Spoken word/movement performance collaboration with Vlad Mizikov at the Body Speaks, Melbourne, 2016
Image credits: Bianca Anderson Photography
How are we to find the voice of a generation that is so helplessly lost?
Save your groans and banners for another Facebook event. Our protest is not the swan song of a cause outlived, but the ailing of humans inextricably woven into their discontent and utter dependence on destruction.We are the paraplegics of a world fed vanitous reflection, governed wantonly by the forces that provoke our upload and selfie and instaquote and Linked-fucking-In. Unable to shift a limb without comparing how the eyes of the others upon our screens might read our forced and scripted craft. We are the Yuccie (“Young Urban Creative”) generation, monetizing our fraternizing with graphic designing or freelance enterprising, collecting tax on snacks and subsidizing double-sided business cards with debt-laden shards of class shorn fine from op-shops full of stale pale middle-class effused.
We are trapped in a house of mirrors, but Plato didn’t leave no exit strategy for the cave we have so blindingly double-mortgaged our happiness within. Instead I’ll just put a house plant over there and Ikea has that chair, we’ll drink wine and watch Woody Allen and there’s no need to go anywhere. Plus maybe I look like Greta Garbo or Frida Kahlo and someone can take my picture and use that filter see, and then I’ll exist in the nostalgic mist that makes it all real and takes everything else away.. or so 112 likes would say.
We are the post-free-love generation preyed on by the Rainbow station, all aboard from quarter-life crisis through to heart-shaped hallucination until you’re given salvation and suddenly you are the Chosen One and why not let the blood rush in from downward-facing dog because you’re power living baby, don’t let anyone unmanifest your abundance.
Rapid breath ADHD or is it anxiety? Are your hands feeling tingly? Fed and bred in fight-or-fly your DNA’s probably fried. Gut clenched, full of stench and no gluten, no dairy no soy. Oh boy.
Where did we go so wrong? Were we ever in control?
We protest with the rest and add our names to endless lists that disappear with a click and hope it goes somewhere, because whilst our bodies are too afraid to rise we hope our buttons create tides, but who knows where it all resides. Not me.
My nails are chewed and gone and my words choke me in my sleep. I want to write for you world. I want to sing your song and pierce your skin until you can breathe again. But I can’t find any air in here. And it’s not that I’m depressed or that my life’s a mess and if it were it would all be perfect don’t you see because then I’d fit in and be the status quo to a tee.
Rather, it’s all so much harder, because I can see.
*Image: Shot with iPhone in Redfern, Sydney, NSW, June 2016.
Willow spoke through burning land,
Willow spoke through burning hand,
‘fire, fire. ravage, burn, tire,
Whereupon your scars will mar’
Arid breath in Kulin nation
Fallen branch in exaltation
Turn the knuckle skin of lore
And burn with willow’s kin once more.
If God was your mother, could they ever unlove you? If God gave you birth, could they ever wish you away?
Whence you step out of their lines, when you fail to do as they please, would God ever smite you so you were forbidden to exist? Could God ever hate you away?
If God couldn’t understand the words that you spoke, couldn’t understand the clothes that you wore; if God couldn’t find beauty in your poetry, does that mean your poetry does not speak of God? Does that mean that your poetry is not for them to read? Does that mean that God fails to be themselves?
Enraged, poisoned, blinded, devastated, sorrowed, broken by their sight: perhaps God is only muted when such separation occurs. Lost in the mire of maya that engulfs us to believe that the material, the dogmatic, the rules and order, the lineage, the blood, the story, is what makes you a valid child of God. Perhaps in such moments, they are simply suspended by this disruption of etheric connection so much so that they cannot see that you are still their own, in different form, in different word, in different step.
If such a God were lost in their own soul, what a journey to find their way home. If you were the child of God and thought yourself unloved, what a journey to find your way back to love. If God were born to God and could not see it as such, what a journey to realize the other, what a battle through the forces of the mind to victor as such.
For you are no ones child but for God. Your flesh and bones borrowed from dust and earth, your blood born of rivers that begin before time. You are no ones pure being, you are no ones corruption: you are whole and complete in and unto yourself, to God. Given forth through the mystery and pain to traverse into this world through another of its own. Placed with the challenge of sewing the webs of uncertainty until you find your way home, to each other, to the world, and to yourself.
And where you are placed to reject your flesh, to question your being, to face the tragedy of a self unloved, you are simply placed with a pathway back to God. In every breath that is caught in your anxious heart, that turns your stomach in the muck of guilt and shame, that smallens your voice into a child that has wronged, your responsibility is to exhale, and inhale, and exhale, and inhale, again and again, until you find your way back to the eternal love within you that is God. To be disciplined in your ego’s watch, and be firm of hand against the indulgences of destruction. To be of unwavering faith in this service, until your compass points to love. The love that bars no one. The loves that spans out across the sky and believes hate to be no more than a passing cloud. The love that is the peace at the end of a storm’s wreckage. The love that meets you unchanged in every morning’s sun.
