Through the generosity of the Natick Cultural Council, I will be creating Jerusalema Dance Breaks in Natick. One will happen at Camp Arrowhead during the summer and the other will be in collaboration with Common Street Spiritual Center to celebrate South African Heritage Day, a day that celebrates South Africa’s roots, their rich, vibrant, and diverse cultures. South Africa is called the ”Rainbow Nation” due to its color and diversity, and this is why Heritage Day exists. Details to follow.
What does the song Jerusalema mean by Master KG and what language?
What is Jerusalema?
Jerusalema is an upbeat gospel-influenced house songt by South African DJ and record producer Master KG featuring South African vocalist Nomcebo. Although it has religious-leaning lyrics, “Jerusalema” is an upbeat disco-house track containing deep, spiritual, gospel lyrics. Lyrically, “it speaks about Jerusalem being the home of many religious believers”.
Jerusalema ikhaya lami (Jerusalem is my home) Ngilondoloze (Guard me) Uhambe nami (Walk with me) Zungangishiyi lana (Do not leave me here) Jerusalema ikhaya lami (Jerusalem is my home) Ngilondoloze (Guard me) Uhambe nami (Walk with me) Zungangishiyi lana (Do not leave me here)
What Language was used to sing Jerusalema song?
Jerusalema was sung in the South African Zulu Language.
What is the Jerusalema Challenge?
Simply put, the Jerusalema challenge is a dance which is attributed to Fenómenos do Semba, a group in Angola, south-west Africa, who recorded themselves dancing to the song while eating and without dropping their plates. This helped the song go viral online. The #JerusalemaChallenge, spawned dance videos from across many countries, including the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Romania, Spain, France, Jamaica, Canada, the United States, Sri Lanka and Israel, in particular in Jerusalem itself. In Germany, workers paid tribute to Berlin’s Tegel Airport by dancing to Jerusalema on the tarmac and in the now-shuttered terminal. The Swedish elementary school Baraskolan engaged all students to do the #jerusalemachallenge Baraskolan Jerusalema Challenge The Swiss Federal Office of Police challenged the Irish Garda Síochána to the Jerusalema dance challenge, which they accepted. The video was well received in the two countries with the Swiss police flying the Irish flag at their headquarters for the day.
Jerusalema Dance Tutorial
This is the video that just made me so happy to watch during lockdown. It just felt so much bigger than what could be contained on the screen
Har Haray Hari Wahe Guru (Meditation for Creativity) by Kamari & Manvir
Be Still by Beautiful Chorus
Many people have difficulty going to sleep even though they are tired. Most of us would agree that the deeper and more peaceful the sleep, the more rested we feel the next morning. There are several things that we can do to promote deeper and more restful sleep:
Slow Down:Before going to bed, begin to slow everything down. Put down your phone. Move slower. Stop ruminating. Make a list of what you need to do the next day and leave the list in another room. This will allow you to clear your mind and allows the energy to start balancing so you will be able to accomplish what you want to get done, but be free of it for the night. If there is something on your mind that you have not been able to resolve, make a special list turn it over to a higher power (an angel, a god, whatever you relate to) for the night-this power will focus their activity on the list through the night and free you of it. Feel complete about the day. Acknowledge yourself for what you accomplished and lessons learned. Forgive yourself for anything that lingers. No one’s perfect, so let it go. Make a list of five things you are grateful for. Prepare yourself to devote the next hours to peaceful, un-preoccupied sleep. You not only deserve it; you need to rest.
Eating Habits:Try to eat your last meal at least 2 1/2 hours before you go to bed. When you eat just before going to bed your energy is tied up with digestion and it is hard to sleep deeply. Eat lightly for your evening meal. Definitely try to not eat animal protein, fried or heavy foods. Soups, salads, steamed vegetables or other easily digested dishes are the best for the evening meal. Eating dairy at night will make it more difficult to get up the next day (so skip the ice cream, yogurt or large glass of milk before bed).
Left Nostril Breathing: The two nostrils are associated with two very different energies. Breathing through the right nostril, we are energized and stimulated. Breathing through the left nostril, we relax and calm down. Our breath naturally changes dominant nostrils approximately every 2-1/2 hours. After eating our nostrils will change to the left to accommodate the energy needed to digest our food. That is one reason why we feel like sleeping after eating.
