Sunday, 11 May 2014

What has a rainbow drop got to do with Gabrielle Roth?

I guess it's nothing really, but finding a headline that covers both of my topics of the day is not that easy. If you have any better ideas or suggestions, leave a comment! 

A few weeks ago, I discovered that the dancer and musician Gabrielle Roth, who created the 5 Rhythms in the early seventies, passed away in October 2012. That made me remember her dance seminar of which I was present for in Hamburg, in 2002 with her son Jonathan Horan.
The seminar started on a Friday afternoon and ended on Sunday evening. My friend Anne, I and some fifty other people danced through the whole weekend. No judgement of dance moves just the freedom of expression through my body and the bliss of forgetting myself in the rhythm of the music. 

Gabrielle Roth dreamt of becoming a dancer since she was a small child, but the experience of going to a catholic school where the nuns condemned the body as a source of pleasure and the experience of a strict ballet teacher who punished her for every wrong move, made her abandon her dream when she grew older.

Eventually, she became a masseuse in the retreat centre Esalen, which focuses upon humanistic alternative education like psychology, meditation, yoga and spirituality. One day, Fritz Pearls asked her to teach movement classes. She was surpised to discover how many of  her students were stiff in their motoric, afraid of letting their body move freely. In an exercise she asked the participants of the class to lie on the floor and to shake their hips.This simple but challenging excercise released surpressed emotions in a lot of the participants who had to start sobbing. 

Gabrielle discovered there, that the body can't lie; "put into motion, and the truth kicks in".
She realized that emotions, which have been denied, are trapped in the memory of our body. By bringing the body parts into motion, different emotions can emerge and confront us with the neglected truth of our body. All she wanted from this time on, was to "seduce people back into their body". 

Over time she created the 5 Rhythms which are connected to our emotional landscape:
Flowing - Fear
Staccato - Anger
Chaos - Sadness
Lyrical - Joy
Stillness - Compassion

All together are called a "wave". Dancing through the wave can help us to re-connect us with our soul. 
We dance through the different emotions until we come to rest in stillness. Like in meditation, we focus on our breath and our heartbeat. 

The 5 Rhythms are a powerful exercise. Although there are a lot of trained 5 Rhythms teacher everywhere in the world, there is a easy exercise that you can do at home and which can teach you to free your body. 

In the book series of the "Peaceful warrior" by Dan Millman, the writer suggests 25 very basic and easy to follow fitness exercises. Like in Yoga, he points out the benefits they have on our emotional and energetic body. One exercise is called "free motion" and he recommends doing at least this exercise daily if you don't have time for the other.

The instructions are the following:
- Take at least 30 seconds for this exercise
- Let your body flow in a continous motion
- Be relaxed, aware and breath deeply
- Move in different level of height: close to the ground, stretch to the side, stand on your tip toes.
- Move without thinking or planning what to do next. Try new movements, vary them.

This exercise is supposed to strenghen creativity, spontaneity, grace and confidence. I try to include every part of my body during this exercise. In autogenic training you have to move your consciousness from one body part to another (e.g. hips, thighs, lower leg, ankles, foot and toes) in order to relax, I try to do the same, but instead I try to include them into the motion (roll my neck, bend my back, stretch my arms).

Now, to something totally different. In case you were wondering, what I was up to the past weeks: voilà!

The name for this crafty project is called Rainbow drop. I am always amazed how sunlight and rain can create something as beautiful as a rainbow.

The explanation of the phenomenon: the rainbow is caused by light being bent when entering a droplet of water, then reflected inside on the back of the droplet and refracted again when leaving it. The observer sees the layer of reflecting water droplets in front of him (with the sun in his back). All rainbows are full circles, however, the average observer on the ground sees only approximately the upper half of the arc.
The rainbow has always had an interesting role in our culture (e.g. religion or mythology) and is used as a symbol in our society (e.g. peace symbol).

My idea for this project was not to simply do a cloud mobile but to reference the magical aspect of the sunlight, which can create a rainbow with the sparkling sequins on the frame and the rainbow drops
I choose not to use the spectrum colours of a rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet), but to choose a colour palette (pink, orange, yellow, mint, turquoise) that has a bright and cheerful character.

The Cloud is made of wire (pipe cleaner wrapped around it to enforce the frame). I cut grey felt into long stripes and sew them together with the sewing machine, winding it around the carcase. I then sewed the sequins onto the felt with a transparent plastic thread.

The raindrops were an easy project compared to the cloud frame. After cutting the rainbow drop shapes out of the felt, I decorated them with colour matching sequins. I sewed the matching felt sides together and stuffed it with a bit of wadding before sealing the loophole.

The tricky part was to arrange to drops, that they would hang evenly in one line. It is definitely easier if you have the mobile lying on the floor, and knot the thread to the raindrops first. Like that you can rectify with the length of the thread before tying it to the cloud frame.

Something I am really chuffed about is the winner of the Eurovision Contest 2014: Conchita Wurst, I just love her!

I would love to fight for the right to grow a beard, but some things in life are just unfair ;-)

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