Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Fall Belly Dance with Joie at Flourish Arts

Date:  September 18 - December 4
            (No class Thanksgiving week)

Time: 6:30 - 7:30

Location:  Flourish Arts
                  140 Main St
                  Biddeford, Maine

Cost:         $95 - Early Bird (before 9/8)
                  $110 - after 9/8
                  Installment plans are available by
                 request

Please note this is a session class - no dropins

Learn the expressive and beautiful art of belly dance in this 11 week mixed levels belly dance class.  You'll learn the foundational movements of the dance, and be introduced to the music and rhythms that surround this beautiful dance form (with live music!!).  You'll learn how to combine the movements to create improvised, flowing dances.  Whether you want to dance on the stage or in your own living room, this class will give you a great start.

Students will also have the opportunity to perform at a student recital in December! 

Joie teaches dance from an embodiment perspective, students will learn not only how a movement should look, but how it feels in the body.  She seeks to create a safe and welcoming space for student to explore movement and dance.

Belly dance is suitable for all body types and the class is open to all genders.  No prior dance experience is required.

You will want to bring clothing that is comfortable to move in (layers are wonderful), a water bottle, and a willingness to learn!

This class is a live music class with musicians Dorothy Barker and Stephen Carpenter.


 

The Hollow Tree


There have been times in my life that I have felt a great emptiness inside.   A hollow expanse that should contain all that is me but contains only muffled echoes of forgotten possibility.  At other times that space has felt like it is overrun with rottenness; a vile, decayed sludge that has seeped in through forgotten cracks until I am full up with foulness.   It spreads out from my core to the ends of my fingers, the tip of my nose, the top of my head, until I become a tower of unworthiness.  Unlovable, unwanted…

Yet, somehow I am still here.  Somehow, despite carrying this giant bag of self nastiness, I grew.  I moved through life, not always functioning in the best way, but still alive.  There are so many of us that live in this way – wounded, but still walking.  Dancing along the edge of the wallow…

When I sat last night to draw I wanted to create some image that spoke to this feeling.  This feeling of being alive, but deeply hurt.  I put the pen to paper, and I asked my body, my heart, what image will convey this?  And so emerged the hollow tree. 

The hollow tree is wounded, but it lives.  At some time in it’s life the  heartwood was damaged.  Fungi moved in, breaking the wood down.  As time passes the core breaks down, but the rest of the tree grows – the fungi only feed on the decaying wood.  Depending upon how you approach the tree, you may not see the gaping hole in its side.  You only see the living bark, the green leaves, the blossoms, the fruit; you may pass it by never knowing the emptiness that is inside.

But you might also decide to walk around the tree.  To examine it, to look more closely, as you come around the other side you see the great wound that is there.  A closer look and you also see the spots where new wood has grown in around the edges. You will see the remains of a possum nest, or where a squirrel has stashed its acorn bounty.  If the hole is large enough you may even step inside and marvel at the quiet of this hollow place.

I wondered how such trees could live; with their hearts rotted out.  I discovered that trees are remarkably adaptive creatures.  There are theories that the way trees rot is an adaptive trait, that the minerals, and nutrients stored there are broken down by fungi, returned to the soil, and used again by the tree as it grows new sap wood.  Some say that hollow trees withstand storms better, they bend instead of break.  Another theory is that trees will allow the rot to happen because the heartwood is not what keeps the tree alive, the new sapwood is, and so it turns its energy and resources to creating new paths for sap to reach the rest of it.

The hollow tree is wounded.  It is damaged.  But it is also resilient.  It is also strong.  It can grow, even flourish – there are some great hollow trees that are hundreds of years old. One in the UK is large enough that it has been host to a seated dinner for twenty people inside of its trunk! 

Today I sit holding this image of myself as the hollow tree.  Still reaching my branches to the sun.  Still creating fresh new green leaves.  Still blossoming and bearing the fruit of my existence.  The wound is not gone, but it is not just an empty rotting hollow.  When I step inside that space, that wound, I find that it is also haven.  Here I can sit and remember how I survived, what got me through, and if I reach out to touch the edges,  I connect to the tough, living wood that is my survival.