I am thrilled and honored to be included in the line-up of Speakers and Performers this year at Trans-States Conference at Northhampton University in England! Help me to bring my Lucid Dream Chamber, an experimental performance space where participants will be able to experience liminal states of consciousness in an interactive, one-on-one format.
I'm reaching out to ask for your support to get my art to England via my fundraising campaign: "Lucid Dream Chamber at Trans-States." Please take a look...
Trans- States is a transdisciplinary conference that will explore representations in contemporary visual culture of boundary crossing, liminality and queerification with specific reference to occultism, mysticism, shamanism and other esoteric and spiritual practices.
The proceedings will feature academics, independent scholars, practitioners and artists. Including the venerable Alan Moore!
I'll be performing my Lucid Dream Chamber, an interactive performance installation/ magickal working which immerses participants into a lucid dreaming experience in a one-on-one format.
There are a few ways that you can help...
Please share this post!
The link for sharing the campaign:
THANK YOU for your support!!!!!!
Very special thank you's to Brian Firefly Conroy, Tammy Cohen, K Lenore Siner, Jen Prestage, Cavan McLaughlin for helping me get my campaign launched!!!
It's been a wild ride lately. And this is an understatement! But here we are.
I'm very fortunate to be at Star and Snake for a few weeks, and taking advantage of this amazing space and working on my art.
Poems, spoken word recordings, piano practice, astrology, and, bellydance.
I'm also preparing for Trans-States in the UK, which I am very excited about!! This event is going to be epic. Cavan McLaughlin has put together a truly stunning line up of exceptional people. I am pleased to be presenting a performance of my Lucid Dream Chamber there in September.
Also on the schedule:
Women's OTO Symposium, Minnelapolis, MN, August 2016.
Sub Rosa in NYC, Oct 2016.
I've got two new improv bellydance-with-sword videos up on my Instagram account, so please kindly take a look if you have some time. The lovely music is by Chris Zabriskie. Swords are symbols of thought, and mastery of the sword is mastery of the mind. Through dance and music: connected with the body; connected with the heart.
"Friday practice part 2."
I also welcome hearing your thoughts in the comments, here and on my Facebook posts.
Love and LVX,
Some upcoming performances and events:
I was honored to accept an invitation to perform and teach again at the New York Theatrical Bellydance Conference in NYC in June, where I will be teaching on Kundalini/Tantra/Bellydance, and on the use of archetypes in theatrical dance.
I am also scheduled to travel to Buenos Aires in August for Rara Avis, performing and teaching my bellydance based workshop called "The Sacred Whore", and another called "ORACLE", as well as lecturing on astrology.
More locally this month, I'll be performing at @michaelnaimogallery on Apr 14th in Salem, MA.
AND....I'm really excited about this one...
I'll be performing a piece later this month, to be filmed, to the music of Amodali Zain's Mother Destruction for La Lengua Roja, @thescarlettongueproject expressing the projects stated theme of "female rage", as BABALON.
Workshop I'm teaching on May 1 in Salem: Shakti Rising: Cultivating Awareness & Manifesting Your Passion and Power Through Bellydance and Yoga with Nicole Anastas.
Please sign up for my mailing list if you Will! Love and LVX.
It's my ambition to post at least once per week. But, given recent events, that has not been possible for me. Thank you to everyone who responded with such kindness and in such heartfelt and personal ways, both publicly and via private message, to my last post about the inner critic. I am seeing that there is more for me to say, as a human and as an artist, about my childhood experiences and their continuing effects on my life now. Everything that we go through personally is surely experienced by many; the more personal, the more universal it seems. I will have to see where my heart takes me.
For now, I am in the dance studio everyday, for several hours per day, getting ready for Germany next week. I am excited about this trip. This is one of my favorite bellydance festivals, as people come from all over the Middle East and Europe to attend. So many wonderful, perspective changing conversations! And my hosts Dieter and Artemis are super generous and just all around amazing. It's been good to get my mind off of other things that have been hurting my heart, and become music.
Struggling mightily with my "inner critic" today. Childhood memories with tentacles attached to my spirit, telling me that I am not, and never will be, enough. And, that I am too much. Too disorganized, too volatile, too emotional, too needy, too difficult, too unbalanced, too damaged, too late...too everything to actually get my shit together. Like there's too much to put in the suitcase, and it keeps popping open with all my shit flying everywhere. Like I seem to keep forgetting to bring my passport, even though I was so sure I had it. Knowing where this all comes from doesn't always matter...what I've survived, what an accomplishment it is to just be walking and talking. The part of me that needs compassion and the part of me that can give it don't seem to see eye to eye today. All I can do is feel. This, today, is my art.
Today was spent going back and forth between writing and dancing in the studio. Balancing/integrating mind, body and soul. I'm preparing for a few upcoming events that will have me traveling again, and working on several new projects. This Taurus does not love living out of a suitcase, but she does love going to new places and experiencing the wonderful conversation and connection that happens, with the welcome expansion in perspectives. I'm looking forward to what is to come. (My hand is blurry from trying to push my glasses back up in time for the picture!)
(read Lucid Dream Room. Part I)
One of the most enjoyable features of the working was putting myself into an alpha state that I felt to be akin to the experience of lucid dreaming. I attempted to project myself with the fluctuations in self-perceptions in weight/weightlessness, the transitions in time perception, etc. that seem to occur on the astral.
I have already worked with attempting to mimic the sensations of astral travel as a dancer, so the physical movement piece was not entirely new to me. However, as a dancer, I am "monologuing" with an audience that is set apart, and though I do often break the 4th wall, there are generally no exchanges of words. In this case, it was a very intimate "dialogue" of energy and movement, as well as words.
