Sunday Dance To Word…Inspiration- Throw Down Your Heart

Inspiration- Throw Down Your Heart

Last night Jeff and I had the pleasure to watch the documentary Bela Fleck, Throw Down Your Heart, with my Amazon Prime Video. This is a new treat for us, great for watching instant video as we don’t have a television, just the computer and IPad! And wow…

What an amazing documentary. Bela Flek is a white musician, banjo picker extraordinaire, and decided to show the roots of the banjo, which most of us don’t know, is Africa! So he goes there, to five cities, to play and record with musicians and singers around the country. Just himself and his recording engineer. To see how he sits in with these folk, to play, listen, record…

It puts such perspective on where we have come from as a culture, and what we have at our easy disposal here in America and other similar countries as us. And to watch how these African cultures live their daily lives, making their instruments-sometimes very crude, but incredibly beautiful and amazing sounding. They play and sing and cook and dance together as a community, an extended family, children included. The women cook together and sing. The little ones dance and pretend to play instruments as they learn. The men make the insturments. The Masai tribe belt out sounds you’ve never heard. They sing about daily life, right there on the spot, using their voices, their hands, their instruments. The women’s voices were incredible, and few facial expressions and tongue actions in the noises they made, had my jaw on the floor! All the men play the various instruments, but one women played the thumb piano, which is not usual, as the women don’t normally play. She was brilliant.

And to watch and listen to Bela sit in with them, jam, play, entering into their daily lives is astounding and inspirational and beautiful. What a player he is. I love the banjo, but never considered its roots to be Africa, as I’ve been listening to lots of American bluegrass lately. Really makes you reconsider where we all came from.

Lately, I’ve been really playing in my head with my dance (obsessed might be a good word), and with my body of course, but thinking about my roots in dance, where the dance comes from, what my influences are-ancient and contemporary, but also us American dancers as a culture. Tribal Bellydance–the music and the dance and where we are, both starting out and finishing up. Since we here in the US are a mishmash of cultures, and also highly technological and spoiled (which the movie puts back into perspective) and I might add also a society of consumerism, as seen by the ridiculous long lines at target and walmart over the Thanksgiving holiday.

How do I take all that and put it into my dance of ancient inspiration, modern influences, along with the celebration, family, joy, of the dance, with guts and soul? One of these days you will see what I am coming up with ! J that is a little tease for you…

Now YOU…what inspires and influences you, your dance, your thoughts about your dance? Where does it come from? How do ancient cultures influence you? Modern life? Music? Costume? Where does it come from for you? Your teacher? Books? Videos? Spirit? Can you write it down and send it over?

For now, check out this movie! Let me know what you think….

Thanks for being here…

~~~~oh and don’t forget about my Tshirt sale, now through the end of November ( do you believe December is almost here?)


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