Search for the Same

Last night, I went to an Ecstatic Dance for the first time (also known us five rhythm or five movement dancing), which is sort of like clubbing, only all of the lights are on, there’s no talking, and there are no strings attached if you want to make physical contact with another person while dancing.

It starts with mellow stuff, for dancing that’s almost equal parts stretching as dancing. Then it works to an intermediate stage, and the middle of it is really high-energy. Then it slows back down.

It was interesting talking to Rukha about it, because as she was explaining the sort of human connection and release that she got from ecstatic dance, it sounded almost exactly like the description of moshpits at noise shows that I got from my WonderTwin’s room-mate.

It’s this idea of physical contact, and connection through movement, where there is no penalty for channelling your emotions into movement. There are no consequences for letting go and just being swept up in the motion of the people around you.

It’s these spaces where people have given themselves permission to be overrun by the emotion in the atmosphere.

People cry, people scream, people move together, just because they’re *there*.

It’s kind of beautiful.

It’s also interesting how people find different ways to experience the same things.

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Topeng Jimat

This evening, I went to go see a dance called Topeng Jimat, put on by the Agung Rai Museum of Art.

It was an adaptation of a traditional Balinese dance form, that uses puppetry and masks. I went with the guy who taught me about mime, and he’d been taking Balinese dance classes, so he also explained a lot about the meaning of certain colors and costumes and stuff.

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It was really cool.

 

 

Dance Party, Part Two

The Dance Party Restaurant had live music again tonight.

The whole crew promised to meet up again.

I was the first to arrive at the restaurant. The host greeted me with a smile and a fist-bump when I got there. He said “I’ve talked to every one of you, and you all said you’d be coming back tonight.”

and I said “Heck yes we’re all gonna be here tonight!”

I though I was going to walk around the block, to give everybody some more time to show up. I got maybe five meters away before running into Erica.

Party. Started.

This time, everyone brought friends.

We got the entire restaurant to dance. The guitarist broke two strings, but we managed to convince him to re-string and keep playing.

I love people.

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And…Dance!

I wasn’t really sure what to do with myself today. I’m still kind of recovering from illness, and just, tired.

But, I’m in a beautiful place, and don’t really like the idea of not doing anything.

So, me being me, I went out to a restaurant that I’d seen advertising live music tonight.

This is perhaps the single best thing about knowing myself. I know that I *love* live music. If I can find enough energy to actually get to the event I will have a good time. (This is also sort of a beautiful thing about traveling by myself, and maybe more than that, giving myself permission to pursue the things that I enjoy.)

Anyway.

I went to this restaurant (where I had Crispy Duck for dinner, because apparently it’s a bit of a Balinese specialty, but also because I don’t recall ever eating duck in my life. So. When in doubt: New Things!) and sat by myself.

There was a woman sitting alone at the table next to me, and a woman sitting alone at the table next to her.

A little bit later, a woman came in by herself and sat alone on a bench along the wall.

The music started. We finished our food.

We decided that four women need not take up four tables.

Erica is a German woman living in New Zealand, who has grandchildren and more stories than I had a chance to hear.

Emily is a French woman who turned 31, realized her life had become the French saying of “Metro, Work, Sleep, Repeat.”, quit her job, left her dog with her mom, and came to Bali.

Daniela is a Mexican woman who went to university in New Zealand, and came to Bali to rendezvous with her boyfriend.

Erica said “Why is it that people are afraid to dance when the music is good?”

and I said “YES! LET’S DANCE!”

 

So we did.

 

We pushed the tables together to clear ourselves a dance floor. One of the other patrons of the restaurant was also a musician, so he got up and played with the band.

It became a karaoke dance party.

The staff of the restaurant came and danced with us.

 

This is why travel is important.

Because sometimes it doesn’t matter where you’re from or where you’re going. Sometimes all that matters is finding the people who aren’t afraid to dance.

Living Room Dance Party

I’ve been learning a bit about blues dancing – or, probably more blues/fusion dancing, which is *amazing*.

I’ve been in several different types of dance before. I’ve been on dance teams that specialize in hip-hop, I’ve attended contra dances, I’ve taken ballet and tap and clogging and belly dance.

Blues dancing is strange to me because I feel like this is the first time I’ve ever encountered a style of dance that didn’t feel instinctive to me on some level. The style of movement was just never what I expected it to be, and that is *so cool*.

Blues dancing is definitely going on my list of things to explicitly seek out in the future. I’ll definitely have a crazy learning curve, but it would be *so awesome* to be good at blues dancing.

 

Anyway. We had a dance party in the basement of Sushi house, and it was fantastic. The lights were turned out and people mostly managed to not trip over couches, or each other.

It definitely wasn’t even mostly blues dancing, but it was most certainly entirely fun.

Sounds Promising

Today I had my interview with the Wilderness Society, and I think it went really, really well. In the way that the gal who was conducting the interview started inviting me out to parties with the Wilderness Society crew after about ten minutes of the interview, implied that getting references was “just a formality” and said things like “Oh, you’re going to love it here!”

I also got invited to a apparently fairly regular costumed dance parties called a “bush-doof” (pronounced bushDFF) where everyone dresses up, hauls a crapload of speakers out into the bush, and then proceeds to have a dance party. (The “doof” part of the name is representative of the CRAZY BASS they crank out.)

So that would be freaking awesome.

My interviewer also apparently tagged me as a slam poet from sentence structure during the interview. I said something, and she gave me thisĀ look and said “Do you do spoken word at all?”

So, now I have a connection into the slam scene of Melbourne.

I find out officially if I have the job on Tuesday, but I am feeling good about this one. (*knocks on wood*)