Shamanic Fusion Dance
SHAMANIC FUSION DANCE
was developed by Anandha Ray
over the course of more than 30 years in professional dance.
There are two main aspects of Shamanic Fusion Dance
that can be studied alone or together:
PHYSICAL DANCE TRAINING TO BRING THE BODY TO IT’S HIGHEST CAPACITY
THE STUDY AND APPLICATION OF DANCE and PERFORMANCE IN THE REALMS OF RITUAL AND CEREMONY
Shamanic Fusion Dance embodies a means of training dancers to achieve professional levels of technique and performance ability, and also can offer a more mysterious aspect, one that can further bring dancers to the capacity to channel performances of actual ritual and ceremony!
There are two main components of the dance and performance training in Shamanic Fusion Dance, the PHYSICAL TRAINING aspects of Intuitive technique and the MENTAL/PERFORMANCE TRAINING aspects of Waking Dreams.
Through these forms, Tribal Secrets are revealed. Through the understanding of these secrets, dancers can immediately embody concepts that change their dancing on the spot. Some of the secrets reveal concepts that unlock the body’s pure technique in dance, some of them reveal techniques for performances that are profound and touch the viewer’s soul, and further still… some of the secrets unlock the mysteries of our humanness through actual ritual and ceremony in performance.
As an example of Shamanic Fusion Dance, Anandha recently (June 2016) received the highest honor given by the National College Dance Festival. Her dance was selected from among 530 that were adjudicated, and it was presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC among the 30 top dances in the country.
Her dance, set on dancers training to be professionals, embraced the concepts of Shamanic Fusion Dance in teaching the dancers to represent in their committed, authentic selves…
each dancer was guided to co-create choreography that represented core aspects of each of their being…
and then Ray organized the dance to make a meaningful human connection with the audience.
This dance touched the heart of viewers rather than entertaining them.
That is Shamanic Fusion Dance
The HISTORY (Herstory) of Shamanic Fusion Dance
After a 3 decade, award winning career in modern dance… a career in which she served as a member of the Izzies Awards Committee and for 3 years witnessed 40 concerts a year… a career which took her to 9 different countries and more than 30 cities in the United States where she viewed concerts in the local dance world… a career in which she witnessed more dance performances than most people on the planet ever will be exposed to… Anandha became aware that something was missing from dance performances. Even when they were technically amazing feats of human capacity, even when they were artistically creative, they could leave her impressed but unmoved. Something really important was missing…
After retiring from this career in which she produced over 300 professional concerts, she had time to explore this mystery. What was this missing element.
Her research into this query brought her interest in exploring other forms of movement and other styles of dance. As she began researching and experiencing various types of dance, she found herself drawn to forms of dance that engaged ceremony and ritual. And dance in CEREMONY and RITUAL became a consuming interest.
There were many dances that appeared to involve ceremony and ritual but were actually just artistic manifestations of the concepts, look and feel of the sacred elements. But what interested Anandha was actual ceremony, actual ritual. These were not things she could readily find being performed for the public.
Thus, she began studying various forms of ritual and ceremony, from dance embodied from her background as a Cherokee Indian, to attending the 4-day all-night Grandmother’s Moon Dance Ceremony at the Teotihuacan Pyramids in Mexico, to becoming ordained as a Priestess of Isis, she searched and learned and developed a clear understanding of what constitutes actual ritual and ceremony, as opposed to dances that emulate the exotic aesthetics without actually accomplishing the work of ritual and ceremony.
And Shamanic Fusion Dance was born.
As dancers train in SFD, they first embrace their artistic vessel -the body! They dive into a deep understanding of their own body and through techniques that Anandha developed, they learn to move freely, unabashed, with totality, fullness and joy. Dancers are released from all pre-conceived notions of dance and find themselves dancing with more perfect technique, more risk, more athletic ability and they become more fully expressive with an understanding of how and why dance is expressive! From professional dancers to beginning dancers, this form of training moves you beyond the limitations you might not have even realized you were holding on to and releases you to dance in ways you didn’t know you already can.
