A Recap of Vessel: Turning Inward to Voice Out

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A recap of our workshop with multi-disciplinary artist Sammay Dizon on January 5, 2018 at the LA Bellydance Academy in Mid-city Los Angeles. For more on Sammay, visit www.sammaydizon.com.

“Dear Pamilya…”—I wrote to greet my ancestors in the room with us.

Trust, care, and love guided the way as our workshop-gathering with Sammay commenced. Both new and familiar faces entered the comforting studio—our studio of dimmed lights and centered with our collective treasures-our mana- upon the altar against the banig/lauhala matt. Our studio adjacent to the anxious La Cienega Blvd. on a Friday night- somehow was comforting, as one grows accustomed to the longer one stays in LA.

In the studio, we were under dimmed lights within the womb of creation. We were guided to move after a few minutes, after being invited to lie down and release our minds.

The space was full, and yet spacious enough to comfortably pass one another as we travelled from one side of the room to the other. Sammay guided us through a movement of elements—flowing as cool water, brushing against bodies, cleanse ignited by internal flames, into a piko-a center circle created by each person’s extended arms towards the middle of the room and then synching into one rhythmic, collective breath pattern.

Breath – voice – language.

We introduced ourselves to one another one at a time. We then immersed into writing as we were guided through reflective prompts.

Embodied stories-
Emerge(d) in diverse ways
As I experienced in my group.

We went from a group of 15 into smaller circles. Openness and acceptance radiated in our gathering- influenced by our 10-year-old truth-speaker sister, who shared her imaginative drawings as her reflective writings, had questions asking to clarify what the stories we hold in our bodies meant, and asked what rice upon the altar symbolized.

Our smaller groups shared our letters and stories between one other.

“Dear Pamilya-
…I know that dance and music have many reasons for being/becoming. What comes to this moment is liberation- liberative vibrations that dance and music emit. Please guide me to always create from this liberative space.”

Our asks and declarations of continual connection, clarity, and Being– letters to our great grandparents, those who had so recently left our physical world, our future daughters and sons, to the creative energy that binds our elder and younger generations— filled the womb space and emitted through each group’s embodied and verbal oration.

Sisters danced, winds moved, circles protected, ancestors stood, and eyes opened…

Our workshop-gathering came to a close as Sammay chanted.

Seeds were sown, the room lights switched on, and I look forward to the fruition from our womb.

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