I tried to push myself and my inhibitions "out of the way" as much as possible in order to allow my unconscious mind to take over. It is my understanding that as we dream (as part of what we know as "sleeping") we come out of "resistance" to ourselves in a different way than we generally can while waking. It was this path of least resistance to myself that I endeavored to take in this ritual space.
One of the major issues that I felt it important to consider as part of this undertaking was personal physical and emotional safety. I would be in an enclosed space with one person at a time, engaging in who knows what. How can I stay safe? And yet, how can I make a need for boundaries consistent with trying to let go of constraints normally associated with this plane? Is that even the right question? I wondered. (I'll get more into that in Part III next week.)
Another issue was how to stay "in character" while also letting people in and out of the room.
Both issues were sufficiently resolved in this case by the inclusion of the "priestesses" at the door (see Part I)
Originally, I told everyone involved that there was to be "no physical touch" with anyone coming into the room. This policy went out the window with the very first person, as I was immediately grabbing, groping, pulling people down to the floor with me, etc.
I was amazed at the way that participants managed themselves in this space, and this part of the experience has been a great source of joy and wonder for me! There was of course no "wrong" way to behave, so everyone was absolutely correct in their way of experiencing it and expressing themselves. Responses ranged from careful consideration, to amusement, to freezing, to mirroring me, to easy laughter and enjoyment, to exuberant physical demonstrations--dancing, rolling on the floor, jumping, etc. Some people told me true intimate things about their dreams, some people made up stories on the spot. All the while I said out loud whatever came to mind, (freely interrupting or laughing or showing boredom or changing the subject), and moved about the room according to impulse. I also played card games with dreamers; there were of course no rules. I'd pull a card... "Tell me why this is you. QUICKLY!!!"
Part way into the performance, I put a sleep mask over my eyes so I wouldn't know who had entered the space (the priestess knocked on the door loudly to let me know someone new would be entering.) Each person entering got a completely different experience.
That said, about halfway through I began to notice myself developing a pattern that "worked". As a performer, this is generally a normal and welcome process, but this case, I wanted to resist doing that. I wanted the Working to spontaneously, organically unfold, and not get caught up in any kind of leaning that my ego might have toward making this "successful". I wanted to keep taking bigger and bolder risks rather than stay with something that was losing life-force. It was a great thing to notice, and to work with. How much a of rhythm can I establish for the sake of flow (if any) without the piece losing energy and meaning?
I was very tired by the end of this 2 hour Working! And high, too. I have more to tell you about it, as well as my observations on the nature of "Dream" and "reality" that came from this, and other longer term results. But that will have to wait for Part III, posted next week.
P.S. The monkey in the glass in the photo above was definitely necessary, and kindly placed there by the hosts of Star and Snake per my request. He more permanently shares residence with Natan and K in Salem, MA.
P.P.S. I welcome your comments!
I've been wanting to write about this for some time, but I was waiting to be able to include it on the new aeprilschaile.com!
And what perfect timing, really. We are moving toward the next major hinge of the Wheel at Imbolc, which is about a week away from this writing. A proper time for reflecting.
The "Lucid Dream Room" surrealist performance art/magickal Working happened on October 31, 2015 at Star and Snake. As part of the "planning team" for this event, I was assigned a room in which to create an immersive theme for participants at the event.
My vision and mission: to create an intimate, one-on-one live immersive "lucid dream experience" in which I was the dreamer, dreaming the room and the others in it. That said, each participant became a "dreamer", too, dreaming me, and dreaming the entire experience. Yesod overlapping Malkuth; the Astral bled over into the Physical. Like it always is, but not always perceived.
The hosts were kind enough to let me use the master bedroom, a beautiful room with a four poster bed. We set up wall-to-wall mirrors in order to create a disorienting, multi-dimensional effect. I had playing foot-long playing cards, to indicate the "game" of the mind, of the choice-making of living. I wore a wig formed into a bird's nest...with nest and bird/eggs (birds=Air element=the mind) and a half-century old vintage nightgown.
In preparation for the ritual, I created "oracles" via Automatic Writing, at the Dark Moon, winding each into a scroll. To each scroll was added a skeleton key (open doors of perception). These were given out to each Dreamer upon their "initiation" via experiencing this room.
I created a soundtrack via Spotify of Musique Concrete and other ambient forms (it is public, so you can listen), which I played throughout the Piece/Working. Some artists included Nurse with Wound, Pierre Henry, and the Subterraneans ("Themes for Maya Deren").
A "priestess" was designated as guardian and overseer of the room (two amazing women volunteered and took turns). She let each participant into the room, one by one, oversaw the interactions, and the gently guided each person out of the experience. It could be said that she playing the role of "witnessing mind".
The performance/working went for 2 hours. Prior to executing the working, I went into an alpha state, getting as close to a lucid dream like feeling tone as possible. Into this performance went my skills as a dancer, ritualist, magickian, performer, and experienced astral traveler/lucid dreamer.
The room was cleared and then "glamoured" prior to entrance by participants. A space was set up outside the room where people could wait to enter. The stairwell leading to the room from downstairs was adorned with veils (lovingly and artfully placed by hostess and artist K Lenore Siner), and, on each stair, I placed a piece of paper stating such things as "You are dreaming" "You are the dreamer" "I am dreaming you" "You are dreaming me" to be read by participants on the ascent toward the room.
What each person did was unique and amazing...
...read more in "Lucid Dream Room, Part II", which will be posted next week!