If God were your mother, if God were your father, they could not unlove you away. It is not their right, nor their ability in the heart. For love is the bond between us that makes us its children, and each others kin, unwaveringly, irrefutably, inextricably. Through time and space, severing the curses of word and the blackened visions of mind, the resonance of love pulses, an echo through the aeons upon which our forebearers and celestial sages whisper their secrets to generations lost in the mind: there is only love, there is only love, there is only love.
And if we were to falter, to cry out in anguish or to act out of hurt, be quick to forgive and stay aglow, for such a God has only forgotten who they are. Absorbe no ignorance, be of steady heart, and know that love will always lead us home.
An exploration of the nexus of words and movement.
The language of the mind and mouth, meet the language of the body.
Meaning made by sounds, words and movement.
Dance which is literally lyrical
And poetry that is literally moving.
Sign language for the whole body.
Stories for all the senses.
Debut performance of BLACK BIRD – A collaborative performance piece with Luna Ma Narama.
Cecil Street Studios,
66 Cecil Street, Brunswick
HYBRID CONTINENT (Continente Mestizo)
Contemporary Dance Performance/Ritual
Hybrid Continent ‘Continente Mestizo’ is a creative contemporary dance performance ‘Ritual’, fertile by our cultural heritage as contemporary Australians that celebrate the diverse cultural hybrids developing in our society. Inspired by AMA (Australian Multicultural Alliance) Inc. Art Director, Kathleen Gonzalez. The Hybrid Continent ‘Continente Mestizo’ showcases the sacred elements that preserve life (earth, water, wind, fire and ether) as our original essence. The Dance/Ritual explores themes such as identity, femininity, the universality of human beliefs and opportunities.
* Inspired from hypno-energetics regression, 1 hour 46 minutes, Tuesday 23rd June, 2015, by Damyanti Bilimoria.
Listen to the sound of my voice. Breathe deeply. Move deeper with each breath, and travel.. 5, 4, 3, 2…1.
Are you there? Can you hear me? You, the one who’s ears can hear me beyond the chatter. You, of primordial hearing.
Traverse through the infinite skies of your human experience, multitudes of lifetimes passing by your window like shooting stars. Visions of moments surpassing, of your organism evolving through time and space. Find me in the place that is present always. In the essence of You. Go beyond the constructs of these learned behaviours that speak in pretence of authority over you. Delver further into the portal of which you are animate. Find the point before pulse and breath, where stillness resides in calm presence.
“I feel a weight upon my head” I tell her.
“Let it in. Let it give you the gifts it has to offer.”
A channel opens from my temple as I cease to resist. The weight upon my head dissipates and an expanse is felt in its place, relieving the pressure as I become connected from my crown to a space far beyond. A shift occurs, a feeling like that of being present in the company of moth wings in flight. I realize I am weightless, formless, disaggregate in a body of ether.
“Where are you?” she asks.
“I am home”.
“What are you?” she asks.
“I am a star”.
I am the emission of light, not a body which is illumined. I am the floating unlimited. I feel not the body nor its weight. I am somewhere without walls or sky, without floors nor ceilings.
“Who are you?” she asks.
I am a being evolved from particles of stars. I am not one but part of One. In my presence, I am whole as its sum.
“Does she know this?” she asks.
She knows, somewhere, but she is lost in the stories, this being says of me. She is lost in the sound of a brain navigating chaos without the guidance of her heart. She is lost in the sound of an intelligent mind, refracting the fears of others, playing tricks to delude it from its intuitive order. She is distracted from focus, from practicing connection with divine nature, from the heart’s knowing of purpose. She is distracted by the cries of fear, of powerless mockery, of naive humility. She is distracted by perceived judgment, by the desire for validation, by trying to become an acceptable version of herself. She is distracted by her own hand.
But she knows.
“What can she do?” she asks.
Practice the art of focus. Focus on your service. Do what you know you must, and let your presence and creation breathe through exchange with others. Pay no heed to the narratives being fought out there. Now is a time of other’s battles, not yours. The violence of your heart has been exorcised. The only remnants are the reflexive natures stored in you by war. You need not hide for protection, the opinions of others are fruitless when you are galvanised by love. Receive. Use the alchemy within your hands. Move forth as you feel guided, not pressured. Speak truth, not a truth for others’ understanding. Rest in the present. This is where salvation resides.
Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I from?
I am primordial ether in form. A body animate from the intelligence of floating stars is what I inhabit. A purpose to evolve through service is the only one. A service to embody the wisdom of the universe into manifest creation.
