Ritual Dance is more than performance, it is the human experience expressed in the poetry of motion.
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UC Berkeley Theatre
Quimera was founded in 2013 as a training and performance group by Anandha Ray. Ray taught the concepts of Quimera Ritual Dance (formally known as Shamanic Fusion Dance) and from those who trained with her, she created performances of this unusual work. Having just retired her professional modern dance company that toured extensively both nationally and internationally, Ray was beginning to dive further into the study of ritual and ceremony in dance. To this goal she was invited to the Grandmother’s Moon Dance ceremony – a ceremony lasting 4 days and nights, dancing all night in an amazing ceremonial dance at the Teotihuacan pyramids. It was there that she dived in to experience shamanic ceremonies, medicine ceremonies, sweat lodges, all night teepee ceremonies, and she has even walked on fire to more to fully understand the depths of ceremony and ritual.
During this time she kept creating dances that dove further and further into the presentation of ritual and ceremony on the stage – not as performance, but as actual ritual and ceremony. For 30 years she created dances that were healing to viewers, although she couldn’t talk about it because of her role in the professional world of dance. In 2013 she began to openly talk about this process–dance as the Medicine of Movement.
Soon others were called to dance with her and she began a more serious training and performance group that met with her 10 hours a week and created some ground breaking dances. During this time she dove deeper into understanding the connection of the Goddess Isis (a Goddess of dance), and undertook a year of study to become legally ordained as a Priestess of Isis. At her ordination, she presented her dancers in a performance called “Prayer.” After the performance, Anandha’s mentor suggested she ordain those who were performing in the ceremony. Anandha made the offer to her dancers, expecting them to say no. They surprised her when each one said, “Yes!” They began a year-long course of study with Anandha and thus the Iseum of Quimera was founded.
The Iseum of Quimera is a group of all those who are initiated or legally ordained in the Shamanic Fusion Dance form as a Reverend Priests and Priestesses of the Goddess Isis. We focus on the Medicine of Movement as a healer of souls, and pathway to understand one’s authentic self and to express that through dance, a means of serving the world through dance. It is a school where we all teach each other… where we wield our own gifts and talents as well as each of us leading ceremonies, performances, classes and rituals through Shamanic Fusion Dance. It is a community based on theories of non-duality… holding the shadow as equal to the light… learning to be honest and true to our inner calling while living fully integrated lives with the highest integrity. Creating a community where we do not have to be perfect… where we are all in process and are valued for our authentic self.
Through this amazing connection, we learn to channel performances that are authentic, creative, and fearless. We participate in ceremonies that reveal the blocks to our creativity and that sabotage our success. We cut through the blocks to embrace the skill, dedication, courage and abilities to become a ritual dancer and teacher.
Berkeley Shambhala Meditation Center
OneDome San Francisco