School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: November 2010
11th November

By Susannah

Itís 11th November. Iím on the train to London. Iím on my way to Hamburg to teach DanSing. Iím thinking about last time I taught Resonance in Hamburg and we sang the East European Jewish Bim Bam song, and an elderly German woman lay in the middle of the circle and sobbed her heart out opening the gates for many others as the harmonies twined through the space joining all our hearts. No words needed.

Its 11.00 and the train conductor invites us to join the crew in two minutes silence to remember the human cost of armed conflict. Iím touched that they ask us, and that they say it like that, inclusive of all the suffering that war brings. The carriage falls silent, deeply silent. I close my eyes and let my heart open to the trenches, quiet tears. The man opposite me is huge and swollen and has consumed a sandwich, a hamburger, a bag of crisps, a kit-kat, a coke and a coffee on this trip (and yes I noticed!). As we sit in silence he leafs noisily through his paper, and the rustling is loud and feels to me like a rude defamation of this precious communal moment. I watch my judgment and annoyance with a wry smile. And wonder how I could give him some feedback in a way that would be useful to him and not just add to the stress he clearly is already in. I donít manage though I try to say a few things with my eyes, but I don't think eye semaphore worked in this case!

The taxi driver who picks me up from Paddington is funny about my hat. Itís a funky, furry, mauve, hippy Cossack number that YaíAcov dislikes (is that more war history?). The taxi driver says he thought I looked rather eccentric and was a bit worried about who, or what was getting into his cab. As I am happily sanely eccentric (jn my opinion!) we laugh and soon we are talking about dancing and how much he loves to dance, how much joy it brings, and that any music works for him that moves him, that makes him happy or that makes him cry, and that sometimes, heís sat back and watched dancers and realised how strange, what are we doing? Why do we need to dance so much? I donít know either except that it seems to be a human need. Just as singing, dancing and laughing are an intrinsic part of indigenous culture everywhere. Iím aware of how musically noisy our lives are, in shops, on the radio, in restaurants, cafes, bars, and yet we have become more silent. Apparently we sing far less than we did 50 years ago. And laugh far less too. I love the re-awakening to this natural state that can happen so easily when we are in the right setting. Itís as if we can wake from a temporary amnesia, and then our latent and natural capacity to Ďbeí music comes flooding back.

Later, on the way home:

DanSing in Hamburg was very beautiful. After only a little time the choral beauty and strength was apparent. And when we let go and let the body ďsoundĒ letting the sound ride out from the movement, what a cacophony of joyous unravelling noise. The freedom to be able to move between the poles of free sounding moving and the strict precision of Takita or the simple gravity of Lam Vam Ram, or the poignant sad, joy of Kwaheri.  YEAH!! This is the freedom I want. In the end these polarities came together in the co-creation of a beautiful spontaneous circle song which led us into a profound silence.

Here they are singing:




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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.