You can tell which nostril is dominant at any time simply by blocking off one, then the other. The dominant one is easy to breathe through and the less dominate one feels like it is blocked.
It is useful before going to bed to sit quietly, block off the right nostril and breath long and deeply through the left nostril. Slowing down the breath to 4 or less breaths per minute also facilitates sleep. You can mentally chant Sat or I; Nam or Am (Sat Nam; I Am) while you breathe to help your mind “erase” My mother once told me that she was taught, when she wanted to make a word illegible, that she should, in cursive, write the word apple over the word that needs to be hidden, rendering it illegible. I think of meditation like this. Using a mantra scribbles out our thoughts and makes them “unthinkable”.
This meditation below has been a life saver for me.
I do this meditation for 11 minutes every night before bed, plus I usually add on at the end, 4 repetitions of the 4-7-8 Breath (see below) just to seal the deal. I sleep through the night now. I do not take any sleep aides.
Breathing and Mantra: Inhale 4 equal parts through the nose, i.e. the inhale is divided into 4 sniffs. Mentally vibrate SA TA NA MA If you do not connect with this chant, you can substitute with something like “I AM So Calm” or “I Will Sleep Deep” with the four parts of the inhale breath.
Hold the breath and mentally repeat 4 repetitions of SA TA NA MA (or your chosen chant). This will be 16 counts
I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep*
Then exhale in 2 equal strokes, mentally projecting WAHE GURU (Wonderful/Inner Sage; Wonderful/Inner Guide)
Time: Set a timer. Start with a few minutes and work up. I find 5-11 minutes is a good reset for myself. Continue for 11, 15, 22, 31 or even 62 minutes. This meditation will often put you to sleep before you complete the allotted time.
4-7-8 Breath (you can also try this as a stand alone bedtime meditation):
Breathe in with your nose for the count of 4.
Hold breath for the count of 7
Breathe out through rounded lips, making a gentle whooshing, for the count of 8
Repeat this 4-8 times; or set a timer and practice for 5-10 minutes before bed.
Pictured above from top left: Two students strike a pose, Hurley School, Boston; Eve Costarelli (AKA Eva Lorca); Students learning palmas at St. Stephens after-school program, Boston, MA; Visual representations of flamenco; Antonio Tiriti and Eve performing at the Natick Farmer’s Market; Students performing the story of Ferdinand The Bull; Eve teaching how braseo to students of St. Stephen’s after-school program, Boston, MA; Eve and some students. (Thank you to Celebrity Series and Robert Torres for the pictures of Eve and St. Stephen’s)
I am a flamenco dancer. Through this dance, I communicate my kinship to the gypsies, a group of wanderers/nomads/pilgrims who migrated from Northern India during the 8th and 9th centuries. One route that they took was through Saudi Arabia and Northern Africa, before arriving in Spain through the Straits of Gibraltar. These gypsies were comprised of expert metal workers, animal tenders and entertainers. They arrived in Spain when the country was controlled by the Moors (made up of Arabs, Syrians and Berbers). In Spain, the gypsies mixed freely amongst the veritable melting pot of cultures. In Andalucía, a region in Southern Spain known as the birth place of flamenco, the gypsies found a land that suited them and found a sense of connection with the people who lived there: the Jews, the Moors and the Spaniards. The gypsies absorbed the diverse cultures around them: the music of the Moors, the songs of the Sephardic Jews and the dances of the Spaniards and then coupled with their heritage from India, they transformed the music, song and dance into the art of flamenco.
My journey to become a flamenco dancer has been a deeply personal artistic pursuit. I have found that the greatest joy of flamenco is discovering my interpretation and style within the art form. As a flamenco dancer, I possess the capacity for self-controlled passion and emotional expression which becomes the underlying energy which motivates me to dance. This is my life force, my soul, my chi, my prana. Duende, the passion and inspiration within, is the heart of the flamenco artist. It is the transfer of emotions across space. It is the energetic imprint of the raw emotion released as a result of a performer’s intense emotional involvement with the music, song and dance. It is in the sum the energy the dancer takes from the earth, drawing it up through the soles of their feet. It travels through the body electrifying the the base, the core, the heart and shines forth through the crown of her head.
