Transformational Dance with Serpents

An Introductory Workshop

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Are you ready to dance with serpents?

Dancing with serpents unlocks the realms of both art and mystery.  Come… join us for a day of dance that will open your heart!

in this workshop
You will have the opportunity to learn a style of improvisational dance called Intuitive Technique, that unlocks your body’s athletic and creative potential.  This form gives one immediate access to “tribal secrets” of knowledge that illuminates why and how dance communicates with audiences, and what makes performance of dance effective in touching the hearts of the viewer.

Also in this workshop you will learn how to handle and dance with a serpent.  We honor the serpents and we treat them gently, honoring their nature.  Each serpent is different and you will develop a relationship with a lovely serpent, and learn to dance with him/her.

And lastly, you will learn a simple improvisational structure for performing a dance with a serpent, and as desired we will dance with and for each other.

January 7th    1:00 – 4:00 pm

NOTE: We will start RIGHT on-time.
Plan to arrive at 12:30 to gather and prepare for the workshop.

This workshop is made possible
through a collaboration between SAFEhouse Arts,
Samantha Blanchard’s Eclipse Dance Theater and Anandha Ray’s Quimera Tribe
and thus the workshop fee is only $30 for a profound 3-hour workshop

 

This workshop is designed for dancers with a mastery of their own style of dance, who are ready to expand their dance into the realms of performance with serpents.

 

After you have read this page…

fill out the intention form to unlock the registration process

WHO Should Attend?

“This is a call for those dancers who have a strong desire to connect with the energies of serpent medicine while expanding their abilities in dance performance.  It is both an exciting artistic challenge and a great joy to perform from this place of being a partner with a serpent! ”

-Anandha Ray

No serpent dancing experience is necessary, and we’ll provide the serpents if you don’t have your own.

This workshop is designed for dancers with a mastery of their own style of dance, who are ready to expand their dance into the realms of performance with serpents.

What STYLE of Dance is This?

The form of dance we do is called Shamanic Fusion Dance.  It is a form of training highly athletic, artistic dance through improvisation.  Learning the complete mastery of your own body, dancing in the style and aesthetic that is YOUR authentic expression, is the goal of training in this form.  In just one class, dancers take their dancing to the next level.

Specifically: It is a series of innovative methodologies to teach dance technique and performance skill.  Developed by Anandha Ray throughout a professional career in dance that spanned more than 30 years, Shamanic Fusion Dance combines the specialties of her two masters degrees:  Choreography with a second emphasis in Kinesiology and second master’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy.  The intersection of these forms has spurred a radical departure from traditional training.  These methodologies were developed when Anandha was training dancers for demanding professional performances on international tours.  She created this form to bring professional ballet dancers quickly into a more refined skill in athletic risk, full bodied movement and enhance emotional performance skill required for the work of her company, Moving Arts Dance.  Subsequently these techniques have been used to train every level of dancer from young children to highest caliber professionals, in extensive performance training programs, at universities and in a wide variety of settings.  One thing has been radically consistent: dancers improve unbelievably fast!

In this workshop we will utilize Intuitive Technique and Movement Landscapes

Intuitive Technique (unlocking fully bodied creative movement and confidence in athletic risk through dance)

A kick ass athletic improvisation class that develops neurological connections to pure technique in motion, unblocks fears that sabotage one’s ability to go full out in athletic risk, and demystifies the manner in which dance performances communicate to audiences. I call it Intuitive Technique and there’s nothing else like it. It changes people’s ability to take risk in motion in one class, can take a beginner to an understanding of intermediate level movement in one class, and helps advanced dancers understand the path to professional while professionals deepen their mastery of athletic and emotional nuance.

Movement Landscapes (structured performances)

These are structures that facilitate deeply human performances. Movement Landscapes can be recorded tracks that can be danced as performance training or as performances, or they can be skeletal structures for improvisational performances.  These performances and performance training can be facilitated in ceremony as well as in formal concert performances that are deeply moving.  In our monthly Serpent Ceremonies we create Movement Landscapes as a ceremonial performance rite, whereas in public performances we create Movement Landscapes that result in more formalized dances for the stage.

How should I dress? What should I bring?
  1. Bring water and dress as you would for a dance class (hair back, comfortable clothes to move in, bare feet).  Bring layers in case the room is cold.
  2. Plan to arrive early so that if traffic, or anything else gets in the way, you still arrive on time.  Plan to arrive at 12:30, then if you are late you will still arrive before 12:45 with plenty of time to settle in.  We will start PROMPTLY at 1:00 and late-arrivals are HIGHLY discouraged.
  3. Bring your serpent if you have one, or you can borrow one of ours if you are not yet a serpent keeper.  If your serpent is in shed, do not bring it.

ATTIRE:

We dress to move, but in a manner that is a bit more formal than just taking class.  One aspect of this workshop is informal performance for each other, so dress comfortably nice in any style you prefer.
PLEASE BE SURE TO BRING WATER 
What is the value I should expect?

