Lorca Simons, Notes from the theatre wing: Using the Rhythms in the Exploration of a Character
“I believe in the healing power of theatre. I believe in a theatre of heart, one that feeds and fuels the soul. A theatre that brings change, mirroring landscapes lost or left behind, one that exposes life from the deepest core of my being. One that expands imagination through curiosity, breath, physical gesture, and space. From this place of truth, ritual springs into authentic action and anything is possible.”
Warren Summers, Spirit Danced My Body, Spoken Word
“Spirit danced past my body, My body danced past your heart, Your heart danced past my future, And my future danced past my past
My past danced through the
ancestors, The ancestors dance through the
breath, This breath dances with the seekers, with the lovers, with the dreamers....And the seeking is dancing with death.”
Anja Mutic, Ever the Nomad: The Surprise of the 5Rhythms
Brooklyn, NY, USA & Zagreb, Croatia
“For two entire hours, I dance. And I travel, from country to continent, from city to hamlet. A journey with no map, no itinerary and no destination. Despite the random wanderings of my body, the rhythm roots it into this very moment. There is no other place I’d rather be. There is no place I want to go. My wanderlust, quenched.”
Anne Marie Hogya, 5Rhythms in The Workplace: Exploring Movement as a Corporate Training Approach, BSc (Occupational Therapy), MA (Leadership)
Occupational Therapist and 5Rhythms Teacher
Victoria, BC, Canada
“My experience is that to increase the speed and the impact of transformational learning we need to pull the knowledge into the body and lock it in at a cellular level while at the same time taking in information at a visual and auditory level. My belief is that the 5Rhythms is a tool for this type of transformational learning in the workplace.”
Elaine Gale, Confessions of a Free-Range Spiritualist: Dancing For My Life
“I'm not a yoga person or a skinny mini or even that in shape. I don't have a guru, or mala beads or a zafu. I'm not poly or experimental, I don't have a tantra fingernail. I'm basically a repressed sixth-generation Nebraskan with a doctorate and a tenured professor job. But I love transformational practices, I love my body, love to dance, love to feel and to connect with people. This practice brought me back into my body and into my spirit. It's the closest practice I have ever seen to straight-up shamanism, to taking iawasca, or communing directly with the divine. ”
Chantey Dayal, 5Rhythms dance & Letting go to process
Vancouver Island, Canada
“I love to dance the 5Rhythms… it gets me out of my own way. It only asks me to show up and in return, holds me in letting go. Dancing allows me into an artistic process without attachment to outcome. This leads to strokes, tones, and feelings pouring out onto the canvas like the journey of a song. It opens my hands up to possibility and investigation. 5Rhythms is a gateway that allows me to paint boldly on the canvas and to discover all the living parts of my creative self.”
Pharaoh K Embodiment Gabrielle Roth Mix
DJ / Producer
“I had just finished composing my track 'Embodiment' when I realised that it was missing something. I had already decided on the name of the track, so I typed 'Embodiment' into YouTube and the first thing that came up was an amazing interview with the late Gabrielle Roth, where she spoke about the experience of losing yourself in music and allowing your body to move in its own natural way. I really resonated with her words and as if by fate, they fitted so well with my song, so I had to put it in!”
Helena Kallner, Dancing Dialogue: 5Rhythms & Gestalt Therapy
“I believe that movement is our first language, and that movement is our primary support for all contacting. The Rhythms offers me a vocabulary within this language, that helps me to listen, sense, feel, explore, communicate and express myself in relation to others, myself and all that is around me. Through the Rhythms I have also found a community, a worldwide family of dancers. For all this I am always and ever grateful.”
Eliezer Sobel, My Adventures with an Urban Shaman
Eliezer's business card simply says 'Human Being,' but his wife insists he only works part-time.
New York, USA
“I have literally been around the world meeting gurus and teachers, shamans and supposed messiahs and avatars, and yet Gabrielle was the only one who let me into her apartment still in her pajamas. Meaning, she was the only one that let me in, period.”
Eleonora Valle, 5Rhythms poetry
Art Director & Graphic Designer
“I love to laugh, dance, embody the movement, contemplate nature, travel the world to explore places with different stories and cultures. Fueled by my passion, energy and curiosity.”
Nilaya Sabnis, Photographer+Dancer
New York, NY
“It's exhilarating, like being on a rollercoaster with your eyes closed. At some point you get to just stand back and be fascinated by your own dance coming out of you.”
Music & Movement Therapist / Drummer
“After the workshop, I feel my body is quiet, my mind is clean and clear.
I have an inner space that helps me cope with life, in a different way.”