It is in this sensation filled space that I find the connection between flamenco and yoga. I speculate that the gypsies created the movements in flamenco directly in correlation to the yoga body. The energy centers, the chakras, directly speaking to the emotional output of the artist. I believe that the gypsies brought with them an underlying understanding of yoga and that this physical, emotional and spiritual connection to the body was then naturally incorporated into flamenco’s expression. It is fascinating to teach flamenco under the label of mindfulness. I incorporate it (plus a smattering of other rhythmic and contemplative movement forms) into all of my youth yoga classes. I find that flamenco is a perfect addition as its many benefits go hand-in-hand with the benefits of yoga.
Flamenco and Yoga both:
Stimulate memory, thinking and retention
Increase the ability to focus, listen, observe and absorb
Strengthen the heart muscle, both physically and emotionally
Increase positive energy
Develop balance, flexibility and coordination
Strengthen confidence, patience and risk taking skills
Deepen sense of self
Expand world view
Help you get in touch with your emotions and give you a safe outlet for their release
Cultivate accessibility, adaptability and inclusivity
“When you want to plant a flower, you first need to till the soil, nourish it, plant the seeds, water it, and then sit back and wait to see the blossom….now in relation to the flamenco body. If you imagine that the soil line is at the hips, so your legs and your feet are the roots below the surface. The roots grow down and ground the dance to the earth. From the waist up is the blossom, growing from the soil line (which is your hips). This is the blossom. With good, strong roots, you then use the upper body to create the shapes and lines true to flamenco, building out of the hips and allowing the legs and feet to move separately.”
My favorite part about teaching is sharing my love of movement and making both the arts of flamenco and yoga accessible. Yoga is not one tangible thing. It is not movement; it is not breath; it is not meditation. What it is, is all of these things. Each of these elements leaves an energetic imprint, a vibrational frequency on the person, and that is the yoga. I love both yoga and flamenco in my life and I live to share them. With each personal exploration of my own energy’s movement, I teach. Yoga and flamenco are deeply connected to my soul, and I am constantly evolving. I choreograph the dance between effort and surrender. I find such joy in these sensations. All I want to do is to share them with my students.
This is a charming read! The characters are delightful and the beautiful sense of community that rises around the growing of the giant pumpkin is a true testament to love they neighbor and brotherly love. The author obviously has a great knowledge of Japanese things as her description of the tea ceremony is so full of rich detail that you can practically smell the tea in the air and feel the warmth as it passes through your lips.
Also, she brings in the concept of Kintsugi. While most people would likely conceal damages to their pottery, the Japanese art of Kintsugi follows a different philosophy. Rather than disguising the breakage, gold is used to restore the broken item incorporating the damage into its aesthetic, making it part of the object’s history. This theme weaves together most of the book and like the beautiful rivulets of gold in the pottery, we see time and time again how imperfections make us more real, more appealing and even a bit more perfect. In addition, the beautiful mathematically organized music of Bach is the soundtrack to this lovely story! This is a book of substance and is full of practical knowledge! I highly recommend this read to children and families.
Full disclosure: Candlewick Press sent me copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
I had the ultimate pleasure of working again with the Maria Baldwin School in Cambridge for this year’s Dance In The Schools Month. I began forging a relationship with the second grade teacher’s 6 years ago and it only keeps getting better each year I go back. This year I had the extra enjoyment of bringing not only my yoga program but I also brought flamenco to the music classes. Together these two classes make up the basis for Always Be Dancing Mindful Movement. This opened up a whole new angle to me for bringing mindfulness into this school. Pairing me up with the music teacher only enriched my musical knowledge, so it was truly a win-win situation for all! The second graders received a veritable cornucopia of mindfulness through dancing, Yoga posing, breathing, and meditating.The positive responses I gathered from the students and the teachers were full of positive remarks and full of enjoyment.
Please comment on what worked regarding the content of this program, e.g., use of theme, connection of movement/dance to curriculum, etc. Did you or the Classroom Teacher notice any changes in any of the students’ behavior, focus, ability to do whatever you were teaching? Please describe if possible.
The kids were all so connected to learning-it is a great environment. The staff and kids are very engaged and even the few children who are on the spectrum or emotionally developing interact with the group and learn alongside their peers. I often work with special needs and other high risk populations and I have developed a compassionate and effective way of bringing what I am teaching to these groups. I appreciated that every student tried what I offered to them. The music students learned about the history of flamenco and the gypsies, styles of flamenco, the emotional content of flamenco, the art of clapping, singing, dancing rhythmically and also rhythmic footwork. In yoga, we used the basics of yoga, breath-work, poses and meditation, to reinforce emotional control. In the end, they students created a book for me which reinforced their engagement with both my yoga and flamenco classes.
