The Shapeshifters

IMG_6198IMG_6160IMG_6099IMG_6227IMG_6209IMG_6088photo copy IMG_6269

I haven’t slept since November and I am just landing from one of the most intense weeks of my life.

Where did it start?

There’s been Christmas. Brighton, seaside, friends’ house, gifts.

In Brighton, I caught up with Í, and this is where unbearable intensity begins. I have always loved him to pieces. We met 9 years ago at university. We were equally dissatisfied with the course and we rapidly clicked because we were both incarnated and hurt. And gay.

Back then, he once told me: “Your sexual energy terrifies me.” And he languorously kissed me in the middle of the pub.

We lost contact for 7 years when I dropped out of uni. He randomly reappared in my life on my birthday this year, at a 5 Rhythms dance workshop. I got in the studio, and there he was, beautiful and loveable as always.

We saw each other last week, right after Christmas, to go partying in the trashy gay bars of Brighton. Night of wildness. When we are together, the rest of the world doesn’t exist and I understand that people may find us outrageous. We encourage each other in our natural Eros: hyper dancy, hyper sexual, and hyper inappropriate. It is so liberating. We say obscene things, laugh our heads off and dance till exhaustion.

We went from one club to the other till 4 or 5am, pole danced with the bears, laughed at a woman who fell down, chatted everyone up, burned every single dance floor doing the 5 Rhythms. I even taught him some Martha Graham moves near a karaoke stage where an old Asian guy in duffle-coat was exclusively singing Christmas songs. We were doing diagonals of triplets across the space, not paying any attention to the weird looks we were triggering. That pretty much sums up our relationship.

We came back to London together the day after to do a 5 Rhythms dance workshop entitled “God, Sex & The Body“. He crashed my bed for a few nights.

The workshop was about the male and female archetypes: Father/Son/Holy Spirit and Madonna/Mother/Mistress. We explored the change of personae, we shifted from one rhythm to the other and from one archetype to the other. We embraced the shapeshifter in us. Everyone impersonates the male and female archetypes, it has nothing to do with our gender. A girl can live her life like a wild son. A man can have the intuition of a Madonna. Everyone is a shapeshifter and navigates between the archetypes. It is fascinating.

On Day 1, as a first exercice, the Master of Ceremony, Jonathan Horan, asked the 100+ people in the room to stand still. He then said: “If you are married, walk.”  Very few people – less than 10 – walked. “If you are single, walk.” Most people in the room started walking. “If you are in a relationship, walk.” Some people walked. “What situation is left?” asked Jonathan. A tall beautiful and very pale girl raised her hand and said: “Polyamourous.” And she walked alone amongst 100 people looking at her.

On Day 2, we worked on the Mistress archetype – needless to say it is my favorite. The 100 dancers gathered in a huge circle and Jonathan pumped up some Christina Aguilera and said: “Give me your stripper dance!” That was SO liberating. The group was a solid sample of the human kind – male female old young skinny obese white black gay straight – and we were all going as far as we wanted in our stripper talents with no apprehension of being judged or labeled or getting dirty looks or an unwanted hand on our bottom. 5 Rhythms is the place of extreme permission within safety.

On Day 3, a few women started getting rid of their bra in the dance. I was looking at them, dying to do the same but constrained by my big-boobed-girl self-consciousness. I mean, I have been naked in front of people in various contexts and I am not exactly modest – I just had never danced topless up to that point. When I saw that older ladies were doing it, I was like, yeah, if they do it, I’ll do it. It made me extremely happy to dare, especially knowing that my therapist was in the room (I know… it is weird. That’s the first therapist to ever see that much of me.)

So, that was my days this week. But there were the nights, too.

After the dance, Í and I were pursuing the shapeshifter exploration in the dark. In my bedroom, in my bathtub. 24 hour research.

We stand in a similar turn of our life, some kind of rejection/fascination for the opposite sex. I’ve had this growing curiosity for male energy in the last 6 months. There has been my desire for a man I’ve met which is gradually getting out of control. There has been a variety of men around me. I love men. I am a lesbian and I love men. No need to justify anything. This is just how things are.

