Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Labyrinth Project

Yesterday I had my first site rehearsal for the Labyrinth Project with two Mendana Productions dancers. We used the labyrinth at St Paul's Episcopal church in Seattle as it is open to the public and we mostly had the courtyard to ourselves. And, in true Seattle fashion, it did rain on us, but only a little bit.

I am relatively new to labyrinths. I went to a labyrinth workshop earlier this spring and learned about how this concept stretches across centuries, across cultures, across religious traditions. They are meant to be a meditation practice, a personal journey into the unknown, a time for self reflection or soul searching. Then, last Saturday, the labyrinth was introduced in my birthing class as a metaphor for going into labor. (Perhaps I will write more about that another time!)

Now, I am bringing the labyrinth practice together with my dance practice.

In rehearsal, we played with the InterPlay concept "Dancing on Behalf Of". The invitation to the dancers is to hold an intention, a question, a concern, while moving. This gives us something bigger than just ourselves to relate to while doing what we do best: dance. We danced on behalf of our own question. We danced on behalf of each other's questions. And we ended by dancing on behalf of the abuse of power in the world. These intentions give our improvisations a sense if immediacy, a way to relate to the world and each other in our abstract expression.

Please share your own labyrinth experiences. What kind of questions do you hold as you walk a labyrinth? Has it been a transformational experience for you? Have you learned something new or gained a new insight? This project is in the very earliest stages of exploration. I would love to hear your labyrinth stories!