Did you share any materials, resources, music, ideas, props with the Classroom Teacher so they could continue after your last session? If so, what?
MUSIC: I sent a musical link and we made a video of our dance. I also created a special document that gave the history of flamenco and wrote out a simplified version of the choreography for reference.
Describe the nature of your collaboration with your Classroom Teacher – before your sessions (interaction with teacher, co–planning of materials, other), during your sessions (co-teaching, assessing the process, altering plans), after you finished (examples of follow-up lessons created by you and/or the Classroom Teacher, other)
MUSIC: After reaching out to the music teacher, he sent me some ideas for how we could collaborate his music and my dance class, which really helped me to mold my program.
We worked with each throughout the classes, him adding in his teaching methodology (using the Takadimi system) which opened my eyes to new ways of being able to teach ideas and my own creative style of teaching which only enhanced his system.
YOGA:I was in contact with the two second grade teachers prior to my visit. They asked me to work with their students on Socio-Emotional learning and the executive functions, to enable a string and fruitful learning environment for all. I mapped out 4 programs that I would use as the basis of the 4 sessions.
Eve’s Awesome Yoga Day one was about using yoga to calm the body, mind and energy and playing with the differences between silence and non-silence, which can mean vocally, mentally and physically. Here I also taught about the brain and the concept of neuro-plasticity; Day two, healthy eating; Day three, Rhythm and movement; Day four, Cooperation.
Do you feel/think you were effective? Why/why not? What did you learn? What challenges did you face? (This is a food for thought question, not judging or criticizing you.
MUSIC: This was extremely effective. Every time I came into the room, the kids all brightened up and beamed, totally ready to dance/do yoga. I could see in their faces their joy! I loved learning about Takadimi as it brings in a Kathak element to my Flamenco teaching, as Kathak is seen as one of the roots of Flamenco.
YOGA: The kids learn in a very short amount of time about how they can control their brains, that brains change, how to be strong, focused and self-effective. How to work by themselves and cooperate in a group. How to be still and to move; to be quiet and loud; to be fast and slow. They learn about emotional control and how they can learn in a different environment than they are usually presented with.
I was invited to teach Always Be Dancing Mindful Movement at a day long retreat at the UCC Edwards Retreat Center for several target teen groups within Framingham High School who have been learning mindfulness skills based on the Benson Henry Institute’sResilient Youth Curriculum. This retreat was the culminating activity to reinforce their skills and to expose them to other possible tools. There were about 50 English and Spanish speaking students.
When I first arrived, the students were engaged in a singing/music session with one English speaking teacher and a Spanish interpreter. I was thoroughly amazed at the total engagement of the students in this activity. No one was “sitting out”, no one had pulled away. They were all singing and their body language showed that they were fully relaxed and enjoying themselves. I did not know these kids but I knew this was a special moment and felt my heart reacting.
Next it was my turn to introduce these kids to mindfulness through the arts of flamenco and yoga, a program that I call, Always Be Dancing Mindful Movement. I knew many of the kids understood Spanish better than English so I really pushed myself to speak in Spanish, something I am not very comfortable with. One thing I remember though, from my stay in Grenoble in college, was how helpful and respectful native speakers are if you really give it a try. They can make out most of what you are saying even if its the wrong tense or you do not know the exact word, so I pushed my fears aside and began shakily…”Sólo hablo un poco de español y sé que mi acento es terrible..haha!” That broke the ice and I was off and running.
I so enjoyed being a part of this special day. I want the students to know how much I appreciated them and their willingness to learn. I had the unique opportunity to spend time with about seven of them afterwards and was able to really get into the meat of what makes flamenco flamenco and why I found this art form as a way to express myself artistically and why that was important. It was a great dharma talk on finding something you are passionate about and how to strive for something you love to do. One girl said to me, “Please just teach us what you know. We want to learn.” Now, how beautiful is that?!?!
