come to Santa Fe, New Mexico with her team to lead 50 participants from all over the country in a week long residency to mount PURE Reflections: Beauty Re-Imagined. Also invited to this incredible event are New York native bands BeatboxGuitar and Djinn. The weekend will involve 4 performances, 5 live-music workshops, and a Halfa. The whole event will revolve around the evolution and revolution of the incredible, beloved and life-changing art form of belly dance.
We are actively building a community through these shared experiences, aligned to this deeper purpose, a super highway of connectivity. Get involved, evolve and revolve! If you are interested in participating in this event or others like it contact us, let’s be the change!