Gather at the Delta

Sarah Johansson Locke – Remembering Ritual: Sadhana Sutra

Remembering Ritual : Sadhana Sutra (10:24) New York, USA

Choreographer: Sarah Johansson Locke — choreography and improvisation

Performer: Sarah Johansson Locke

Videographer: Sarah Johansson Locke, additional camera: river luna

Music: Sound design: Sarah Johansson Locke; Shabbat by The Bengsons; Underwater Benjy Wertheimer and John de Kadt; Desert Prophecy by Marla Leigh; Liquid Clarinet by Xalam Project: Brandon Terzic, Matt Darriau, Matt Kilmer, John Shannon, Peter Slavov

Additional Credits: Please see film ending credits for additional credits and sources

What dance styles are being fused?

The dance and movement lineages that live in my body and inform my choreography and improvisation are: Indian classical (Kathak, Odissi, Bharatanatyam) and Rajasthani folk dance; Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian folk dance; dances of the Roma diaspora through India, Egypt, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Spain; “tribal bellydance” (the 1990s form of a contemporary fusion of dance from India, North Africa, and the Roma diaspora; now referred to as transcultural fusion); Japanese and diaspora forms of butoh, Noguchi Taiso; modern and contemporary dance from many lineages and regions; somatic movement (Body-Mind Centering and other modalities); energetic practices originating throughout Asia (yoga, internal martial arts)

Artist Statement:

This dance|film continues a cycle of ongoing inquiry into the interweavings of dance, culture, ways of knowing, and the sacred. My research and practice explores the inherent and integral role of embodiment in individual and collective experience, understanding, and transformation; engages decolonizing perspectives on cultural evolution and transcultural exchange in relation to tradition, innovation, lineage, and diaspora; and centers the emergent and generative potentials of creative process, experiential learning, contemplative practices, and collaborative exchange.

I first encountered what was then called “tribal style” dance on the west coast in the 1990s, as a student and performer with Caravan Dance Company. As the founder and artistic director of Alchemy Dance Theater, I was at the forefront of establishing and cultivating the NYC transcultural fusion dance scene starting in 2000. In my current work as AlchemyCatalyst, I cultivate creativity, inquiry, and vitality across the US and internationally as an educator, performer, choreographer, somatics and mindfulness practitioner, program and curriculum designer, facilitator, and consultant.

Alchemy Dance Theater is known for intricate group choreographies that communicate through interrelationship, and for mostly improvised solos that are practices in embodied listening. This piece explores the limitations and opportunities of solo work for the camera, engaging with place, technology, and chance. I filmed choreographed and improvised elements without music ideas, then wove the piece together through editing. Remembering Ritual : Sadhana Sutra is a meditation on inheritance, transmission, and sources of experience. Honoring ancestors and teachers, human and otherwise, through bloodline and other forms of relation, it offers gratitude for creative-process/life-force-spirit.

Image Credit: MG Vander Elst