Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gotta dance

Hungarian Klezmer musicians

I spent several hours yesterday at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, worshipping ancestors of blood, spirit and karma. That is what the fest is all about, after all: ancestor worship. We don't call it that in my society, but it is - it really is.

What a blast. I heard a lot of live music, always a tonic for my soul, and I danced so much I can feel it in my legs this morning. That's a lot of dancing since I'm on my feet most of my waking hours and I walk every day.

It's coming to me that somehow I've not been dancing enough lately. Last summer was so hard, I kind of let my habit of dance slip away. How unfortunate!

I'm not talking about shamanic dance, the slow, T'ai Chi type of moving that helps me understand what's going on around me. My dance of shamanic alignment is something I do every day. If I stopped doing the shamanic dance I would probably shrivel up and die - or at best be totally confused. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about dancing to music, for fun.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the birthday party where everyone was dancing - me too of course. I was reminded then how blissful it is to dance, how much joy dancing brings into my body/mind. Yesterday, too, the dancing lifted my spirits a notch or two higher than they already were, which was pretty high since I love the Folklife Fest so much.

I danced to traditional Hungarian folk music - I even took a lesson. I danced to klezmer music. I danced most enthusiastically to the Garifuna band from Belize. They're descended from Caribbean Indians and Africans and the music is incredible. I can't believe anyone in that tent could hold still.

Traditional Hungarian folk dance.

Here's a link to a playlist of songs sung in the languages honored at the Fest. Fabulous!

In addition to dancing, I took a lot of pictures, of course. I was blessed by a Koro holy man, too. He did something at the spirit house (behind him in the pic below), waved an elaborate feather at me, then smeared my cheeks with a cool rice pudding. No words were exchanged between us - words were not necessary. I walked away smiling.


I felt blessed by the whole experience. For all its faults and troubles, Washington DC is a wonderful place to live. The fest helped dissolve the weird energy of the last few days.

Life is good and I am grateful. Shalom.

Dancers and backup singers with the band from Belize.


Steve Reed said...

Sounds fun! What a great opportunity! I have never heard Belizean (?) music -- but I can imagine it, kind of, given your description of your urge to dance. :)

Reya Mellicker said...

Kind of like calypso, kind of like Afrobeat - incredible music!