Then, to become the most pure channel as a Shamanic Fusion Dancer, we dedicate ourselves not just to the physical training but to the discipline, and to the purification of the body, mind and spirit. We utilize many techniques to accomplish this and in retreat we will often employ sacred medicine and shamanic ceremonies to journey beyond the limitations that our minds otherwise perceive. These ceremonies are phenomenal in opening your mind to new perceptions, unblocking limiting beliefs and transforming misperceptions and unhealthy beliefs into wisdom and grace as a person. These ceremonies unlock deeply profound performance ability from a place purified of ego, a place where the intention is set to perform performances of rituals that initiate transformation for the performer and the viewer.
PHYSICAL DANCE TRAINING the pure forms offered through Shamanic Fusion Dance allow the training of the dancer’s body to excel and extremely rapid rates. Independent of the need to copy another person’s movements or style, each dancer unlocks their own perfection in technique through the Tribal Secrets that are revealed. Tribal Secrets such as the how use of the element of swing can accomplish a perfect turns, even off balance!
These Tribal Secrets allow the body to immediately organize around improvisationally directed concepts that are familiar enough to the body that every person can immediately accomplish it! Concepts that are the driving force of perfect technique, rather than having to memorize placement and reorganize the thinking of the brain to reprogram an individual’s way of moving!
These Tribal Secrets access the ability of our human skill to play and experiment, and through doing so within certain concepts to reorganize the kinesiological transmission of perfect technique in dance -without the time it takes to analyze and memorize the bone and muscle directions and steps. This surpasses the months of training it takes to develop new habits of perfecting dance technique through the intellect and repetition, and inserts instead the body’s way that it can already know this and immediately perfect it through the experimentation in the concepts of Tribal Secrets!
Tribal Secrets are revealed in a class called Intuitive Technique.
Intuitive Technique is a kick-ass improvisation class that releases the preconceived notions of what dance is and allows your body to fully embrace moving in totality and joy. Through guided concepts (Tribal Secrets) that are layered over the use of 6 skeletal Body Systems, movement springs easily from even the most inexperienced dancers… movement that is full and bold and really allows you to release your authentic self through dance. Through Intuitive Technique dancers are able to organize their physical self-reference in a manner that allows them to take physical risk in a way that is safe and easy, and thus dancers far surpass their preconceived notions of how well they can dance from their very first class!
RITUAL AND CEREMONY is the heart and soul of what Anandha believes the art of performance IS. A dancer must be able to absolutely transform themselves from reality and BECOME that which they are performing. They must go so deeply into character that the concept of character disappears and they are performing a human truth.
If you take away the performers desire to be a good dancer, to be seen as a performer, and all other ego-driven needs to perform… and if instead the performer is seeker to dance as a higher service to humanity… you begin to walk the journey of Ritual and Ceremony -SACRED DANCE. Not dance based on religious beliefs, but dance that is in itself a healing force in the planet by the nature of the fact that the performers are channeling a pure humanness and connection with their audience. This is the premise of Anandha’s work with the US Embassy called “Dance Without Borders” in which her dances were presented to other countries to bolster our political relations by showing audiences that we are all human, we all have the same emotions, loves, sorrows… and we are all one.
Often dances in performance fall into a category of entertainment where the goal is to be pretty, sexy or to impress the viewer with their skill. While all these goals can be embraced in Sacred Dance, the ultimate goal is to raise consciousness of humanity by shining a light on less acceptable aspects of our shared humanness. To dive into the subconscious realms of symbolism and interconnectedness while raising the bar of compassion and deep acceptance of the “Self” as well as “other” because we will all experience shadow aspects of humanity at times in our lives. And we will all experience love and joy. And they are equal in value.
Fusing truly sacred dance with performance art, Shamanic Fusion Dance is a hybrid of dance in which each performer finds their own unique expressions through dance while embodying the deepest aspects of dance: it’s ability to heal. Dance, when understood at these deepest levels, can heal both the dancer and the viewer. Though presented as a performance, it is activated at the level of ritual and ceremony.
It is more than just the act of physically dancing, it is the act of BECOMING dance… of learning to channel the most pure essence of our humanity through dances that touch the heart and soul of the viewer. Through Shamanic Fusion Dance you purify and tone not just your body, but also your mind and spirit to walk the path of the highest tenets of dance.