Ecstatic Dance 6 at Judson Church- NY, NY

Ecstatic Dance

Oh, welcome home! Such a tease to walk past the church knowing a dance was far away. Or worse, a dance was soon and I wouldn’t be able to attend. The September dance was sounded so exciting. Great lineup, perfect timing for my life, friends were committing… then I couldn’t go. I was destroyed. Whatever I did instead only lives in my memory as “not ecstatic dance.”

Finally, I made it back to dance for the October edition and November is looking good as well. The invitation on Facebook always says who will be performing and I rarely look. Priority is the date. If I can make it, I buy a ticket and trust the crew to stage a memorable event. This month, Nessa Norch lead a warmup that felt like a moving guided meditation through mind, space, and body. It was advertised as “a warm-up that will investigate the dance between the imagination and the body. Dancers will journey from emptiness and stillness into a collective dynamic flow.” Connection and movement, connection through movement, and movement into a connection. That was the experience. Well warmed, Nessa introduced the guidelines (no shoes, no talking, no drinks, no phones, concent at all times) and we dove into The Human Experience.

David Block is a live composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and DJ who was making his Ecstatic Dance NYC debut. Singing, guitar, and DJing all came together and furthered the intersection of movement and connection. As is the new standard, we opened the middle of the floor halfway through to make space for live drummers. Djembes on fire and primal dancers swirling around them drenched in sweat. At some point trays of fresh cut fruit made the rounds. You don’t realize how hot it is till you chew a cold pineapple slice.

Lots of familiar faces graced the floor and the new ones must have been well prepped. They came dressed to dance (i.e. sweat) and they brought love. The smiles go wall to wall. the hugs at the end of the night are deep and are a better translation of Namaste than any kitschy Etsy purchase.



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