Í has been forever gay and knows nothing about girls. He doesn’t even have a mum, cause she left when he was a kid. He’s terrified by female power.

So we worked on taming each other’s energy, body, and fears on the course of 5 nights. We didn’t even have sex. We explored. It was slow, sweet, pure, beautiful, almost innocent, like teenagers confronted to their first experience. When he was touching me, I was feeling like a whole new continent. I was 12 and he was 13, or the other way around. That was so insanely beautiful that it doesn’t translate in description. I want to be a sex beginner all my life.

My flatmates were laughing at us, because they didn’t understand my sudden male intimacy. They were calling my bedroom the “Straight School”.

We went to the New Year Eve drag ball included in the workshop. Everyone was dressed in one of the 6 archetypes. I came as a boy (but ended up as a whore) and Í was an extravagant Sacred Mistress. It was even more confusing when we were making out. The male/female boundaries were getting real captivating and playful. This lady at the ball was entirely painted in blue with a wig like Marie-Antoinette. I asked her: “Wow, are you the Smurfette?” -“No! I’m the Holy Spirit!” 

Ouch.

On the last day of the workshop, I danced in my knickers with another awesome girl in the middle of a circle. No one wanted to ever leave. I suddenly felt some arms embracing me from behind as Jonathan was doing the closing speech. It was this very pretty Middle East girl that I had been looking at since day 1. We started talking after the closing ceremony. Apparently, she had been looking at me too. I wish I remembered her exact words – the meaning was “I was looking at you and finding you beautiful on the dance floor.” She gave me her card. I want to dance with her again, I think I want to know her. I haven’t said that in a long while.

Sexual charges make the Holiday season so much more interesting.

Advertisements

A Philly Story: Cheese Steak & The Rhythms

IMG_5332 IMG_5257 IMG_5268 IMG_5341 IMG_5216IMG_515210659183_10152529401988068_7234238842758260638_nIMG_5396

I spent five days in Philadelphia which felt like a month, even a lifetime. I know I often say that, but it’s a fact. What can I do? Travel and dance distort our perception of time.

I was in Philly for a 5 Rhythms dance workshop about the different cycles of life. I sweated my prayers six hours a day with about fifty other people from the most diverse ages, shapes and cultural backgrounds. That was AWESOME as in life-changing.

Each day was focusing on a theme and a rhythm. Day 1 was about our conception, birth and mother (Flow). Day 2 was about our childhood, father and male lineage (Staccato). Day 3 about our teenage and puberty (Chaos). Day 4 about maturity and leading the tribe (Lyrical). The final day was logically about death, including our own (Stillness).

I was staying in a very weird house in South Philadelphia, with two lovely hosts (one of them was a photographer who got punched in the face for his birthday – no joke), two cats and a strange decoration. There were piles of random objects everywhere and peculiar unidentified pseudo-decorative items hanging on the brown wooden walls. Most of the houses on that street looked abandoned so it’s a miracle that this one wasn’t. It was fun staying in an odd place though. It added to the extraordinariness of the overall experience.

My Parisian friend C², who recently moved in with her boyfriend and left to New York for three months after a few weeks of common life (I only know unusual people) came to hang out with me in Philly to share the bedroom. We laughed a lot. She’s obsessed with planning her meals and always carries left overs in her handbag. She even found the way to pick fresh parsley and tomatoes from a shared garden in the city and she had them for lunch.

Every morning, I was walking to the dance studio in the autumnal sunshine for the yoga warm up with a beautiful Israeli-American teacher from New York. I was attending classes half for the stretches and half to stare at his beautiful skin colour. I’m drawn to very specific complexions and he had the perfect one for my taste. It was hard to focus on what he was saying. Jaw-dropper.

The dance studio was in the heart of the apparently famous Philadelphia cheese steak sandwich alley. A bunch of Italian immigrants got the clever idea to put some steak and cheese inside bread in the early 30s and that got renowned worldwide. All the spirituality of the Cycles was therefore surrounded with fast-food, meat and neons. Interesting balance.

