Welcome back Dj Dakini to our Ecstatic Dance Santa Cruz Monthly this Jan 27th at the Pacific Cultural Center!
Last time in closing circle, she shared that the set she created couldn’t have happened without the dancers present…In the Spirit of curiosity, we asked what she could say about this co-creation process..read her response below…
What I can say about the co-creational process: when I am facilitating ecstatic dance I utilize years of facilitation & ceremonial training, to ensure I am reading the dance floor energy and holding a powerful, clear and sacred container. I usually experience a state of selflessness and non-ego, where I become a conduit for the music – and the energy of the dancers and the collective dance floor energy guides me on what to play and how to steer the journey. It’s a humbling experience of “giving over” in service, so each facilitation is unique and holds a particular power. So really, the journey is driven by the energy of the dancers – they steer me, and I am in service to what they need during the journey.
A well known staple in the Ecstatic Dance community, Daniel Mollner
, has been holding it down every Monday night and Saturday Morning at the 418 Project
. In addition, he facilitates a series of Contact Improvisation classes, has put together two Ecstatic Dance Bus Tours
, and in the month of January 2018, he will be Djing and facilitating a few workshops at Dance Beyond
This December 23rd, as part of a Winter Solstice tradition, Hamid and Daniel will be Djing at the PCC
for the EDSC Monthly
In the midst of all this activity, we had an opportunity to get some words from Daniel, regarding what he loves most about DJing for Ecstatic Dance. Read more below…
I love DJing and facilitating Ecstatic Dance because it is the most powerful way I know to connect people. Sometimes we turn within and get in touch with what stirs inside us. Sometimes we share our dance with others and trade inspiration or motivation. No matter where we each focus, we are all expressing together. And not only that–this next part is key–we are also simultaneously witnessing and acknowledging one another. Whether directly or indirectly, the dancers also affirm each other’s expression and presence as a part of something co-created and ultimately greater than the sum of it’s parts.
It is not uncommon for me to be moved to tears while DJing. I see people engaged in healthy activity, generating wholeness, and being human together in a life-affirming way. How could I not be deeply touched by people allowing themselves (and each other) to be free in moving their moment-to-moment truth through their bodies? And all the while bringing care and awareness to their effect on each other physically and emotionally? How could I not weep with joy at the sight of that?
Timeless Gypsy aka Jesse Hendricks is an undoubtedly talented artist. He brings a wealth of unique artistic and spiritual experiences, that have influenced his identification as a musician. Curious and intrigued by how Timeless Gypsy came to be, we asked him to share more about his musical evolution with us. Read his beautiful response below and catch him at the Ecstatic Dance Santa Cruz Monthly, this November 25th at the PCC.
My upbringing was truly a unique experience and did in fact influence my adult music career. I lived in a split family from the age of three and my parents were both involved in the music industry, yet the types of music and social setting for each of these realities was like night and day.
My Dad was living close to the church community and our family band actually offered Christian folk and original acoustic based music with many congregations across the southern states of the U.S. This was devotional music and our income came from the tithing bucket! At this time I was playing banjo on some tunes and my two brothers were adding bass guitar and fiddle. It was like the Partridge Family at times cruising around in a low budget, yet functional RV.
Playing music for the highest good. On the other side of the curtain was my Mom, who was managing and dressing such country acts as Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and the Judds. I would get swept away on the tour bus and find myself hanging with the band on our way to Vegas or South Lake Tahoe to play some high end venue with lights and cigarettes and lots of money exchanging hands. I was starting to play drum kit at the age of 11 or 12 with the influence of my step father who was the drummer for Emmylou Harris at the time.
What a duality! The common thread was music though. I saw the dedication to the muse whether it was in a conservative baptist church deep in the heart of the Bible Belt or in a top notch recording studio in L.A. with hopes of another hit single. There was a commitment to learning your parts, practicing your instruments, jamming with others and ultimately having fun with this art form. As an adult now looking back on my childhood I see where my attention to detail in music production and dedication to playing and digging into my instrument knowledge comes from. Whether I was learning a bluegrass traditional song on the banjo or rocking out to classic Yes and Rush as I mimicked the drum parts in the basement, I was playing and hungry for more.
One of the joys of sharing my music with the free-form movement culture is that in this day and age the music is so diverse and cross pollinated that I can take all these lifelong influences and share them with uninhibited ears. The community feels the essence of that dedication and musicality of it all. As a multi-instrumentalist I can switch from bansuri flute to steel pans to banjo with trippy effects and create a sonic journey that is a “one of a kind experience”. I always find that I come back to a melodic and heart based core with my songs and this thread is what ties the greater . dance/movement tribe together.
May the story continue to unfold as these lifelong gems slowly integrate into the music of Timeless Gypsy.
Reigning from Australia, Dj Dakini is one of the most renowned underground female djs, with a global following & fanbase. Dakini currently specialises in “ancient future bass” and frequents the festival and ecstatic dance circuits of California and beyond. Currently playing all over the world, she is known to move any dancefloor with an infectious deep bassline & tribal sounds at festivals such as: Symbiosis Gathering, Lightning In A Bottle, Burning Man, Rainbow Serpent Festival & more.
We took a moment with her and asked what she loves most about djing for Ecstatic Dance. Read her response below and catch her at the Santa Cruz Ecstatic Dance Monthly at the PCC this October 28th.
Dj Dakini: I love taking people on an intentional dancefloor journey where the temple is the dance floor and the medicine is the music. There is a magic within entrainment, when everyone syncs with a beat – becoming greater than themselves as they embody being a part of a collective, expressing through movement, going beyond form and the mind.
As a facilitator of transformational spaces, in all of the work I do in the world – to me ecstatic dance is an opportunity to let go and transform. When I dj ecstatic dance I am actually just being a conduit for the crowd – I engage energetically with the dancefloor, and what I play is guided by the dancers. Curating experiences for those dedicated to self transformation without the need for external substances, is my passion. I truly believe music has the ability to heal, and when you are held in a community with that medicine, anything is possible.
After curating and djing at events for almost 20 years, I find no more potent spaces of transformation than on an ecstatic dance floor. I am now dedicated to being in service to such gatherings, on a regular basis, in the ecstatic dance community. I’ve actually shifted my focus away from playing anywhere else – at this time on the planet, we need community spaces dedicated to transformation, available to the broader community.
Follow her on FB
and listen to her mixes on Soundcloud
I’ve known Ariel Churchill for about two decades and is a Santa Cruz local – she’s always been into the arts and has found herself creating through music, dance, & other expressive arts. She brings a calm, solid and heartfelt energy and I’m excited to have her craft a musical journey for us on August 26th at the Pacific Cultural Center.
I asked Ariel to share what dance means to her, read her response below and check her out on Soundcloud.
“Dance for me has always been one of the most powerful tools I have for self-expression and release. Dance is a way to wring out my body of all that I have absorbed and want to let go of, or conversely it can be a way to really go deep into aspects of myself that I want to honor and emphasize. Dance can be the deepest therapy and simultaneously the most lighthearted play. Whenever I dance I am showing up for myself and this life in celebration of who and what I am. Movement is what we were built for, movement is freedom.”
Dance with us on August 26th! Find out more info on FB or Eventbrite.