spirit swirl

spirit swirl

  

What Exactly is Gumbo YaYa/or this is why we speak in tongues?

Last year I described Gumbo Ya/Ya or This is Why We Speak in Tongues as a creative process that incorporates womanist, performance, and critical race theory to create ethnographic experimental theatre processes that highlight African American women’s practices of healing and spirituality.

Today I can say that Gumbo YaYa is an intentional space for Black women to get together and talk, honor themselves, and make art. Last year’s participants reminded me that for some, creative expression is a luxury. However, I believe that creative expression is a means to (wo)manifest our entire selves, (w)holistically. Gumbo YaYa honors Black women’s practice of self-love and affirms how that self-love impacts the universe.  Through Gumbo YaYa women explore what might happen if they took time to creatively express themselves in their homes, on the street, through spiritual practices, poetry, and on stage.

What will I do if I participate?

This is how it happens:

1. Express your interest by emailing Ebony at bettysdaughterarts@gmail.com

2. Attend the first session.
3. State your intention for participating for 12 weeks.
4. Come back and bring a friend.
5. Engage! Enjoy! Challenge! Lead! Follow!
6. Perform at the final performance, lead or participate in the teach-in.
7. Evaluate your experience.

Here is what you can expect:

Part 1: In the Spirit…
These sessions will focus on spiritual practices as a means for opening creative awareness.

1. Silent Time- This time serves as a way to transition from the stress and hustle of the day to the quiet and reflective sister circle space. (before session begins)

2. Visualization/Meditation- This practice further deepens each participant’s concentration as she prepares for movement sequences and collaboration with other participants. (20 minutes)

3. Meditative Movement- Movement sequences loosen us up our bodies and aid us in communicating with ourselves and others. Meditative movement styles including khametic yoga, african diasporic dance, dunham technique, capoeria, and free style movement will be explored. (30 minutes)

4. Journaling- Journaling helps us unite the movement of the body with our meditative awareness. During this time, participants will engage in guided writing activities or write freely. (20 minutes)

5. Sharing- During this time, participants will share there thoughts about the session, their journal entries, or discuss a topic led by guest facilitators. (20 minutes)

Part 2: Speak…Life!
These sessions build on the In the Spirit segment of Gumbo YaYa and incorporate more creative performance methods.

1. Silent Time- This time serves as a way to transition from the stress and hustle of the day to the quiet and reflective sister circle space. (before session begins)

2. Visualization/Meditation- This practice further deepens each participant’s concentration as she prepares for movement sequences and collaboration with other participants. (15 minutes)

3. Meditative Movement- Movement sequences loosen us up our bodies and aid us in communicating with ourselves and others. Meditative movement styles including khametic yoga, african diasporic dance, dunham technique, capoeria, and free style movement will be explored. (20 minutes)

4. Journaling- Journaling helps us unite the movement of the body with our meditative awareness. During this time, participants will engage in guided writing activities or write freely. (15 minutes)

5. Performance- Performance allows us to activate our voice, harmonize with those around us, experiment without a script, and allows our spirits to fill the space. (20 minutes)

6. Sharing- During this time, participants will share there thoughts about the session, their journal entries, or discuss a topic led by guest facilitators. (15 minutes)

Part 3: When Love Compels Us to Move~
These sessions prepare the sista-circle participants to share what they have been creating with the Durham community.

1. Silent Time- This time serves as a way to transition from the stress and hustle of the day to the quiet and reflective sister circle space. (before session begins)

2. Visualization/Meditation- This practice further deepens each participant’s concentration as she prepares for movement sequences and collaboration with other participants. (10 minutes)

3. Meditative Movement- Movement sequences loosen us up our bodies and aid us in communicating with ourselves and others. Meditative movement styles including khametic yoga, african diasporic dance, dunham technique, capoeria, and free style movement will be explored. (20 minutes)

4. Journaling- Journaling helps us unite the movement of the body with our meditative awareness. During this time, participants will engage in guided writing activities or write freely. (10 minutes)

5. Performance- Performance allows us to activate our voice, harmonize with those around us, experiment without a script, and allows our spirits to fill the space. (15 minutes)

6. Sharing- During this time, participants will share their thoughts about the session, their journal entries, or discuss a topic led by guest facilitators. This time will also be reserved for report backs on upcoming Gumbo YaYa actions, workshops, performances, poetry readings from group leaders. (20 minutes)

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