St Abb's National Reserve

St Abb's National Reserve
View from my office

Sunday, 4 May 2008

I've been away-hey-hey!

Just wanted to post a little celebratory blog:
I've been away, all weekend, on a residential course, in Ford Castle, North Northumberland.
Dancing, not painting; taught my first workshop, attended classes with fabulously giving, talented and knowlegeable dancers, watched some breath-taking performances and danced from my heart.
A strange thing to say about belly-dancing (a term which serve the purpose of describing a dance that encompasses hundreds of styles and traditions) you might think- I suppose many who have witnessed some kind of Middle Eastern dance would imagine it is little to do with the heart, more with the chest, as so to speak.
If everything is allowed and no one's going to tell anyone else whether or not they're qualified to dance or not, then, yes, a bit of boob wobbling will come into it, (for some dancers) but believe me, it's all about communication, love and trust; about opening the heart and giving everything, and as a viewer, about allowing yourself to accept that love.
Western audiences are geared up to be passive, critical viewers. No wonder so few people are willing to entertain the idea of going to see such a dance; the conversation opened by a dancer can leave you thrilled, heart broken, filled with love, geared up to face the world!
It is an incredibly risky thing to take someone's gaze and keep it- who knows what someone might think of you, or what you might expose yourself to, in engaging in that wild behaviour!
I'm sure people could meet, have conversation, share food, have sex, all without looking into each others' eyes, but I think I may have done all these things just looking into someone's eyes.
And i don't mean cow eyed eyelash fluttering, I feel i mean, windows-of-the-soul, truthful, unconditional-trust-type looking.
We danced to drummers, played zils, spun in the sunshine with silk veils, clashed sticks in Saudi folkloric dancing...
Happy, too happy.
happy enough to cry.
I do hope no one think s I'm a nutter, now, and doesn't visit the blog, any more!
I'll paint tomorrow!


Retiredandcrazy said...

Sarah, that sounds so much fun. If only I lived near you, if only my joints would work!

Sarah said...

There is a style and a level for everyone, in belly dance- google away, and see what you come up with!

occasional northerner said...

I once attended a very formal dinner where the after dinner speaker produced a belly dancer after his talk. It was fantastic.

Sarah said...

From whence, did he produce said Belly dancer?
The mind boggles!

Michelle said...

Sarah, its sounds like you have had an amazing experience. That passionate, soul bearing communication doesn't happen too often, but the feeling it leaves you with is astounding. Good on yer!!!

occasional northerner said...

From "The Witness Room"!