Buenos Aires, Argentina
“5Rhythms is a place to express my craziness, my wildness, my sadness ...a place where I could be myself, and that made more confident in life.”
Prateeksha Katarina Thundal
5Rhythms Dance Teacher / Massage Therapist / Personal Trainer
“After a 5Rhythms class I feel so relaxed, more open, happy, full of aliveness, I feel more power.”
Mme Patricia PAREJA
Psychotherapist / Yoga Teacher
Saint Omer, France
“I'm blind. I have long aspired to dance. 5Rhythms is receiving the right to express myself through my body movement.”
“It's teaching me where all the barriers are that I build against my heart ...because on the dance floor they all seem to fall away.”
Moven, even with a broken arm
San Jose, CA
“I love to move and I love to meditate. I love that there is no right or wrong, just let go and go with the music.”
Portland, OR USA
“I used the process to get me through cancer, to write and to know that life shifts.”
Burnaby, BC Canada
“I feel like this is where I belong. For me, dance is spirituality, it's worship, prayer and meditation.”
Pieter Van Winkle
Writer / Naturalist
Durango, CO, USA
“Nothing in my life has done more to bring alive my sense of my own voice, my sense of my own power, my physicality, my trust in myself, my own, expressive potential...it touches everything.”
Practice Manager & MA
“I work for a doctor and she prescribes it to her patients...It has given me the strength to move forward in my life and a whole new community that is open, accepting and fun!”
“It is a great map for living my life. Going with the flow till you find something you love, working hard at it, releasing it in the world knowing it is meant to be, enjoying the joy, peace and tranquility that follows.”
Jean Claude Dufourd
“No more high blood pressure, cholesterol or weight problem. Much less back pain. A lot happier and in excellent physical shape. And for the first time in my life, proud of something having to do with my body—my dance.”
Cook & Writer
“The first words I heard on my first 5Rhythms dance floor were 'Welcome' and 'Don't Give Up'. I'd been waiting a long time to receive those words in my body.”
Music Artist / Technologist
New York, NY USA
“More than almost any other spiritual practice, it's been the deepest reminder of who I truly am and my power. Not to mention how much FUN it can be to come alive.”
Self Employed Caterer
“It's an incredible practice that goes deeper than just the dance on the night. It's a journey that stays with you forever in subtle and life changing ways.”
New York, NY USA
“This practice has changed my life that I often remember the first time I walked into your class. This powerful medicine has healed so many wounds since then. This dance has taught me how to listen to my body and understand what its saying on a cellular level. The permission our dance floor offers has freed places that I didn't know existed and shone light. What a sweet seduction...how could I not keep coming back?!”
Notes on Practice: A Blog About My Experiences on the 5Rhythms Dancing Path by Meghan LeBorious
These are only available in English
Notes on Practice: Flying in Formation
At Riis Park, the solitary birds are my first dance partners this morning. Before long, however, I join with an entire flock, soaring as they soar, holding my arms out wide, twisting in an arc as they move to the farthest edge of an orbit, sinking deep and looping one arm through the other as they change sides, rising suddenly and falling back into my edge, my feet grinding circles in the cold winter sand, covering vast distances on the deserted beach. Seeking solace and insight in these deeply troubling times, I planned this artwork performance—a ritual, of sorts—hoping to find some clues to show me the way forward.
Another place I go to seek solace and insight are 5Rhythms classes and workshops. Created by Gabrielle Roth in the 1980’s, 5Rhythms is a dance and movement meditation practice that embodies Gabrielle’s vision, “A body in motion will heal itself.” The five rhythms are Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness. Each rhythm has its own character, which becomes territory for endless experiments. To dance a wave is to pass through each of the 5Rhythms in sequence. In a typical two-hour class, we move through two waves. On first glance, a 5Rhythms room would probably just look like a wild dance club, but for most people it is also much more. For me, it is laboratory for life, encompassing psychological, emotional, philosophical, interpersonal and shamanic levels.
At a 5Rhythms class just a few days before the performance at Riis Park, 5Rhythms teacher Tammy Burstein says, “We don’t have to just be at a loss, because we have a map,” remarking that many people seem to be stepping into the class “still carrying a lot.” In having a map, we have the comfort of knowing that we have a way forward that doesn’t rely solely on our own initiative or motivation. This is particularly useful when we feel stuck or overwhelmed, as many, including myself, have felt for the last several months.
Waiting in line for the bathroom before class, a woman I had shared a dance with the week before says, “I love your dance. It is like you are always weaving, somehow.” I think she is talking about the way I move through the room, sharing dances, winding gestures inside the empty spaces, and following the currents caused by the many moving bodies. I introduce myself and smile, thanking her for the compliment and for the feedback.
