Photo credit: Michael Slobodian, taken from CBC film Canticum Canticorum. Directed by Pepita Ferrari, Choreography by Gioconda Barbuto

The Sacred Dance

« To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance it's beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it. » -Osho

I guess this pretty much sums up why I do what I do - what moves me, what inspires me and what I have always been sharing in some form or another.  

While building this website I recently uncovered several photos spanning many years and (somehow) lifetimes.  While unearthed images bring a flood of fond memories of younger more limber days, it also reminds me that Sacred Cloth has roots far deeper than just a love for beautiful cloth.  I am reminded that Sacred Cloth is one chapter amongst many in an ongoing personal study of what it means to be fully expressed and embodied in this human form - from the inside and out - in love with the dance of life, itself.   

During the many years when movement research was the subject of my profession, my ongoing interest and passion was in the profound connection to 'Source' that would arrive from a true moment of grace, when I - the dancer -  dissolved into the dance.   As a dancer my dedication was to hone the instrument of my body so that it could be an articulate and available vessel of communication for Spirit to move through; as a choreographer I was in ongoing study to create the forms and conditions that could lead towards a state of surrender; and as a human my work was to allow myself to actually surrender - to enter into a state of Oneness where the real dance of communication could unfold. 

" I look to, and at, other people to understand - in my width - The Human, now. If I sit quietly and look within however, it is clear that the movements that comprise me are no different than the movements that compose the larger cosmos. So, in my interest to know the human beyond time, I rather look to the skies, and to the river,  or to the wind. From the natural world around I understand - in my vertical core - notions of the Human born from, existing within and returning to, infinite processes of resonance and weaving. For, in the opening up and softening into words written in a weathered sky, in taking the time to observe light’s language on dappled leaves, or to hear silent stories on the tip of a storm – suddenly history and nonhistory of all sentient existence tumbles through this body, this being – which is barely me - as if a river has swept me up and drawn me in. And I become - and have always been - simply another note, and all notes, in this babbling, bubbling song.

…So, when this performance ends and I disappear into the darkness, and when the lights rise up and you collect your coat, if nothing remains but a quiet resonance - a seeing spectator, a watchful witness, a playful participant – ready to dialogue with a wakeful world, then, and only then, can I begin to dance.  -Chanti Wadge, 2007 taken from Program notes of 100 Returnings, Solo performance, premiered in Lille, France 2007.⠀

Photo credit: Maude Arsenault

Truthfully, sometimes I did 'succeed' in reaching my lofty intentions and would enter a 'state of grace', but many times I missed the mark - knowing very well that I had been too busy thinking my way through steps to have had any chance at actually dancing.  Regardless, performances were rarely casual encounters. They were instead a kind of ritual or ceremony that was - secretly - a call to prayer. Or a call to presence.  Or a call to Oneness.  Regardless, they always involved the washing of feet before going onstage, for 15 years steady. I don't know where this ritual developed for myself but I'm sure it was a combination of wanting the most direct contact with the earth as possible, and an honoring of the sacred nature of what was about to be lived. In any case, it was a vibrant time. An inspired time.  

So - years down the road as I now focus on creating dress to inspire others to show up in full grace on the stage of their own lives, I am sharing the same thing.  When I say Dress for the Ceremony of LifeI mean it. It might feel convoluted to connect clothing with something deeper and even spiritual, but when cloth dresses a body and a being deeply rooted in intimate conversations with the dance of Life itself - well, a sense can be made.  So yes, Dress for the Ceremony of this Life.  But I also mean, Dance the Ceremony of Life. Sing it. Breathe it. Be it. Whatever floats your boat - Total devotion.