Through Serpent dancing,
we are offering a new dimension in dance training…

It is a dimension where
actual ritual and ceremony
becomes artistic performance
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We open an energetic vortex, dance together with and without the serpents and then dance for each other.

These performances are not choreography…

These performances are heart and soul
made visible through guided improvisational ritual.

These performances bring your authentic self to the forefront
and allow you to be witnessed in the compete truth of your being.

And to be witnessed in a supportive, nonjudgmental environment

And the serpents help us to transform our insecurities, issues and challenges
into our strength, grace and confidence.

Where is the workshop?

This workshop will beheld at the amazing

SAFEhouse Arts
1 Grove St. in San Francisco

It is RIGHT off the Civic Center BART.  BART if you can, SAFEhouse is about 40 steps from the BART (maybe less!)
There is really no easy street parking but there is a garage not too far away (expensive though).

PLAN YOUR TRAVELS SO THAT YOU ARRIVE AT 12:30.
That way if there is a BART or traffic delay you will still arrive by 12:45.

The workshop officially begins at 1:00 PROMPT and everyone is expected to be settled in and ready to start… latecomers are highly discouraged. We will end at 4:00 pm.

“It is time for a change in the way that we perform… dance has a higher purpose than entertainment.  Dance can change the world, it can heal the performer and it can heal the witness.  

Shamanic Fusion Dance is a form of performing that opens the door to healing for all those involved (performers and witnesses).  It is based in ritual and ceremony through the language of movement, accessing the subconscious of the mover to speak with the subconscious of the viewer.

These are not performances that are artistic renderings of ceremony, these are highly developed artistic performances of ACTUAL CEREMONY.

“When I “retired” from the professional modern/ballet world I was drawn to my love of ritual and ceremony.  I found that there are many people performing dances that draw artistically from the idea of ceremony and ritual.  Shamanic Fusion Dance is a re-rendering of actual ceremony that is presented the format of performances.  Each dance has a spiritual intention and uses shamanic techniques in the performance.  Each performer, therefore, learns to channel pure spirit into performance.

“It is profound personally, interpersonally and intrapersonally!

“Dance is so much more than entertainment!  Through Shamanic Fusion Dance that we do in the Serpent Ceremonies we are training to do the work of healing ourselves and our community, working in mind, spirit and soul through performances of dance.  But there is much to learn!  We invoke the subconscious of the dancer and viewer, and we utilize mirror-neurons and survival instincts to catapult the connection between audience and performer.”

 
  -Anandha Ray
Learn About Anandha

Anandha Ray, MA, MA, DTR

As a 12 year old, Anandha began seeking the connection to spirit. Her path was varied, from traditional religion to the use of psychedelics to open the pineal gland. At 14 she found Kundalini Yoga and spent two years in complete dedication to the form. At a Summer Solstice, where participants were on a vow of silence for 10 days as they intensively studied yoga in the desert of New Mexico, Anandha observed an amazing style of yoga – done to music. For ten days she observed one woman doing this profound, fluid, beautiful yoga on her daily break. On the 11th day she asked what it was called…

Modern Dance! And thus began a lifetime devotion to dance. A life where creativity, passion and walking a path of integrity and honor were the guiding forces.

AnandhaStJohnBridgeSm

Four decades later, much joy and a complete connection to the body as a powerful tool for communicating soul to soul, Anandha is a much awarded dancer/choreographer/artistic director. She has two masters degrees in dance, has taught at a variety of locations from being the chairperson of a university dance program to founding her own dance center/theater. She has worked as a Cultural Ambassador with the US Embassy, receiving standing ovations in seven countries, bringing her own company to provide concerts and workshops to Europe.

She has developed unique and exceptional methods for rapidly taking dancers to new levels of performance ability and dance skill. Having trained many professional dancers, in addition to several professional choreographers and directors who now have their own companies, she is excited to have begun a course of teacher training called Tribal Secrets: The Medicine of Movement. She travels extensively, both nationally and internationally, as a featured master teacher, performer and choreographer for universities and festivals where she trains dancers and teaches teachers the exceptional methods of dance and performance training she created.

Her work has been acknowledged in several awards and honors including citations from the US Senate, the California Assembly, induction into the Women’s Hall of Fame and as an honorary KY Colonel. She has been named a visionary to the 21st century, “One of 25 Women Leading the Arts” and won countless awards for her choreography, most recently receiving the highest national award in university dance for the second time (the first being 30 years ago), having her choreography chosen to be performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, June 2016.

With literally a lifetime of experience in dance, she holds two masters degrees in dance, was a Registered Dance Therapist, the Chairperson of University, College and Community dance programs and directed a critically acclaimed, professionally touring modern dance company (Moving Arts Dance), receiving standing ovations from sold out crowds in several countries.

She has trained professional dancers, choreographers, artistic directors and she is the teacher of teachers.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 2.54.51 PMFor over forty years in dance, Anandha has created a spiritual connection of the soul through movement. Walking this path secretly as a professional choreographer who would be shunned and loose funding if the truth was revealed, she didn’t talk about spirituality, but just did the work. On many occasions people have been so touched by viewing one of her dances that they have written to Anandha to tell her how it changed their lives. On five occasions, viewers have written her letters telling her that viewing her dance brought back the connection to the world that kept them from committing suicide.

