Amen to “I dance therefore I am”! That lovely clip and reflection by Sr Philomena on 07/09/21.
Setting many of us smiling, grinning, glowing, glad! I dance therefore I am is nearly an understatement!
After the heartbeat, dancing is my/our next prove of living, with or without thinking or reasoning.
With our without food, drinks, drugs, leisure, pleasure, politics or rhetoric!
From the dancing president Jacob Zuma, to the hilarious Masaka kids, to the young military personnel in my home village joining in the crowded cry-die rhythms with their fire arms on their backs.
Once I penned a poem on “Celebration”, replacing the arrival of a surprise box of chocolate celebrations in the missions with the excitement of joyful dance.
It is well documented that in South America, India, and Africa, the rural, poor women and children have thrilling music voices in the middle of untold trauma. Think of the melodies from Southern Sudan, the Zulu/Sesotho vibes in South Africa and other cultural music, drum and dance.
Everyone knows (and this may be a purely subjective taste too) that the most exhilarating cultural, social and religious music in Africa is from DRC. The guitars, the rhythm, the melodies and the moves are always ever mouth-watering, so natural, so effortless, ever new.
Amen to “I dance therefore I am”. Bring on the music, the melodies, the twists, the dancing styles. The only criticism is when in worship we tend to celebrate ourselves ignoring or forgetting the the King of Kings, the Mysterious awesome transcendental presence of the Lamb on the Throne, the Holy of Holies – the tendency to profane Holy Ground.
If singing is praying twice, perhaps religious dance is praying thrice?
To be able to sing, shake and dance in the middle of tragedy, misery, evil or melancholy is to join in this Congolese praise and worship “les arbres sans saison – we are trees without season… ma benediction à gauche, encore à gauche, à gauche deux fois…”
Emmanuel Mbeh, September 2021.