Back from my trip to Kaua’i, I find it more urgent than ever that we stand up to what is needed for us to be better stewards of the planet. It is more than obvious that as a whole, humanity is not contributing constructively, neither to the homeostasis of the Earth nor to the universe.
We don’t create music. To create music we need to become quiet enough to hear the sounds around us, natural sounds, the music of the Earth…of the universe. But we are always busy making noise, so much so that we aren’t able to listen or even hear anymore. It is only through listening that we can come in tune with the greater orchestra and be one of the instruments who participates in harmony.
Many of us are terrified of embodiment. We can’t face our broken hearts, the chaos in our minds or the pain in our bodies. We yearn instead for transcendental bliss. Every chance we get, we go off into the beautiful light instead of choosing to face the continually unnerving yet miraculous experience of living that light in our bodies. In this way we continue to separate the realm of the soul from the body.
As far back as I remember, I had two great passions—one for the Divine and one for dance. My whole life has been a search in how to bring these two into direct sacred marriage. The road to this marriage has been long, fierce and difficult yet very rewarding – a road in which I immersed myself in different styles of dance and mystical teachings in my search for this unity of soul and body, spirit and matter, through which I have come to create the style that I perform and teach today, called Dance of Oneness. (more…)
Even today when I listen to the old recordings of Jacqueline du Pre playing her beloved cello, sitting there like a lioness with it held rapturously between her legs and arms and all her body, I focus ever so deeply and quietly because it is ‘as if’ I am actually listening to Divine Mother herself. But ‘as if’ isn’t how I’d say it. She’d disappear out of my listening if I thought about it that way. It’s much more real, like a true horse trainer talking to his unbelievably beautiful horse: love-talk. For me, when Jacqueline du Pre plays, it’s as if Divine Mother says: “move over, my love, just for a few minutes.” Suddenly, I have such a longing to sing my heart out through that beautiful cello. “It’s even possible”, Ma thinks as an afterthought, “that some people listening deeply enough, might hear and get a breath of the nuanced breadth of the Divine Feminine range of Power”. (more…)
Sacred Dance as a return to the root of our Self
Have you ever considered dance as a practice that can support your living at your highest potential and a tool for coming to know yourself, remembering who you truly are?
Dance today is experienced anywhere from fun, sexy and a way to keep fit to entertainment, forcing oneself into a certain popular image, and high art. It’s deeper spiritual dimensions call out to us and can be tapped regardless of the means if we choose to listen, if we believe, if we long for it. (more…)
Clip from the DVD of: In the Fire of Grace
This clip is from the dance, Lover Embodied
Choreography and Dance: Banafsheh
Music: Babak Sharifimajd and Pejman Hadadi from their album Release
Recitation: Andrew Harvey
Working on this piece was both challenging and rewarding. I subjected myself to the essence of what I was trying to portray. Love is like a knife that carves out the impurities and the aspects of us that don’t serve the cultivation of our true selves and certainly don’t serve the world! Love is fierce and everything that is not love surfaces in the presence of love, so we can learn to love them. I resonate deeply with the original Persian of the opening lines of this poem. (more…)
Music composition: Pejman Hadadi
In the photo:
Dancers: (from front to back) Banafsheh, Tiana Alvarez and Nehara Kalev
Musicians: Pejman Hadadi on Daf and Brad Dutz on various percussion
This piece was premiered in my full-evening dance and live music work, Amvaaj – Waves from the Unseen at UCLA and toured in North America and Europe. (more…)