And then there we were. Left with our backs to the white walls of ACCA at the ‘New2015’, wondering what the point of it all was. What is the point of our art if its greatest notable aspiration is an act of public masturbation? Surrounded by it, engaged in its discourse, Sam spoke and we both grew disenfranchised and quietly anxious for the loss of what could be. I stood up feeling ill. We had a glass of the free water and left before the others arrived. The security guard outside was wearing a suit. ‘DEFIBRILLATOR’ was written against the brown outside panelling. I felt nauseous and my bones were aching.
We left and moved past others in the quadrangle, stupidly thrusting ourselves into a city live with the sounds of humanity in discord. Worked into an airy frenzy by our mutual disdain of the separation of art and life; of humanity and man. A protest was happening outside the NGV. They had walked down from State Library. The Refugee Action Network, Socialist Alliance, a hodge-podge bustle of a few hundred protesting the loss of Indigenous land rights. Posters about refugees being treated as slaves and this country’s contravention of the human rights convention interspersed amidst boys with top knots and girls with colourful ink sleeves. We walked on, avoiding bypassers on the nature strip. I stopped to buy a Green Left Weekly. I don’t know why. I only had $1.20. He didn’t mind. I don’t think I’ll read it but I guess I wanted to know: what’s right for the Left today? In another potentiality out there I am front and centre in that march.
A chubby white man in jeans and a t-shirt asks me for change on the bridge. Sorry. I spent it on my politically active newspaper. Next to him a man is asking $2 to see the solar sun spots. He has a white telescope. I wish I had $2.
The sun is white-gold, but it feels filtered; I am not warmed beneath it.
By the time we get to Flinders Street, Sam is telling me about his failed attempt at encouraging sustainability from a homeless man who wanted $12 to buy fried rice. ‘Why don’t you go to Hare Krishna for $6 all you can eat?’. ‘Don’t really like that food’, he responded. Then ‘beggars can’t be choosers right?’ he remarks, and proceeds to ask Sam for $12. ‘I can’t handle these people’ says Sam.
We are now crossing the chaotic soapbox of Flinders Street steps. A man stands smiling, his shirt reads ‘If you died tonight wouldn’t you rather go to heaven and be saved?’. That man of course is selling Jesus (does Jesus know that he is for sale?). His two compatriots are trying to speak to those rushing over from the crossing. The woman is scary, pacing. Her arm raised as though to say ‘all of you’. She is speaking in a voice reserved for prophecy alone.
Is the city crumbling around us? Or are we crumbling in this city? Yesterday I pleaded with a friend to see the progress in a seemingly futile plight. Today Sam and I stop walking to hold each other upon the platform. Because sometimes it is too much. The reality of the world we have reated, our submisison to a corrupt system that is keeping us sick, slow and defeated, the shells we become as we reflect the surroundings – a city in soul decay. Today was a bit too real for a pair of existential dreams.
Music: Dirtwire, Sailing the Solar Flares
Video: Slava Shpakov
Yarna aims to bring new myths into being, and to perform them as accessible and playful maps that can be lead back to the heart, and back to Spirit. As we perform we also act in our capacities as healers, holding space and allowing safe and sacred space for hearts and imaginations to unfurl. All myths are written, designed and choreographed by members of the collective.
ANDASHA is a story celebrating awakening, the genesis of life, and exploring our relationship with the Sun and Moon. This is a two part performance, both parts lasting approx. 1 hour. Early in the day the women of the tribe gather those who will listen and tell the great tale of woe that is ANDASHA, while two ceremonial dancers passionately and colourfully enact the myth.
At sunset the ceremonial procession is performed. A spectacle of movement and sound, the tribe walk with a great, sacred beast, performing a ceremony as old as their people. Once there was a time before the light when a great love and a great sadness birthed the Sun and the Moon to fill the darkness with life and movement. To honour the gift of life, and to repent the act of violence that separated the lovers across the sky, the Priests and Priestesses of the tribe walk the landscape endlessly, carrying messages between the two celestial bodies. You can read the full story of Andasha here.
With voices and drums, they sing the songs of worship and creation, while two dancers weave amongst the procession, performing the myth as it has been handed down generation to generation.
Those who witness the procession are gifted with blessings and tokens and invited to join the ceremony, blessing the earth and trees as they are passed.
The tribe for ANDASHA includes
LUNA MA NARAMA – Shamanic Practicioner, Performer and creator
KAEL LOOF – Shamanic Practitioner and Performer and creator
SAM WELLS, Shamanic Practitioner, Performer
NITHYA IYER -Bharatanatyam dancer, Reiki and movement meditation practitioner
DEVIKA BILIMOIRA – Bharatanatyam dancer, visual artist
TIM HEMSLEY – Imagination enthuiast, Performer
HEATHER MAY – Heart Space defender, Performer
LEASHY LOO COOPER- Reiki Practicioner, Intuitive healer, Performer
IZZY IVY – Reiki practicioner, Intuitive healer, Performer
TOBIUS RAPHAEL MILLAR- Visionary, Healer, Performer