This is a review of Brazil Sacred Dance festival with Renata Ramos!
Good news! I am just back after a trip to Brazil that strengthened my hope for humanity! I was part of a festival of Sacred circle dance for 4 days. It was the 18th sequence of a yearly festival and I was amazed at the range of experiences we had in these few days. I arrived on a Sunday morning in Sao Paulo and was met by Renata (Ramos), who is the first person to introduce regular dance circles in Brazil and who kept it going for over 20 years.
Straight from the airport we drove to a public park, where on Sundays there is an offering for ‘dancas circulares’ that anyone can attend for free. There were dancers of all ages as well as passers-by who just happened to be there. It was open air, with about 50 people attending. 3 focalisers and a good boombox made it happen. We danced to tunes from all over the world, ranging from Michael Jackson to traditional folk to New Age. And I was told that there is a website that will show you all the different dance meetings for your neighbourhood all over Brazil.
This is growing into a really big and successful movement, so much so that Gabriele Wosien said that the future of Sacred Dance is in Brazil! Now I could see it with my own eyes. Somehow dancers managed to convince public services in healthcare and in the universities that circle dancing is a wholistic integral practice that improves peoples physical, mental and emotional health. People shared how dancing got them out of depression, burnout etc. This is a kind of joint political action that effectively builds the good world of tomorrow!
Our weekend meeting was attended by 160 dance teachers from all over Brazil as well as Argentina and other Latin- American states, who all hold dance circles somewhere in schools, health centres, universities, parks… And the sense of joy, belonging and pride in what they do is palpable. Basically the Brazilians took what they experienced in Findhorn and made it happen in their own circumstances. Brazil is going through turmoil economically and politically, like many other places, but the spirit of joy and celebration pervades everything. And these people can dance! You show
them the steps in 2 minutes and they are off, sometimes at lightening speed.Until now I considered circle dance a pastime for mostly mature European ladies. But in Brazil there were all age groups, young women as well as vigorous young men dancing. One morning teachers were sharing new choreographed dances they made up, one evening we danced clothed in white with only candles burning, maybe influenced by the native Brasilien Candomblé services, which people attend all dressed in white.
Another evening had the theme of celebrating the season and various saints, where we dressed up in country rags for a fiesta, did maypole dances, grand marches and had lots of opportunity for fun. Overall the energy was high and joyful and so much love, enthusiasm and friendship were shared. I congratulate Renata (who is coming to Findhorn for the Festival in a weeks time) and all her helpers and friends for this 18 year old tradition that is going from strength to strength! Well done Brazil!! Well done Findhorn and especially Anna Barton for inspiring such a global movement!
With Love from Barbara Swetina