Desert Spirit Films
Monique Monet
Ideas of Dance
Art of Costuming
Rev. Dance Film
Kay's R.D.Review
Mata Hari
Nobody's Puppet!
Free Spirit
Tramps & Thieves
Got The Message
Video Baladi
Review by Taaj
Last Stand by Kay
Sacred Surprise
Video Op
Dancing For Love

Spell Bound

         By Monique Monet

(Originally published in Zaghareet Magazine)

     Dance is a place. A limitless, timeless magic place which, if we choose to, we can enter almost at will. It's an endlessly vast cobalt blue expanse of quantum reality in which we, through our bodies, minds, but most importantly our souls, can shimmer and shine in our own uniqueness. A place where each of us are deservingly honored as stars - - superstars of dance.

      My name is Monique Monet. I'm a Middle Eastern dancer of Syrian/Gypsy descent. Many years ago I was chosen to be the next Chorihani (spiritual guide) of my clan. But because the training required some very negative and truly harmful practices, the role of Chorihani is one I vehemently rejected and steadfastly avoided.

     But, as I was persistently reminded, this was a divine mandate. I had no choice. I must fulfill my destiny, or die.

     As a rebellious teen-ager I teased the old witches of the clan and laughed at their curse. And until recently it seem that time itself had removed my obligation. The years claimed most of the wise and colorful elders. And their places were left empty as young people found more freedom and opportunity as mainstream citizens rather than members of an often narrow-bounded and sometimes maligned minority group.

     I had laughed at them, turned my back on them, but there was no escape. Soon those old Gypsy "witches" were laughing at me in my dreams. Somehow, whether it was by early training, by subconscious inclination, or by magic spell, my mind had become as one with theirs.

     The life I had planned to want moved outside the sphere of my existence: Try as I might, no material possession held any motivating attraction for me; no societal accomplishment seemed worth the effort for it's attainment. In the final analysis nothing felt worth doing, except the role for which I had been chosen - - Chorihani, spiritual guide.

     Technically, I am Chorihani for a clan that no longer exists. On the upside this allows me to choose my own mystical course, steering clear of dark shadows and holding a course for the dawning light of a brand new day. And it allows me freedom from an Old World culture that, although fantastically wise and mystical in many ways, still retained many of the constraints and biases born of centuries of harsh struggle.

     And still, up until about a year ago, there remained the question of whom I was to advise. An old formula for success suggests, find a need and fill it. And when I look around me I see much need for the basic personal attributes my people considered to be necessities on a par with food and shelter: Personal independence is paramount; the ability to live your own life and think your own thoughts - - even if that makes you different, sometimes alienated, from everyone else. The truth is only you know who you really are and what you need from this life.

     Body acceptance is another concept we were taught from childhood. Old, young, male, female, round or thin, your body is a blessing to be cared for and enjoyed. No thought was given, one way or the other, to what Hollywood's opinion of our bodies might be.

     Most Gypsy women I knew accepted as a given that their body was as much a part of their dance as sound of the musical instruments or the feel of the dance floor. And, in addition to talent and skill, their attitude toward dance seemed to be, if you've got it, flaunt it.

     But probably the most necessary thing a Chorihani can share is a pragmatic mysticism ; a spirituality that is a comforting, truly empowering, and ultimately transcendent. This can be attained by many means, different paths for different people. But often this is where dance , as ritual, as magic, plays an important role.

     Dancing, at it's deepest level, truly is a place, another dimension. When I dance (with honor for my art and abandon of my self ) dance changes not only my mood and mindset but, as quantum physicists have shown, it changes my actual physical self. Passionate, mindless, trance-like dance actually effects and alters the make-up of our bodies. The atoms and cells that compose our physical beings are changed, transmuted to a higher state of vibrational energy.

     Through dance we move into a different world. A magic place that allows us, for a little while, to transcend our limiting physical existence and become the ageless, timeless cosmic superstars we truly are.

     If you allow it, dance can be your place, a broad plateau offering the freedom to move and change and grow. A high place from which you can view the ethereal beams of a new reality shinning from just above a not-so-distant horizon.

     Don't allow anyone to tell you differently - - only you can dance your dance!

All Rights Reserved


[Desert Spirit Films] [Monique Monet] [Ideas of Dance] [Art of Costuming] [Rev. Dance Film] [Kay's R.D.Review] [Tee-Shirts] [Mata Hari] [Nobody's Puppet!] [Free Spirit] [Tramps & Thieves] [Got The Message] [Video Baladi] [Review by Taaj] [Last Stand by Kay] [Sacred Surprise] [Video Op] [Chorihani] [Dancing For Love] [Spellbound]