I was getting my bi-daily 50 cents coffee from Pat’s King of Steaks which is featured in the movie Rocky, back in 1976. Every time I was ordering, a sign under my feet was reminding me that Sylvester Stallone once stood there. It gave me goosebumps. By the end of the week, the dudes working there had become familiar with me. The nicest one gave me my ultimate coffee for free on Sunday. He made an announcement to the rest of the crew: “She’s going back to New York!” How sweet is that?

I tried to see some of the old stuff that is really constitutive of the American history, but I only got to see the Liberty Bell in the dark and a bunch of important buildings that I’m all mixing. A policeman told me off for getting too close to the statue of George Washington. That’s about it for culture. I’ll have to come back.

This trip wasn’t about architecture or history anyway, but about people. As often on the dance floor, I met the most fab tribe of dancers of the human disco. They would give faith in humanity to the most sceptical. I hanged out all week with a trio of hot ladies from Toronto who organically adopted me.

Above all, I found a spiritual father and a spiritual young aunt/older sister during these few days. Why do we click with some people like that and start liking them irrationally and instantly? No one really talks about this phenomenon outside the traditional “love at the first sight”. But what about “spiritual fathering at the first encounter?”

My “spiritual father” is π. He was born in the US in 1942. He told me the incredible story of his father. We danced a lot together, his gestures were unusual and full of his life story. On the last day, he told me: “You are delightful!” and kissed my forehead. He gave me a mini-pumpkin as a souvenir when we parted.

My spiritual aunt/sister is ε². She’s from Toronto. We have almost the same birthday, 19 years apart. On the first day, we randomly paired up and she said things that I’ve been thinking most of my life, picking the words that I would choose too.

I exchanged details with them. We will all cross each other again anyway, in one country or another. The 5 Rhythms is such a small wide world.

I’m heading back to London, the place I nickname Hostile City to myself, after this high time of my life. I’ve always been in conflict with it, and I sometimes forget where it originally came from.

Time for flow.

I don’t care about hating the city where I live any more. After all, London is a hot spot of earth with super cool human disco dancers too.

Dusk of Brooklyn, Dawn of Philadelphia

IMG_5080 IMG_5086IMG_5091imageimageimageimageimageIMG_5241image

I read the phrase “Dusk of Brooklyn” in a magazine or leaflet somewhere, years ago. I don’t remember the context, but I remember contemplating this appealing mental image with desire. I wrote the expression at the top corner of a random note book. See, I need it now.

All of last week, the dusks of Brooklyn were mine. I let them inundate me like I wouldn’t let anyone. My New York time was peculiar. It’s been the quiet part of this adventure, like a restoring pause between two hectic discovery phases. Feels like I’m a New Yorker now and nothing special happens there cause I’m melting in the daily scenery and routine of the City.

I woke up at 5am this morning and finished the night on the Greyhound bus bound to Philadelphia. As the tradition requires, I spent my last night in New York on the 5 Rhythms dance floor. Every time the teacher was asking to pair up with another dancer, I was looking through the window and chose the Empire State Building as a partner. I love dancing with New York and I was shouting on the inside “Manifest that shit!!!!!”

It was such a joyous leaving party, very tall muscled (straight) guy wearing leggings with cat faces was there, and it never feels like I’m leaving New York anyway. I’ll come back again and again and again and one day I won’t have to leave. That’s how the story goes. (I played the Green Card Lottery on Friday and purchased the long life payment option, the “until you win” one. I had found out in the morning that I’m homeless when I get back to London. The friend I was subletting from is getting evicted. How fun! No roof upon my head in Hostile City. So, Mrs Goddess up there or whoever runs the lottery of life, it would be very welcome if I became a permanent US resident by Monday. Thank you.)

I’m sitting alone at a 24 hour diner in South Philadelphia on a rainy evening as I’m writing this. The Wheel of Fortune is playing soundless in the background. I love diners because they never close and are available for drowning your loneliness/sorrow/hunger at any time of night or day (not like people), because they have cosy seats which feel like private booths, because coffee refills are unlimited, because waitresses wear a uniform, and finally, because they are one of the archetypes of America that I cherish from all the 80s movies.

