Friday, November 20, 2020

"Spirituality of the Body" with Charmaine Warren and guests, December 1

As curator for Gibney’s upcoming Arts + Action Talk: Spirituality of the Body (Tuesday, December 1, 7pm on Zoom), I’m truly excited to hear from a panel of artists whose work illuminates spiritual ideas and values, where the body is the site of spiritual expression and practice. We will welcome Laurel Atwell, Shamar Wayne Watt, Ogemdi Ude, and iele paloumpis, along with moderator Charmaine Warren, for a conversation that I hope will be the first of many--in Gibney’s digital space and beyond--exploring this rich topic. I spoke with Warren--a beloved veteran dancer and creator/host of the popular YouTube series, Black Dance Stories--about her experiences with spirituality and her hopes for the evening’s get-together.

Eva Yaa Asantewaa: How have you experienced dance as a means of expressing or practicing spirituality?

Charmaine Warren:  Many years ago, I was introduced to Ashtanga yoga, and this young dancer would run to a full day of rehearsal after my early morning yoga class. Someone pointed out the difference in my dancing, and then I started to pay attention. The light of acknowledgement doesn't go off right away but, with time, as I grew old and began to "own" my practice, I knew that it was the inner reckoning; my opening to spirit that brought my two loves together. Later, too, learning more about my Jamaican tradition and spirit in the African way has further helped me wake each morning and give time to my own spirit before I share the day with anyone else.

Eva Yaa Asantewaa: As you see it, especially as a dancer, what is spiritual about the body? Or what is the role of embodiment in spiritual practice?

Charmaine Warren:  Again, I have to acknowledge growing older and experiencing life as the answer. I dance now because I feel ready inside, and being ready inside means that I am one with my spirit. I work to be one with those around me before we "move" together. I work to be one with the space that I will "move" in. That may mean holding hands, doing sun salutations or taking time to breath together--and, now, land acknowledgements!

Eva Yaa Asantewaa: What do you hope for this gathering of artists?

Charmaine Warren: Mostly that we have an audience that will be willing to listen, but that we will share tools that we all use to stay connected to spirit during these trying times.

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Come join us!

RSVP now for Arts + Action Talk: Spirituality of the Body here. It’s FREE!

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DISCLAIMER: In addition to my work on InfiniteBody, I serve, at Gibney, as Senior Director of Artist Development and Curation and Editorial Director. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views, strategies or opinions of Gibney.

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