eXperiential Trance Dance
May 22-23, Taipei
What with my seminar in eXperiential Trance Dance 靈動之舞體驗工作坊 coming up in May (http://www.lovetranceformation.org), for obvious reasons of research and skulking and the like, I've been trolling the interweb waves noticing the amazing variety of material on various types of trance dance, ecstatic dance, soul motion, conscious movement, kundalini dance, astroshamanic dance, and the like of genres and subgenres of movement associated with trance . . . some use rhythm and music to create trance while others use trance to create movement and dance . . . and there are some rather obvious characteristics that some share, some claim to share but don't, and some just plain don't understand . . . and that's okay.
One thing I have found in my random websurfing is that there are quite a few folks out there who assume shamanic dance or ecstatic dance or trance dance and the like merely means ransom physical movement . . . similar in many ways to what stream of consciousness is in writing, just write and let it pop out and put it down without editing what comes into the consciousness as your write . . . for me, that's a valuable exercise, but it isn't the goal, at least when I endeavor to work with eXperiential trance dance or, to continue the metaphor, stream of unconsciousness writing . . . stream of unconsciousness dancing.
For me, and it's okay if others experience it differently, eXperiential Trance Dance or 靈動之舞體驗工作坊 is ideally an extension of ideomotor effect and automatism except – as in so many of the processes I use within my hypnosis and metaphysical work such as penulums, ouija, automatic writing, automatic drawing, and other automatisms – we are using the entire system to create the ideomotor or automatismic movement that in turn expresses the unconscious mind and often creates pattens of expression with an energetic FEELING, experientially feeling the flow of the energy within one at the emotional and physical level rather than as a conscious experience of rationality. When placed in appropriate ritual and context, these processes can lead us to deeper understanding of ourselves and even healing. Those familiar with how I use automatic drawing will recall that as a therapeutic process I frame the drawing as being created wholly by the unconscious but within the context of the emotions that "have everything to do" with the issue being explored to the point that by the time the drawing has completed real insight is gained – often through a powerful or meaningful epiphany. So to can ideomotor movement of the body be utilized as an automatic dance of sorts . . . but framed experientially as a trance form that can be powerful or simply fun and joyful. For me, this is true ecstatic dance, the emotional context is created within genuine trance . . . random, yes, but random movement created and controlled by the unconscious . . . those who have truly mastered disciplines such as Spontaneous Qigong will understand the concept while those who have only superficially scratched the surface may still be randomly moving as a conscious affectation . . . the goal is true trance movement, not simply flailing around like a three-year old . . . although, there are certainly benefits to flailing around like a three-year old if one chooses to do so.
Naturally, some folks are able to flow a bit more easily than others and allow themselves to surrender to the trance, the dance that flows within them . . . while others need to rhythm and the breathing to get them started and perhaps for them they need to take babysteps to create context by doing some random flailing, some stream of consciousness dance which puts things into context so that the stream of unconsciousness dance finally flows within and through them. That's okay . . . and, certainly, I will be teaching exercises that allow folks to do just that, creating contexts for expression and creativity and trance leading to genuine experiential trance which isn't really what some folks are calling trance these days anyway.
One such method is whirling . . . that's right, spinning the body around and around just like you did when you were a child, just enjoying the dizzy feeling of moving and whiling and being alive.
There is a wonderful quotation from Osho regarding the whirling as practiced by the Sufis, the Whirling Dervishes, which is appropriate here . . .
"There is a method, a Sufi method know as dervish dancing. Sufis dance. You might have observed small children whirling, dancing round and round and then getting in a whirl… And small children like whirling. Why? — because when they whirl, they get a deep kick, and in that kick they again feel themselves beyond the body. And that's a beautiful experience — that's why they like it. Studying this whirling of children, Sufis have developed a method, a meditation method — they turn, whirl. … they will tell you to dance, and go on in a mad whirl, and remain a witness — as if a wheel is moving, and the axis is there and on the axis, the wheel is moving…The axis remains constantly in one position, centered, and the wheel moves on it. Whirl like a wheel, and remember your witness inside as a center. Suddenly you will feel you are the center and the body is just a wheel." – Osho
That's such a wonderful sentiment and it carries within it some very useful clues that many may find handy when approaching eXperiential Trance Dance, particularly the experience of whirling which is an exercise I will be teaching folks in the May 22-23 seminar in eXperiential Trance Dance (please register at http://www.lovetranceformation.org early so you can get the bonus gifts I have prepared for you, there are limited sets which are actually valued at a higher price than the small price of the experience, at least for those who act soon).
Actually, here's a very nice video that demonstrates how the ritual of whirling can be used to create context for entering a beautiful and meaningful experiential trance . . .
Obviously, if you are reading this post via a stream that does not support the embedded videos, you need to whirl on over to http://briandavidphillips.net/2010/03/whirl.html so you can see the videos, seriously, it helps so much to see what we're discussing.
Of course, some folks don't whirl for experiential trance and connection to that which is deep within themselves or that which resides above all, but simply for the joy of whirling, the experiential joy of the feeling, and others just want to look good . . . it's a beautiful movement certainly, particularly if you dance the whirl with flowing robes or veils or capes or dresses or the like. But . . . such attire is not necessary, albeit it does help some create their ritual and context a bit more powerfully . . . you can just as easily whirl skyclad to very good effect (in appropriate contexts, of course). Speaking of whirling, here's a beautiful dance from a group of Whirling Dervishes . . .
As you watch the video, be sure to take note of the expression upon the faces of the dancers . . . experiential trance with direct connection and flow via unconscious surrender to the trance . . . for joyful expression or meaningful ecstatic communion with their divinity . . . and that's a good thing.
I look forward to dancing with some of you in May . . . go to http://www.lovetranceformation.org and make sure you have your spot reserved now.
All the best,
(If you are reading this blog post via a stream, go to http://briandavidphillips.net/ to access the full post with any videos or photos included.)
See http://www.BrianDavidPhillips.com for details
Brian David Phillips, PhD, CH [email@example.com]
Hypnotist, Hypnotherapist, Intuitionist, Trance Wizard
President, Society of Experiential Trance
Associate Professor, NCCU, Taipei, Taiwan