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TakeMoreChancesHi, I’m Mary Bennett and I post information on this blog about circle dances around Vancouver that I’m involved. Usually I dance with the groups at the Unitarian Church 949 West 49th at Oak on

  • 1st Tuesday 7 – 9 pm
  • 2nd Monday 7 – 9 pm
  • 3rd Thursday 11 am – 1 pm (GLAD: Gathering for Labyrinth, Art and Dance.)

With a friend we did five monthly family-friendly circle dance gatherings in Kitsilano. If you live in Kits and interested in getting together with a small group to practice dances, contact me.

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Chant for the Seasons

Chant for the Seasons is  #73 in the Unitarian song book Singing the Living Tradition.

Lyrics are by UU minister Rev. Mark Belletini. Lyrics are here. Lovely, aren’t they?

Grace Lewis-McLaren has adapted a Czech tune Praha for the song.

The video below is all I could find on youtube, but it will give you the idea of the rhythm if you’re not familiar with the tune.

Now we just need someone to choreograph this. Preferably before Beltane.

Here’s a self-confessed fangirl who wrote an ode to Mark Belletini. http://farfringe.com/stlt73-chant-for-the-seasons/

What I know is that Belletini’s birthday is the same day as Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed and Rev. Linda Thomson both of whom I worked with at the Canadian Unitarian Council.

Lady of the Season’s Laughter

Video

Choreography wanted before Beltane! Or can we simply do Winds on the Tor?

Published on Jan 6, 2016

Words by Unitarian Universalist minister Rev. Kendryl Gibbons, music by David Hurd (“Julion”). Recorded specially for the song database at http://www.riseupandsing.org/songs/online-database
https://www.riseupandsing.org/anniepe…

On page 56 in the Faith chapter of the songbook Rise Again: A Group Singing Songbook (ed. by Peter Blood & Annie Patterson).

Annie Patterson and Peter Blood are the creators of Rise Up Singing: The Group Singing Songbook. They are nearing completion of a new book Rise Again which will contain words and chords to 1200 more songs to be released by Hal Leonard Books in 2015.

Here’s some commentary about the song from “the far fringe”. http://farfringe.com/stlt51-lady-of-the-seasons-laughter/

Unitarian song book Singing the Living Tradition #51.

 

Circle Circle Dances – We are a circle within a circle — May the circle be open

We sometimes start a circle dance gathering by playing “We are a circle within a circle” – and having people join in as they’re ready.

We dance to a version that’s quite a bit slower than this version by Kate West

At the end, we sometimes, especially if we are focusing a theme on one of the eight wiccan sabbats (solstices, equinoxes, etc.) end with “May the Circle Be Open”

Other circle dances that include the word circle include:

Circle Chant (Circle ‘Round for Freedom)

All My Life’s a Circle

Eno Sagrado

Eno Sagrado – On Sacred Ground.

This dance is a favorite of mine. An interesting sequence of steps (imho). Easy to learn but not boring. Here’s the information from Touchstone Yoga Farm.

http://www.sacredcircles.com/THEDANCE/HTML/DANCEPAG/ENOSAGRA.HTM

These steps can also be used to dance “We Are” a favorite among Unitarians. (It’s in the teal book!)

Here’s a video of Dr. Ysaye M Barnwell’s “We Are” performed in the Sydney Opera House in the summer of 2007.

A vimeo collage with lyrics flashing. (You may need to log into vimeo–it’s free).

Ted Talk by Ysaye Barnwell.

Liturgical Dance created for We Are (This is not a circle dance, just fyi.)

More by Sweet Honey in the Rock, Barnwell’s a capella group.

 

Wade in the Water

(Yes, we dance to this song sometimes)

Breaths – Another Unitarian favorite found in the teal book.

And some other videos I found while I was down the rabbit hole today!

As One

Vangelis – Hymne

Dance Steps: Grapevine

A new dancer asked me to share a video of the grapevine step (and other basic steps). I found it’s not that easy to find. We haven’t danced this dance, but it’s got a nice slow grapevine in it.

The thing about grapevines is:

  1. it’s always the same pattern: you’re putting one foot in front of the other and the same foot behind the other, travelling in one direction or the other
  2. however… you might start with a side step and then foot in front or just foot in front or just foot behind
  3. and you may go left or you may go right.
  4. I learned that this “complete” pattern is not what they do in tango, salsa, line dance or hip hop. There it’s what we might call 3/4 of a grapevine.

I find it a great relief to do a dance where there are several full grapevines all in a row–you really get into the rhythm of it.

At the time marker of 0:20-0:24 is a complete grapevine to the left!

When I put out a request to a serious circle dancer friend she told me that it’s also called  Mayim, Mayim or Maim Maim (mime mime) aAnd found this helpful tutorial for Israeli folk dance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYEk0qalvsU

I hope some circle dancers might take up the challenge of making a series of videos with basic steps. It would have really helped me when I was brand new. It was all very well and good to have such a lovely supportive group assuring me I’d learn over time but I would have practised the basic steps at home and enjoyed dance earlier than I did.

What about other newbies? would this (have been) be helpful to you?