I’ve seen very little of Philly so far, but what stroke me is the number of American flags (way higher ratio than any other US city I’ve visited) and the colourful mosaics on the facades.

I’m in town for a 5 day long 5 Rhythms dance workshop called Cycles, about the map of our family history. It is taught by Jonathan Horan, the son of Gabrielle Roth, founder of the 5 Rhythms dance technique, who passed away two years ago today. We focused all day on the Mother figure: the actual Mother and the Cultural and Divine Mothers. It is hard to describe. I started the class hating everything and everyone for no reason and I gradually sank into the seductive charm of this odd technique. I had to tell strangers the circumstances of my conception and birth.

I loved it.

Welcome To The Human Disco

10350453_10152334051788068_5870984304621777631_n

As a sweet proof of my softening, I am changing my site title from Fuck You I Rock The World to Welcome to the Human Disco. Yeah Yeah, I’ve been on fuck you mode for that last… 20 years? Or maybe since I was born. That’s 31 years of anger without knowing why.

I am attending a 5 Rhythms dance workshop with Kate Shela this week end. She was my first 5 Rhythms teacher 9 years ago, when I was still a kid with big cheeks living in Brighton.

Yesterday evening after 3 hours of violent sweat, Kate wrapped up the class trying to summarise what the 5 Rhythms practice is about – which I also struggle with to explain people who’ve never experienced it. She was like: “Fuck the spiritual bullshit! Welcome to the Human Disco!” and everyone in the room laughed. I got instantly seduced by the expression. It says it all.

I immediately started designing my 5 Rhythms teacher flyer in my head with this as a header. It is a perfect motto for a Master of Ceremony. So there we are. ‘Welcome’ advantageously replaces ‘Fuck You’.

There is a guy dancing the Rhythms in London whom I’ve been seeing around. I don’t know his name or anything about him. I only know his vibe. He was there last night. He’s my chaos mate. Chaos is the rhythm of sadness – it is the one with highest level of energy, which brings people to trance. This mysterious stranger & I are building a super intense unspoken relationship. I always chaos near him because we have the same interpretation of this rhythm, the same musicality.

Last night during the dance, I turned around and I saw him. We were doing the same thing, but on another rhythm, without even being influenced by each other. I love the idea that someone lives up the 5 Rhythms at the same pace as me. Does that mean that we would get along well, or that we have energetic similarities? Does that make us compatible or incompatible?

When we are in the same class and chaos is coming, I know we are instinctively seeking for each other. We follow our energetic attraction and trance together in the unspoken. When we’re done, we get apart without looking at each other. I have never seen his gaze. He doesn’t know the colour of my eyes. I have never heard his voice. I love that we know the most important about each other without having ever exchanged one word.

I noticed his absence today. I start having an ambiguous attraction for him. But based on what? I observe him à la dérobée and I find him beautiful in stillness too.

I think we are avoiding each other outside the dance floor, because it would be awful to ruin the myth with a casual conversation. His voice might be horrible. He might hate my trashy jokes. We’ll fatally have to say something at some point if we frequent the same classes over and over. One day he’ll overhear my name or I’ll overhear him speak. Will we still be chaos lovers after reality hits us?

I am curious and positively excited as to where this is going to go.

Unfolding Hearts

securedownload-9securedownload-4securedownload-8 securedownload-6securedownload-3  securedownload-7securedownload-2securedownload-5    securedownloadsecuredownload-1

I turned 31 on Saturday in my beloved Brighton, where I lived a short but intense snap of my youth years ago.

I came south to hang out with my hot friends and attend a 5 Rhythms dance workshop called “Unfolding Heart Matters”. I metaphorically massaged my heart chakra all weekend, which I haven’t really been bothered to do over the last 30 years.

I don’t really like emotions, apart from violent happiness. Everything else bothers/bores me. I am an extremely harsh and violent person. In the sense of: ambitious, passionate, devouring, demanding, perfectionist, intolerant to weakness, intransigent, impatient, restless and sleepless. I’m told I’m tough all the time. ∆ used to tell me that on the scale of harshness, only Madonna is above me – which I took for a great compliment at the time (now I know it wasn’t).

