What is Mvt 109?
The 109th bead on Buddist Mala prayer beads is a pause of silence, gratitude, and acknowledgment. It is similar to the Biblical term, Selah, which placed at the end of a passage acts as a pause of Amen but where Amen is an ending, Selah is a transitional pause of introspection, rumination, and meditation. In ballet, there is the act of reverence. Reverence does more than signal the end of class or the end of a performance, it is the acknowledgment of the tradition of the art of ballet, the lineage of teachers that stands before us as our teacher, and a moment of gratitude for all who have participated. There exists a term for a pause of great meaning in philosophies, theologies, and disciplines in all walks of life. And in many cases, this pause is part of a ceremony or habit wherein practitioners engage in this pause with regularity. I do not have the luxury of this imposition of practice.
-excerpt from the website bead109.com
Almost ten years ago I found myself yearning to choreograph.
In 2009, I realized the city may not be my home for much longer, a story I will share another time (perhaps on an upcoming podcast.) I decided if I were to make the move out of the city I had to give it one last shot as a choreographer. I reached out to fellow dancers/friends to collaborate with them. On Valentine’s Day 2010, I showcased 3 pieces under the name of Mvt 109. I choose this name for the company somewhat coincidently but with a bit of intention. First, I lived on 109th street on the UWS. Second, I had just finished reading Eat, Pray, Love. I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s intro about the significance of the 109th bead on the mala, the guru bead, in how we take time to pause and thank our teachers at the end of the meditation. I saw my choreography showcase to be a gesture to the teacher that the city was for me those eleven years that I lived there and all the teachers I met during that time.
Mvt 109 was short lived. I moved to the Hudson Valley and it quickly became a distant memory while I tried to figure out my new life in a new space.
From 2010 to present, dance was still in my life but more just as therapy as I went through the various waves of life. Generally, I find myself spinning and swirling to my favorite tunes when I am in a state of confusion or heartbreak or other various spaces in between. But when I was invited to present a TEDx talk earlier this year, something sparked inside of me and I decided to share my gift of dance in the talk as a way to share my story with others.
The day after my TEDx talk, I found myself on my healer’s table and I heard a whisper to dance again. This was not the first time I had this experience. The few other times I arrived on other healers’ tables I was also guided to dance again. I usually ignored the voice but this time it felt a little more serious tone. Being 41, the reality of entering in a dance career again is quite unrealistic so I sat with it a bit and allowed myself to be curious about this call.
Why was I being called now?
How would I go about doing such a thing?
What would I do?
Who would I collaborate with?
Over the summer I spoke to my mentors, teachers, and friends for guidance. I listened to them and I would reflect back in silence. When I was alone, I would move around in my body and then I would sit still and hear what it was telling me. This dance between movement and stillness went back and forth and back and forth.
One night when I was feeling rather down in a depressed rabbit hole, I danced in my little apartment to the point of exhaustion and then I collapsed. I heard my breath panting, my heart pounding while it attempted to slow down…they both had been chasing after the movements of my body. And then, moments later calm all over. I forgot why I felt the need to “dance out” my feeling of loneliness and remembered that we are all simply vibrations. I thought about how I created the vibrations that were pulsating throughout my body through my movement and I also created those vibrations of sadness through my thoughts that came prior.
Then it dawned on me…
what if we all could realize this?
What if we could choose to really live this and believe it in our core.
What if we could drop down the storylines and create the vibrations we want to be in this world.
What if we could look at the stories that were layered upon us and choose to change the vibration of how to perceive the story?
What if we could really live in our bodies without these layers that bind us?
As I discovered this new way of moving and perceiving, I realized how this has been calling me for some time, possibly my whole life. I saw how all of my experiences brought me to this experience here/now. How “future me” had called “past me” 8 years ago, when searching for name for my company; Mvt 109 (movement/pause) and how all the the healers’ whispers to return to the dance gently encouraged me to find the path again. All these signs were like little breadcrumbs for me to follow, and now I am here waiting curious to see where the next breadcrumbs will appear and where it will take me.
This is Mvt 109 now.
We play between movement and stillness. Vibration and pause. Action and reverence. All to come to a place of release to reveal a healing in our internal world and observe how that affects our external world.
As my teacher Jeanmarie Paollilo says in her book, Vibe-a-thon , what you perceive you receive.
What if we could change our vibration in our physical bodies to perceive a new world of possibilities and receive a new kind of healing for ourselves and the world beyond?
There are many ideas coming to fruition under this new movement. I am excited to share more with you soon. First, I look forward to introducing it to the Hudson Valley community for an invite only class on Friday, October 19th 6-9pm at Beacon Yoga Center. Then, please join me at Barre, Body, and Soul in Newburgh in November for a 3 week series that will be open to the public.
We have other exciting plans for 2019, so keep checking back here for more details.
Thank you for being here. Think of this as part of you own path of breadcrumbs to the journey OM…