Notes on Practice: Love Letter to Flowing
“The Earth is above you, below you, all around you and even inside you. The Earth is everywhere. You may be used to thinking of the Earth as only the ground beneath your feet. But the water, the sea, the sky, and everything around us comes from the Earth.” –Thich Nhat Hanh, “Love Letter to the Earth”
I have always loved benignly notable weather events. I love the slower pace, I love that the collective experience of the weather dominates all of our minds, and that our push toward individual achievement fades—if briefly—to the background. The unexpected accumulation of five or six inches of snow in the past two days is a delightful surprise. Yesterday, my six-year-old son, Simon, and I went sledding in Fort Greene Park despite very cold temperatures, then returned to the warm house and sat on the couch together, each reading independently, our giant, fluffy cat purring and rubbing her head on us affectionately.
Notes on Practice: Moving Chaos| The Survival Art of Our Time
“Dancing Chaos is the survival art of our time.” -Gabrielle Roth, creator of the 5Rhtythms dance and movement meditation practice.
“I know this is going to sound a little weird, but the Novocain will work better if you get up and move around a little,” said my dentist this morning as I faced the possibility of an emergency root canal—something I fear viscerally, despite my logical mind’s arguments. I had been giving myself a pep talk. “You are not going to die from this, Meg. Pain is just a sensation. It will pass. Consider it a chance to practice.”
“No problem, I’m definitely a mover.” I got out of the dentist’s chair and began to dance in the tiny office, noting that I was able to be very expressive, even in the small space filled with things I shouldn’t jostle or brush. My lower abdomen found a whole new way to open itself as I stepped diagonally forward and back—raising my arms—in the narrow space between the dentist’s chair and the counter, my feet finding rhythms and patterns, weighting back into the heel, bounding forward.
Notes on Practice: Light & Shadow
“The intention for this workshop is full, complete and unrelenting self-acceptance,” said highly regarded 5Rhythms teacher Kierra Foster-Ba during the course of the one-day workshop “Light & Shadow” at Martha Graham studios on Saturday. 5Rhythms is a dance and movement meditation practice created by the late Gabrielle Roth; and the “Light & Shadows” workshop was a committed investigation of the shadow aspects of each of the five rhythms—Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness. After a series of tightly scheduled events, I found myself en route to the West Village, hoping a miracle would grant me parking; and pondering the fact that there are so many terrifying, uncomfortable, collective shadows to dance at this particular moment. No matter how things go with the election, there is no denying that we have seen some horrifically ugly aspects of our humanity recently.
Notes on Practice: Joyful Patterns
“In short, no pattern is an isolated entity. Each pattern can exist in the world only to the extent that it is supported by other patterns: the larger patterns in which it is embedded, the patterns of the same size that surround it, and the smaller patterns which are embedded in it.” -Christopher Alexander
Today features a white sky and a steady rain. Although Brooklyn’s trees are still green, just a few hours north, where I am this weekend, the leaves have started to display their colors.
Last Tuesday night I attended the High Vibration Waves 5Rhythms class at the Joffrey in the West Village, taught this week by Peter Fodera. I had a bad cold with a headache and wasn’t sure what kind of energy I would have, but decided to go anyway to see what might happen.
Notes on Practice: “Ouch!”
“Ouch!” one teenager cried out as another slammed her into the hallway wall, smiling not kindly, her arm shooting straight out from her shoulder as she passed, not even looking as she struck. The teen who got slammed walked not ten paces, then slammed another girl into the wall as she passed, using the same gesture she had been slammed with. Aggression seemed to be ricocheting around in rip currents.
Notes on Practice: Sweat Your Prayers, Dance Your Pain and Move On
“Take a minute to notice what you’re arriving with,” said 5Rhythms teacher Amber Ryan as she started the Sweat Your Prayers class today with a long, attenuated period of tonal music. I found a spot on the floor in the northeast corner of the studio, nearest to the home of the late Gabrielle Roth—the founder of the 5Rhythms practice. As the music unfolded, Amber also encouraged us to set an intention for our dance today, and to offer as many prayers as occurred to us during the dance. Instantly, a flurry of prayers arose, ending with the simplest and most complex of prayers—a wish for self love.
I lay on back, and drew my legs gently in to my torso, noting a sore back, and resolving to move gently to avoid injuring it further. On Friday, before Tammy’s Friday Night Waves class I had made the same resolution. That day, I had carried a heavy backpack all day, assisting with a field trip for my six-year-old son, Simon’s, camp, then traipsed around with him after. On the way home, he crashed his bike into the sidewalk and I had flung myself off my bike to run to his aid. My neck hurt, my back hurt.