Birthday Gratitude and Reflections
March 12, 2018
Thank you mille fois for the generous food, drinks, roses, gifts, and -most of all- your warm smiles at my birthday celebration March 4. Tom and I were delighted to have you join us for such a special evening and hope you enjoyed our vintage dance “Black Bottom”, as well as “Sexy French Depression”, “Ishtar’s Daughters”, and “Movement of the Spheres” performed by the Dunyazade Dance Ensemble. We were thrilled to be able to entertain and inspire you, and your gracious hearts brought me so much joy. Once I have a chance to edit some video I will post clips for those who couldn’t make it.
Some of you after the show remarked on how the lineup paid tribute to a broad spectrum of the human experience, including: sensuality, drama, grief and violence, beauty and art, connection and love, cultural history, earth-cosmic consciousness and transcendence. I am so pleased you were stirred on multiple levels, as my intention is always to sweeten your hearts – whether through a saucy cabaret dance with fishnets and red boas or inspired sacred whirling. I relish in exploring all dimensions of the human experience and have always felt that no aspect is more holy than another. As the Sufis say “Everywhere you turn, there is the face of God.” As Tantra teaches “One reaches heaven by the very things which may lead to hell.”
As a lifelong dancer and performing artist, my body has always been my vehicle for spiritual expression. I take this for granted, though through others I’ve experienced the deep disconnection that exists for many between the body and and the spiritual. This split between body and spirit, a defining feature of most traditional religions, may well have been an important development in our psychological and spiritual evolution at one time. However, in today’s world we are baring witness to the tragedy of disembodiment that permeates our relationship (or lack of) to our bodies, one another, the Feminine and planet earth. It is time to reinstate an “I/Thou” relationship with these aspects and redefine the sacred nature of the whole of human experience – even the ugly or troublesome parts that we just wish would go away.
For this reason I deeply admire the pioneering women and men who are stepping out and reclaiming sexuality (in all its complexity and grit) and the body, bringing light to the dark recesses of our psyches, for it is only through integration and reweaving together our earthy, sometimes messy human challenges with our transcendent spiritual natures that we fully “grow up and wake up” (to borrow a phrase from philosopher Ken Wilber). As someone who takes an evolutionary perspective on the human adventure, I am so excited to see what unfolds as we more fully and consciously develop along both of these axis.
Thank YOU for inspiring me to continue searching for and creating moments of shared beauty, art, compassion, love, and opportunities to touch and be touched. That’s what it’s all about, folks!
And there are wonderful opportunities coming up to connect through the art of dance and movement…
With much love,
FREE GUIDED JOURNEY
A week later and still relishing in the magical afterglow! Seriously, much to my surprise I am still reaping the benefits and riding the waves of such a weekend. Personally it was an end of an era, and what better way to initiate a new beginning, than to breathe in new life with ritual, spinning, baddass women, wonderful food, perfect location and gorgeous weather. Outstanding!
I just spent two days with Hannah and a diverse group of spirited women on the Spin, Shake, Sway workshop exploring whirling and the Moroccan Guedra, and the experience made me reconnect with dancing at a very deep and intense level. I felt so alive and free in the space where your body and your soul intersect, and beauty and healing naturally happen. The location was magical and the perfect setting for our group.
For the past three years Hannah’s performance and teaching has been a highlight of my annual women’s weekend. She is a gifted, creative, expert dancer who engages and amazes the audience with her style and skill. It’s beautiful to watch her flow, bend, glide, and shimmy. Dancing with her is a blast! All my women friends loved it.
Hannah radiates an inner joy, a celebration of the divine, that glows and grows inside her audience. Dancing with Hannah, one is finds herself channeled into the timeless essence of feminine grace, connecting to all women past and present, freeing us to express our true innate beauty
Hannah loves transmitting her knowledge of world dance to kids and they feel it. She engages them in both the movements and the understanding of the traditions of the dances. The kids learn to appreciate the pure joy of moving, the history of the dances and choreographing their own pieces. It’s great to see the kids enjoying the discipline of the different traditions while having a lot of fun.
Hannah’s workshop was exhilarating, joyful, and educational. I felt uplifted afterwards, and emerged with a positive feeling of lightness.
The potency of sacred women’s spaces was made evident to me during this beautiful two day healing dance ritual. That experience of learning, of playing, and of connecting to our feminine power through community and the container held so humbly and graciously by Hannah will stay with me forever, and has become fuel for a new passion in my life to explore Sufi and Berber traditional, meditative dance. My deepest gratitude goes to all women of the dance, now, and throughout all of time.
I first saw Hannah dance Persian style at a party and was immediately in awe of her self-possessed beauty that comes through her style of dance. I wanted to learn that! I had gone through a tough 18 months of sorrow and grief after loosing my partner of 15 years and mom within six months of each other. Hannah choreographed a Persian dance specifically for me that would help open my heart. And she helped mend my heart and soul through private lessons and learning her dance. I would recommend h…