At the other end of my pride, I’m also the most desperate person that I know, borderline self hater suicidal when I have to wait or things don’t go my way. One certainly goes with the other. I never really tried to bridge that split.

I started my birthday with a love message from my dad. I was in bed, half awake, when I read the unbelievable words JE T’AIME on my iPhone screen. Huh. 31 years later. From the bottom of my dysfunctional heart, I felt that my life would have been different if I had got more of this.

Later in the dance studio, I spotted Í right away. He was my first “gay husband”, those super intense love relationships I cultivate with gay men without even trying for it. Hadn’t heard of him or seen him in 7 years but as I carry him with me, it was just like I left him yesterday.

Í is one of those few humans touched by grace that I’m irrationally drawn to. He is pure beauty, on the inside and on the outside. I love his body, his colour, his eyes, and above all, his empathy. He never had it easy and would have solid reasons to hate the world, but his dancing is absolute radiant energy. Watching him dance fills me with joy. In class, every time someone was crying or bad tripping, he was near them to support or touch them. I can’t do that.

How serendipitous that I ran into Í after so many years just as I am standing at the crossroads of my life, seeking for my own empathy. Leaving/losing my great love could have harshened me even more, but it taught me empathy and the fact that not everyone can be as strong or determined as me. I am finally softening, getting off my fucking pedestal and unzipping my “I am little bit better than you cause I’m a self made woman” attitude. Material struggle, disillusion, homophobia-that-bitch and feeling alone against the world turned me into a warrior and certainly impregnated each one of my body cells for ever.

But I’m safe and fine now, and I start opening my eyes on the fact that between pedestal and suicide, there is love & life.

Yesterday, after a day of dance, a bunch of us walked all the way down to the beach for an improvised swim. We stripped on the rocks and danced in the waves like unstoppable maniac movers, filled with joy & gratitude. The tide was so low that we could walk meters away from the shore, pursuing the illusion that the burnt Pier was ours. Felt like Jesus walking on the water.

Life sucks at times, but when it rocks it really does.

We Are Living A Cool Era

securedownload-1securedownloadsecuredownload-4photo (1)securedownload-2securedownload-5securedownload-3securedownload-6

I know a lot of our life sucks and I know most of us struggle these days.

But I still wouldn’t trade the Now against living at a time that didn’t have Subconscious/Contemporary art/Internet/Pina Bausch/Working from home/5 Rhythms dance/Queer/Weirdos.

We are much more free and lucky than we think.

Pictures from top left to bottom: 1. Giant Octopus @ Oxford Circus, London – 2. 3. 4. Marwood Café, Brighton – 5. Peaceful protester near Baker Street, London – 6. Thursday 5 Rhythms Dance @ St Luke’s Church, London – 7. Crouching Hill, London – 8. Set of 1980, Ein Stück von Pina Bausch @ Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London

Chaos With Sand on my Feet

imageimageimage

I have been in Montreal, Canada for 3 days and missing my New York families already. The family I lived with and the family I danced with – the 5 Rhythms crew.

My last class on Sunday was equally intense and memorable as the first one I attended upon my arrival in the City. It felt like I had swallowed fireworks because of the lack of sleep and because I was dancing the farewell to my city. I just wanted to leave as much of my soul & DNA as possible in the atmosphere of the Big Apple. So I sweated my prayers furiously. It felt like my last dance – although I know it hasn’t even begun.

We “chaossed” for a good half an hour and I think I lost consciousness, I tranced so hard. I just remember that people around me were slowing down one by one and I was all wearing them out. The music just kept going, going, going on the same chaos beat and the more everyone was giving up, the more I was jumping high and bouncing. I was still full of the morning sun and my restless feet were covered with Coney Island beach sand. What a wonder! I was afraid the teacher would come and tell me that drugs are not tolerated and I’d reply: “No, it’s my most natural state!”

