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Dance performances and workshops offer Canberrans a connection to powerful deities and myths

By Padma Menon - 13 February 2018 0

Photo: Geoffrey Dunn.

A new dance course Krishna: The Blue Archetype of Love (starting 17 February) and two performances at the National Gallery of Australia entitled Dancing Deities: Spaces of Dynamic Contemplation (23 and 24 February) will showcase how ancient deities are relevant to our modern lives and how we can connect with them creatively through dance.

Opportunities to engage in contemplation are really precious in our times, more so in Canberra. We live in a city which is ruled largely by intellectual, rational and material interactions because it is the seat of government. However, as the famous psychologist Carl Jung said, we also need to spend time with our inner and emotional worlds to feel whole. Contemplation is about taking time out of the ‘busyness’ of our lives to give space for our inner feelings and emotions to express themselves.

Photo: Geoffrey Dunn.

Dance theatre traditions such as Indian offer rich frameworks for engaging with contemplation in embodied and creative ways. We are able to get away from the tyranny of our constantly chattering minds and at the same time have fun through discovering stories and characters from other cultures. Those who have participated in the courses say that they find themselves in new worlds through the archetypes. They are also able to get new insights into their life experiences which make them feel less isolated.

For example, Krishna: The Blue Archetype of Love classes is an opportunity for people to contemplate the nature of romantic love. Love, as we know, is a one of the most powerful of human emotions. The Indian archetype Krishna suggests that love is a great way of being fully present in the moment. It is also about opening yourself to being vulnerable even if you are a very powerful deity like Krishna.

Photo: Geoffrey Dunn.

At Moving Archetypes, I bring together philosophy, dance, culture, sculpture and contemplation plus beautiful music from all over the world. I have been working internationally for the last forty years as a professional dancer, teacher and facilitator. I have also had the privilege of studying with masters of Indian dance, yoga and philosophy.

I love offering Moving Archetypes in Canberra because I believe that we do not have to find a cave in order to contemplate. Here, in this political capital, it is still possible to discover practices which remind us that the magic is within all of us and we just need to pause, even for a small time, to get in touch with it.

Krishna: The Blue Archetype of Love: Free introductory workshops 17 and 24 February, Kingston.
Dancing Deities: Spaces of Dynamic Contemplation Lecture/performance, National Gallery of Australia
More information and bookings: or

What do you do to express the magic within you? How do you find a space of freedom for your inner world?

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