Rite VI: Mothernity

Death of the Maiden

Dance as a Rite of Passage anteceding birth. 
The Death of the Maiden is a series presented in photography and a unique printed book with images registered by the photographer Rick Chapman, during  K Sea Ya movement score performed at The Sea Ranch during Anna Halprin Lab annual meeting. 

 

I meet Anna introduced by my friend Kristi, ...

"In the early 1960s, Oceanic Properties Inc. commissioned the landscape architect Lawrence Halprin to design a master plan for 5,000 acres of Sonoma County—a tract of land that took in the Pacific shoreline, meadows with hedgerows of Monterey Cypress, and a dense forest of pines, fir, and redwoods. Over the next decade, this former cattle and sheep ranch would become “Sea Ranch,” a pioneering experiment in ecological design. Halprin began the challenge of transforming the area known as Rancho Del Mar into a designed community by immersing himself in the place... ” More about Sea Ranch Workshops

I wrote this piece when I felt heavy and almost ready to give birth in 2018 at the time we were at The Sea Ranch with Annas Lab group.  I was eight months pregnant.

At Shell Beach, around 4 pm, in August 2018, we performed a sacrifice of a young maiden to become a new mother.

 

 The resources of movement happened as dance dialogue between the dancers and the surrounding environment. The maiden was dressed in vibrant Red, and the mother to be dressed in Black. The score portraits the three phases of the life of a woman: The young Maiden, the mother, and the wise crone.  The male participants represented the sacred masculine presence supporting the feminine and its challenging crossing edges of birth and death.  The procession of six men followed carrying for the maiden's dead body to the center of the stage, where the audience and the Wise crone held by Anna Halprin, were sitting. All participants held a moment of stillness.  The future father, walked in the direction of the Mother to be,  offering a white soft wrap to cover her rounded and naked body. Both walked together to the center stage and laid down in opposite directions at the center of the circle.  The mother to be asked for the elder's blessing,  and followed in the opposite direction standing in front of the maiden's body, covering her with black and white silk and objects stripped from the dance. Those pieces represented the parts in dissolution and an act of sacrifice.

 

This Rite antecedes birth.