These kids made me feel very brave. I received a really nice thank you from the organizers, “We want to thank you for an amazing day! Your energy and talent engaged the kids right from the start. It was the perfect workshop for this group and we loved your blending of culture, dance, meditation, and yoga. Many students reflected on how the retreat enabled them to let go of their own emotional issues, anxiety for the day. We appreciate your contributions to creating such a safe retreat for our students.”
Many thanks to Open Spirit Center of Framingham and the Nourishing Teachers, Strengthening Classroom project that keeps opening more and more doors for me to share myself with the students and staff in the Framingham Public Schools.
Rocio Molina, no words can describe what I saw, heard and felt when you performed. I can only say wine, broken glass, rag doll and tambourine. You are flamenco in every strand of your being, pure essence, pure light. My soul cannot thank yours enough.
From the first time I experienced you, when you danced inside the box (we just call it the box dance) I knew for sure you were the epitome of flamenco for me. Your body is so full of expression. You morph between the flamenco of yesterday, the flamenco of today and the flamenco of the future, bringing in a kaleidoscope of rhythms, emotions and energy. Intense movement, sparkling energy, grounded down deep into the floor to sudden statue-like stillness, but even within that moment of absolute peace, life is emanating from your pounding heartbeat and the trails of energy that remain from what came before.
Presenting Danzaora & Vinática as part of World Music/CrashArts 2016 Flamenco Festival, Rocio Molina, along with singer and mandola José Angel Carmona, guitarist Eduardo Trassierra and palmas and percussionist José Guerrero “Tremendo”, has created a show that allows her unique artistic voice to be heard loud and clear, so that it is cannot be confused with any other danceable language. To say she is the perfect flamenco dancer would to be putting Ms. Molina in a box. No, she is all dance, not just the Spanish arts such as flamenco and Spanish classical but also crump, tap, African, yoga, and modern. She speaks her own language yet is able to make us comprehend meaning with just a tilt of her head, the stamp of her foot or the long arching back-bend almost touching the floor with the back of her head, bringing to mind Classical Indian movements from Kathak and Bharatanatyam . Ms. Molina embodies effort and ease; fire and ice; the tangible world and the spiritual world.
The show begins with Ms. Molina, standing, at first what seems stock still, center stage, in a beautiful asymmetric dress. The musicians enter, talking, preparing; we the audience enter, talking, shifting, settling. Then as all of our energy stills and our eyes are drawn to her figure on the stage, only then do we notice the glass of wine tilting menacingly in her hand and the long rope in her other hand, wrapped tightly around the neck of an old ceramic jug. In the composition with the lit-up tambourine, Ms. Molina conjurs up Arabia, Egypt and Africa, creating rhythms that just echo the past while shedding light on the future of the possibility of sound. I have not seen anyone play the tambourine like this since a night, long ago, when Simon Shaheen, oud and violin virtuoso, introduced me to the intricate rhythmic ability of the tambourine’s skin and bells.
For Ms. Molina, everything has the possibility of creating rhythm. Her feet as they strike the floor, an old jug being dragged, breaking glass, a wine bottle being struck repeatedly like an anvil, and inevitably the gritty sound of broken glass crushing underfoot. It was so dramatic when the artists stood around a table, which seemed actually to be a cajón, and created rhythms with their intense finger rolls, knuckle raps and a flurry of foot stomps. To see Rocio’s face break into a smile when they were in a particular sweet spot, playing off each other, the lines blurred between what they had practiced and what just came up from the spirit of the moment was entrancing. Her face often severe or placid was often punctuated by a radiant smile, giving life to the impish “El Duende”, the spirit who brings to light a heightened state of emotion, expression andgenuineness that permeates her soul.
Rocío Molina is the embodiment of flamenco’s past, present and future. She and her company bring together the complex patchwork of flamenco’s history weaving it into new material by bringing with them each their own eclectic blend of musicality, artistry and above all character.
Book Review: Stomp The ground Build A Home by Susan Daniel Fayad with Illustrations by Jayamini Attanayake
This book is a beautiful representation of the intangible cultural heritage inherent to Lebanon in the form of the dance, the dabke. Through bright, exciting illustrations and positive affirmations, this book teaches you to love yourself, to love your community and to be proud of your roots. I appreciate so much the showing of how an extended family takes care to raise the children and how the wisdom of elders can be made into the future. We can all learn something from the beautiful message of compassion and love. “Al-Awneh,” (let’s go and help)- we can all learn to dance the dabke!