In 6 weeks of dance, I have seen the same faces again and again, I’ve become a strong part of the community although I learnt very few names. It is not always necessary to speak with people afterwards, and I don’t share my name unless someone asks for it. The depth of the dance floor encounters remains more vivid if you only retain the non verbal message you received while sharing the dance. I often don’t see the point of knowing people’s life, the sound of their voice. I fall in love every week on the dance floor and I’d rather walk out of the studio with this beautiful feeling than trying to pursue it. I loved coming in and seeing the faces that became familiar along the weeks. They became like dance relatives, I was noticing people’s absence or presence. We were acknowledging each other implicitly, getting accustomed to our mutual energy.

I loved the very pretty girl my height who seems to have Indian dance background and has equally thick and long hair as mine, but dark. I loved the other pretty girl dancing in a bra and fringed legging and bouncing restlessly. I loved the woman who looks like she has nervous system issues but dances anyway like a valid person. I loved the older man who dresses like a Buddhist monk and seems to send very quiet prayers to the rest of the world when everybody is in chaos. I loved the person whom I could never tell if it was a he or a she or something else but who had a beautiful body and danced her/his/their heart out, and I like that I gave up wondering after a while, because who cares after all. I loved the hunchback guy with a wig from the 80s. I loved the strange woman who always danced with a purse that she was continuously moving in circles, and this ritual stung my curiosity. What was inside the purse? A pendulum? Some beloved person’s ashes? I loved the bunch of tall handsome guys. I loved the bunch of shorter older guys. I loved the bunch of fatter guys.

I loved everyone really. I thank them all for the bliss dance floor times. It’s been a privilege. I will be back for sure.

Those Beautiful New York People Dancing

IMG_0740IMG_0897IMG_0386

I love the 5 Rhythms because it makes people beautiful. Before we enter the studio and everyone hangs out motionless in the corridor, we all look ugly or average and it can even look like the waiting room of a doctor for people with special needs. But as soon as people start moving, they get illuminated, happy, or at least true to themselves. Even the 50 year old guy with the hunchback and the 80s wig looks beautiful. I talked to him at the end and he studies to become a 5 Rhythms teacher. Incredible. (I am trying to imagine the same situation in France. Hunchback old guy saying he wants to teach dance. No wait, I tried and I can’t.)

Two years ago when I danced in this studio for the first time and received my first bliss, there was a guy with one arm and a stump. He shined higher energy than anyone else. He looked so good in his own skin, I’ve never forgotten this image.

I made another magic encounter on the dance floor. A cheesy saxophone music started playing and I engaged in an improvised love duet – somewhere between contact improv’, tango, ice skating and dance theatre – with a tall handsome man with gorgeous ass. (I love beautiful.) We split when the music changed and he put his hands together on his heart as if he had been touched by grace. I found it so charming ; it did something to me.  After that, I felt that he was seeking for my energy all night and I KNEW he was going to talk to me after class. (He did. His name is Ω)

Fabulous times. All those beautiful New York people dancing fulfil me. I want to make them dance too.

I am going to do the 5 Rhythms teacher training.

Dancing The 5 Rhythms In My Bra

download-2download-3download-1

There is no ultimate New York experience without the 5 Rhythms and there wouldn’t be the 5 Rhythms without New York. It is where it was born, thanks to Mama G (Gabrielle Roth). It is no coincidence that the City and 5 Rhythms have this history together – they have their own space-time relationship. New York is a world in the world and the 5 Rhythms make you go through your whole life in supersonic time.

I have danced the 5 Rhythms in various cities, but New York doesn’t compare. The equation wins it all:

NYC energy + 5 Rhythms energy + seeing the Empire State Building shining on me through the window = take your best orgasm x 10 and you still won’t reach that level of intensity.

New York is the only place I’ve experienced where the practice goes through chaos two times – so there is not one but 2 peaks and it’s multiple climaxing. It is almost disturbing. I was about to faint.

Heat increased quickly and I ended up in my bra which enhanced the feeling of freedom and power. I physically lived the most intense moment of my life.

There was a girl on the dance floor with Lisbeth Salander’s haircut (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). She caught my eye. I ended up in a circle close to her. We touched but didn’t look at each other. She kissed my hand to close the night.

I hope she will be back.