Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Review This #2: The Five Rhythms

Review This!
A writing meme for journalistic reviews

This week -A New Experience
We all have goals, dreams and experiences that we'd like to do .... sometime.....This is an opportunity to choose something that you have never done before - explore it, review your expectations and outcomes and then write about it.Imagine that you are writing for a specialty magazine. (i.e if you are rock climbing for the first time - its a rock climbing magazine)You are a guest writer reviewing your first experience with this…... encounter. Write up to 500 words and feel free to include a photo.

The Five Rhythms

It’s a wintery Tuesday morning, 7:15am and I’m downstairs in our rumpus room. Upstairs my four year old son is asleep, my partner has left for work, my Morning Pages have been written and my business partner in London has not come on line yet. All is quiet.

This is not the first time that I have danced Gabrielle Roth’s The Five Rhythms. This is however the first time that I have been brave enough to challenge my body and soul, uninterrupted, in my own home.

The Five Rhythms, as the name suggests moves through five rhythms that each evoke a certain emotion, with dance the medium to explore each, working to shift any blocks that are held and felt in the body. My intention was simply to dance and use movement as a medium to reconnect with my body.

I choose the CD Waves. As soon as it starts, I’m aware that there is a different feel to this album. The first track Invocation is perfectly named – a didgeridoo, sticks tapping out a tribal beat and a woman’s voice singing a deep primal language. I ground myself, eyes closed, feeling the carpet under my bare toes. I move my arms about and above me - claiming this as my space - sacred space, then stretch and move gently to warm up.

The flowing rhythm of Surrender begins the journey. My body moves - hips gyrating in sensual circles, arms in soft, flowing, wavelike movements. This is the rhythm of grief. Nothing stirs, nothing shifts – but I’m not disappointed. I’m enraptured to simply be doing this – finally!

Flowing gives way to the staccato of Waves - the rhythm of anger. My movements become precise, punchy and repetitive, my body working hard. The music moves into chaos with the track Ecstasy and my movements have no pattern. There is no grace – this is dance equivalent of bedlam, freedom and I let myself truly go. No one is watching me. My energy is faltering but my conviction to keep going overrides it. It is the shortest track but it feels like an eternity.

Trance breaks through, gentle, hypnotic with the beautiful voice of a woman that raises me up in the rhythm of joy. I’m ecstatic to have made it here. I dance with love and awe. The movements are relaxed and sensual. I indulge in watching the fluid movements of my body reflected in the TV screen and don’t care about the extra bulges. And finally the rhythm of stillness filters through with Spirit. I pull the energy up, the divineness, into my body … and when the music finally ends I am buzzing. It carries me through on a high for most of the day. This is how I remember feeling the day after a big night of dancing session – no wonder I danced five or six nights a week when I was younger.

My only criticism of the whole experience is the pauses between songs. I would prefer the rhythms to bleed together seamlessly from one track to the next. Waves did not resonate with me the same way as Bones, which is personal preference rather than a substandard album.

Dancing reinforces to me at a body level that I am beautiful; I am succulent – that I am a sensual woman. The Five Rhythms is movement as meditation, perfect for those, like me, who find sitting still and clearing the mind impossible. It is a spiritual practise like no other I know. There is so much power to tap into, as women, when we move our bodies that we should make the time each week to ground ourselves in the earthly woman energy of dance.

Dancing The Five Rhythms should be part of every woman’s week, whether they are young or old. Each song lasts for between 6 ½ and 8 minutes, giving you plenty of time to explore each rhythm and an intensive 45 minute work out. It can be enjoyed alone or collectively with other women, depending on your personal preference.

The Five Rhythms process gets four and a half shimmying hips. The album ‘Waves’ gets a less enthusiastic three shimmying hips.

For more information on Gabrielle Roth and The Five Rhythms process, CDs or book sales see http://www.gabrielleroth.com/ or download the music from eMusic.


Annie said...

I love that you are generating your own rating system - ensuring it brings humour and relevance to the review.
Your reivew brings the freshness and wonder back into trance dance and tapping into the energies available to those doing this... .might even have to set MY alarm to get into the goove... humm

Eliezer Sobel said...

Hi--if you can forgive the self-promotion, I thought this might interest you: (Gabrielle is referring here to my new book, this quote appears on the back)

Gabrielle Roth:

"Let The 99th Monkey be a warning to
seekers of truth everywhere: Eliezer Sobel
is living proof that the New Age disease
of self-improvement is incurable. Thankfully, Sobel's utter failure to get enlightened is chronicled with laughter, irreverence,
insight and raw truth.”

You can check out the Prologue to see if it interests you here: http://www.the99thmonkey.com

Eliezer Sobel

Wild Iris said...

I may have to try this. I have found a similar sort of release getting back into the water, but am unable to completely loosen up because of various things. Thank you for sharing this, Jodi.