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  • May 25, 2021 11:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I first heard of shadow work a few years ago listening to a podcast and it piqued my interest. I soon began to read articles and find out as much info as I could on the subject including this book called Existential Kink by Carolyn Elliott. How the hell does this relate to my writing and dancing?

    Over the course of 20 years I have kept journal after journal. Words, when written with intention, have magickal powers. They have the power to heal, to end, to create. I kept all journals as proof. Everything I have ever wanted and wrote down and day dreamed about, has happened. That’s why the prose above was so important for me to sort my thoughts, my journey with shadowwork.

    In the past few years, unconsciously my dance performances have become more spiritual and healing in nature. I have used my performances to reclaim my power, work through my grief, honoring the dead, conquer injury, push through body image and self confidence issues. I could not stop dancing even if I tried to be honest. My body is my most powerful instrument for magick. And incase you didn’t figure it out by now, I am a woman who manifests her own destiny and creates this world she lives in, I am WITCH.

    What did I find in the past year of doing this Shadowwork? I found that it’s scary at times, but also not scary at all. I have found acceptance and being honest with myself as the hardest part. Yeah, you’re going to realize there are things you do that you actually delight in and are comfortable to you, but are deemed unsavory by society, etc… the truth is, we all have a dark side. While we may be scared of the dark, maybe there is enlightenment there, comfort, strength. Unearth the fears and insecurities, they really only exist in our own minds.

    I dug deep for this performance drawing from my experience with the pandemic in the past year. I did a lot of shadow work. Facing the parts of me that I would rather not see, leaning in to those parts I’d rather no one know about. Shadow work is based on archetype theories of Carl Jung. This piece was written, choreographed and performed by me. The editing was a collab with my dear friend Kasper Bellydance. The music Gripir by Danheim inspired me to create this piece drawing from the prose above I created on a snowy night the past winter.

    Enjoy this journey in my mind and soul friends. Thanks for being here!


    If you’re interested in a little more info about archetypes and the Shadow, I invite you to google Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist. Jung believed that we are made up of archetypes. I am only going to mention the 4 main archetypes of our personalities, cited from this article:

    Persona – How we present ourselves to the world

    Shadow – That part of ourselves which we repress. Composed of parts we’d rather not share with the world including, but not limited to- repressed ideas, weaknesses, desires, instincts, and shortcomings.

    The Self – represents the unified unconsciousness and consciousness of an individual. The whole complete personality. Jung believed in order to be the youest you you can be, that we must integrate all aspects including our Shadow.

    Anima/Animus – represents the “true self” rather than the image we present to others and serves as the primary source of communication with the collective unconscious.

    And should the spirit move you and you want to partake in helping an artist, witch and creative dynamo out, please subscribe to my Patreon for art, yoga, dance and a whole lot more!

    Visit Ami's Website Here!

  • May 17, 2021 11:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What is Technique?

    In its purest form technique is a ‘correct’ execution of a movement –normally a format or codified movement that has a set way of being performed.

    We might think, in a western-dominant culture, of ballet or contemporary – where clean lines, extension and outward projection are often captured. But technique is a wide spectrum, depending on the dance style. Butoh can be twisted, inward and broken shapes; geisha and maiko often dance in small, precise, isolated movements of hands, head tilts and feet; krumping is often strong, staccato movements, and so on.

    It’s difficult to judge dance as a whole with only one notion of technique, when it is a multi-faceted lens. We should question our initial response to technique and understand the intention behind the piece and styles incorporated.

    How I See Technique and Expression

    I see technique as the grammar and language of dance; it helps us be understood and communicate clearly, and it teaches our body new ways and pathways of movement. If this was literature, technique would help us be legible, teaching us how to craft sentences, structure our piece, and different creative presentations e.g. poetry and prose.

    Expression is your voice – what are you trying to say? What is your story and who are you as a dancer? We can all copy and paste a Shakespeare sonnet, but they are his words, his voice – what do they mean to us?

    Expression is not the ‘icing’ on top of technique either – expression shifts and morphs technique. For example you might not perform the perfect chest circle because you want to emphasize the rounding of your spine, creating a hollow in your chest, to communicate emptiness or suffering.

    Expression is vital to make the dance your own, to be a unique and authentic performer.

    The ‘Perfect’ Dancer

    I believe our need to show ‘perfect’ technique is tied to a desire to show we are a good, capable dancer. To show we are worthy, we are trained, we know what we are doing. But what makes this movement different than drills or another dancer doing the same movement? What about this reflects us, our voice, our personality and our unique being?

    There is no ‘perfect’ dancer. There is only you, and you are enough. Use technique as a tool to tell your story. I want to see you on that stage – I want to hear what you have to say. Express my loves!

  • May 14, 2021 3:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As most of you know now, I’ve had two beautiful daughters during my dance journey, one 5 years ago and one just this February. I’ve been truly blessed to experience dance through pregnancy and all its benefits, as well as some struggles.

    With my first pregnancy, I was able to dance for 8.5 months! The movements came naturally despite my growing bump, and towards the end of the pregnancy certain belly and hip movements were extremely beneficial to my sciatic and round ligament pain. It was almost like getting a prenatal massage! My doctors praised me for continuing to dance and strengthen my core. After my daughter was born, I returned to dance within 2 weeks and the baby weight dropped off. I felt strong again pretty quickly, and I was motivated to start up teaching again.

    In a bit of a contrast, my second pregnancy was more challenging to dance with. I had extreme round ligament pain and sciatic that kept me from moving my legs much at all or bearing weight on them for long. I unfortunately had to stop dancing around 6 months and I swear it was torture. I still did what I could to bring movement to my life, including an 8 months pregnant video performance where 95% of it was done sitting in a chair and focusing on arm movements. After the birth, it took me 1 month to return to dance, and 3 months to get back to teaching. And I’m still battling that baby weight!

    Mothers’ bodies and their experiences through pregnancy can vary so wildly! But, dance brought me joy in both my pregnancies. It is an excellent method of gentle exercise as well as self care. I’ve personally also enjoyed the bonding I’ve felt with both children even before they were born—feeling their movements in line with mine, their reactions to the music, and even rocking them to sleep. Now my daughters both love music and find it soothing, one so far loves singing and dancing, both enjoy watching me dance—and our household is filled with happiness. It’s important for mothers to keep hold of their passions through the changes that motherhood brings, for themselves and for their families! Do what you love and share it with your babies—together you’ll make something beautiful!

  • May 13, 2021 3:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thanks for visiting our new blog! Here we will feature articles written by our Stygian Collective members. You can expect articles on anything from dance technique and theory, to personal experiences, to research, and anything in between!

    Stay tuned!

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