She feels that dance has the power to change the world by providing insight into the soul of humanity, allowing people to feel seen and understood. This is what made her work so successful when her company was performing on the US Embassy tours called “Dance Without Borders”, they illuminated the soul of humanity, the authentic parts of our humanness that we all share no matter where we are from.

This is what guides her work today as she guides dancers to understand the spiritual connection to dance from a viewpoint informed by a lifetime of professional dance as well as one who walks the planet in ceremony.

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Ready to Join us?

Frequently Asked Snake Questions

Do I need my own snake?

No. Several members of the group own more than one serpent. There are always plenty.

Are your snakes tame?

Yes.  Though you can never really “tame” a snake (they don’t “train” like dogs or cats), we handle them often and it is normal in their life so they are not nervous. In fact, they enjoy being held and even though they love their cages, they often would prefer to be held more when it is time to put them back.  Many of the snakes in the circle are “service snakes” that are used to introduce people to snakes for the first time.

But could they BITE?  Yes. It is important to understand that any pet with a mouth may bite you. But that is very rare… much more rare than cat or dog bites. Snakes mostly bite people by accident when they are being fed.  It hurts less than a scratch from a rose thorn. Their teeth are smaller than acupuncture needles.  But it is scary because they move so swiftly when they bite.  So we are very careful when feeding them, and they NEVER get fed at a ceremony.

WE ALL HANDLE SERPENTS AT OUR OWN RISK.

Do I HAVE to dance with a snake?

No.  You are welcome to participate and not hold a snake.  Some people have come with such initial fear that once we bring out the snakes, they stay near the door.  The first third of the workshop we dance without serpents.

Do different snakes have different personalities? Like dogs?

Yes.  Different breeds of snakes are typically different personalities, of course with exceptions.  Ball pythons are very gentle snakes and typically prefer to curl in a ball and be calm than move about very much.  Boas may move about a bit more than ball pythons, and often dance in the air while we are  dancing with them.  One serpent in our circle is a bull snake.  He likes to move about a lot and can move more quickly than other breeds.  You will get to choose which serpent you dance with, so ask questions and make sure you are comfortable with your choice.

But do they have emotions? Probably not.  Snakes tend to BE HERE NOW and be reactive to situations.  They do sense fear.  Fear signals danger, they are aware of signs of danger and may sometimes shy from a person who has intense fear -but with our snakes that is rare.  These snakes are so used to people that they are not in a nervous head space and as a rule always remain calm.  Yet, where there is a rule, there is an exception that proves it.  If someone is aggressive with a serpent it may react out of fear.  When they are afraid they either move quickly away (most typical), hiss a warning, or bite so quickly you wonder if that really just happened.  We teach people how to handle them to make them feel safe, and to always respect the needs of the animal.

Do they really bite?  Not as much as dogs or cats, but yes snakes can bite people.  Animals often bite out of fear.  The snakes we bring have been handled so often that they are used to people and so do not have any fear in being handled.  Animals also bite when they feel threatened.  We will teach you ways of handling snakes that make them feel safe.  Some breeds of snakes are less likely to bite, just like some breeds of dogs.  Ball pythons tend to be the most docile of snakes and we have a large number of pythons available to dance with.  We can never guarantee a snake won’t bite, but it is extremely rare and snake bites to not result in significant injury because their teeth are the size of extremely short acupuncture needles (very thin).

Can I tell if the snake likes dancing with me?  Yes.  Snakes speak through body language and they enjoy being with humans and exploring the warmth of your body and sometimes will crawl about on your arms, head and chest, but sometimes will find a cozy spot and hang out the whole time.  Ball pythons are most likely to move very little, while breed like boa constrictors and bull snakes will typically move more.  When snakes are unhappy or uncomfortable they have very clear communication skills through movement (quickly, trying to get away) and breathing (hissing).

In Summary…

• Fill out an INTENTION FORM and pay the fee
• Plan to arrive at 12:30 so that you FOR SURE arrive BEFORE 12:45
• Bring water
• Wear fairly nice clothes you can dance in, hair tied away from face, barefoot
• Wear layers in case it is cold

• Bring your snake if you have one
• Bring an open mind and heart
• Turn off your cell phone for the duration of every gathering (even during breaks)

Don't Be Shy

If we didn’t answer all of your questions, feel free to drop us a line anytime.

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SCHOLARSHIPS / REFUNDS POLICY:

All events produced through anandharay.com are strictly non-refundable.
We keep our prices very low and have minimum attendance levels to keep our prices so low.  The only refunds made are if we do not have enough people enrolled, and thus we cancel an event.  This actually never happens, as we usually sell-out.

Because our prices are so low, we do not offer scholarships or workstudy.  We encourage you to fundraise to be able to participate at your heart’s desire!  MANIFEST.  You are powerful.

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