are a few chosen reflections from friends along the way.
these words will invite connection, and welcome you;
as we build
bridges of understanding from those who have had
experience within our school's New World Design Ceremonies™.
Tao Oe Mamatu (Years to remember)
"For any of the other linear, engineer/rocket
scientist, under-control, Virgo types out there looking
to connect with your creative energy..."
"From the day Sahn Kai first had me dancing
and singing in the rain, until my recent, sweat lodge adventure,
she has deeply inspired me with the unique magic, love and
compassion she brings to her work and interactions with
Principal and Managing Director
Booth & Assoicates
Dance of the Great Mother leading the Child into the ways of
play, passion, joy, pain, suffering, compassion and love. Sahn's
work is where, metaphorically, the rubber meets the road."
"If one is willing to dive in, every cell is called
to be alive in the brilliance, the luminosity of this whirling
dance of life. Here we discover the dancing mystery; mirroring
the timeless essence of the indescribable oneness."
- Phyllis Matyi
words can do justice to what I have experienced within this new
family. This family that we bring together with dance, humor,
sound, love. 'magic'....When I think about the past month and
the months to come, that word is 'Magic'.”
“Dear Ancient/Modern Dance Company,
This is to express my gratitude to you and the rest of the Company
for, once again, touching me so deeply and moving me so passionately.
All of you are truly gifted to the soul.”
“Regarding ‘Men Dancing The Earth’™...answering
the ancestors gift, gathering river stones in the night, men dancing
the beauty. Old Men awakening spirit, guiding the children. Middle-passage
men moving towards the elder; with the song leading the dance of
the ages, returning to the ancestors.”
- John Veltri
"My most apparent memories of
SMI are feelings--the experience of the elements: earth, wind,
fire mud, rain, tropics... “
- Dr. Susan Lyon,
San Francisco, California
“We are an infinitely dynamic collaboration
of everyday people growing deeper into the true essence of our
hearts beauty. Through the sacred ways of this lodge, each artist
is free to explore all that their soul dreams to become. Something
magic emerges as the artist comes forth to shine and express
their full capacity as a human."
"In this way, we become greater than the
isolation of our individual self and our life story. We emerge
as a deeper collective expression of truth as we witness and
honor each person's heart song. We become that which we have
always known in our deepest heart of hearts. We become our joy
and our freedom in everything that we do.”
"Sahn and The SMI, International/IIA community
have a remarkable ability to synthesize elements from various traditions
into a vibrant living whole. This group embodies the teachings
rather than explain them; and Sahn Kai, she brings a warm, inclusive,
tribal feeling to all aspects of ceremony."
- Lane Taigent
Ropes Course/Wilderness Skills
so simple, really. Sound and Movement are vital forces
that move within and around us at all times. The practice
around the work of SMI, for me, is about having permission
to feel and interpret my life through dance and song. More
specifically, the availability of sounding postures/exercises,
such as 'circular breathing' and 'dancing the wheel,' which
have helped me traverse emotional, physical and spiritual
challenges in my life. The practical applications are numerous,
an example is sounding in the car to release stress after
a difficult night at work or sweet soothing tones vibrated
by my husband against my pregnant belly to communicate
love to our baby in utero. I was exposed to SMI when I
was just a child and believe that the work can serve us
as we move through the ever changing dimensions of our
- Rachel Kofron
has been an incredible grounding force for the creative spirit,
a second family, a place where i can go home inside myself without
second guessing my self. These curriculum's have been a place to
find acceptance of our selves; regardless of where we have been,
to love ourselves regardless of what we look like, to use the dance
to go deep into ceremony. To be creative and alive and full in
the presence of all of us; alone/together within an entire creative
"Our Beautiful dance is a way of expressing our
souls as human beings, a way of touching human kindness within
our hearts. I have come here to grow inside myself, to find the
edges of my skin, of my belly, to find my dancing feet, my joyful
heart, to lift the suffering, in an easeful way to bring my worlds
together, not just for myself but for my family."
"This work is a sacred space to dance like the
ancients danced in our own modern way. A space to move our bodies,
to sweat, to let go, to release, to empower ourselves with beauty.
I refer to the beauty we find within ourselves, that is a reflection
of our souls, an actual place to come home to in a beautiful way.
An actual student/teacher environment without critical judgement
to motivate pushing the envelopes of ourselves."
"Perhaps we will come up to our own resistance
and see ourselves, if we are wise enough observers within this
dancing/singing Lodge, we may discover self analysis. This classroom
on the Mountain top, tropical jungle, or in the dance studio,
is an opportunity to see the ways we interact with people through
our own thought process. Where do we place ourselves within a
group? How do we hide or be visible? When do we hold ourselves
back? This ceremonial program may bring insights as to our intentions
and how we navigate in the worlds. The experience can inspire
change in our lives; as we choose to see ourselves through the
eyes of the dancing/singing healer we embody."
- Josafina Garcia
"Imagine that you can change the world with the gesture of
your hand or with the sound of your quivering voice. Over the past
seven years, within SMI/IIA, I have come to know this to be true.
I have traveled the landscape of my soul and know that magik exists
in every moment."
- Akasha SilverHawk
“As light passing through a prism becomes visible to the naked eye in it’s
various rays or colours-so Sahn, by the magic of her song , her dance, breaks
through the ordinary boundaries of human perception-and transports her audience
in an enlarged empheryal vision. Diving deep within her soul-in some inexplicable
way uniquely her own-Sahn is able to communicate the qualities of the human spirit...
Joy...Adventure...A sense of spiritual form and freedom...The depth of womanhood...Life’s
vast and unlimited potential. To see Sahn dance is a soul-moving experience,
always enlightening, always enjoyable.”
- J. Paul Jourdan
Winner of over 40 National Art and Journalism Awards
Michael Ventura White Tiger Article(1981):
Healer , Singer-one of the problems of writing about Sahn is that
faced with something for which there is no Western tradition. The
word ‘artist’ isn't applicable.
It is included in what Sahn does, but Sahn’s path is wider
and is rooted in a time when there were no artists. Think of her
mother’s people, the Navajo. Singing, dancing and what we
would call painting and sculpture are partaken of by everyone and
are part of what the Navajo call “walking in beauty”.
To be a healer with the Navajo, you must know how to lead the songs
and dances-and to be fully part of the tribe, you must know how
to participate in the songs and dances. There is no such thing
And without the concept of “audience” there is no such
thank as “artist.”
- Michael Ventura
"The experiences offered to me through
SMI have had a profound impact on my life. I continue to
grow not only in reverence, trust and spontaneity from the
trials set before me, but I have gained a whole community
in SMI -the value of which cannot be overstated. The relationships
forged around Sahn's fire are rooted in a radical love that
makes every gathering an epic celebration and the mere thought
of each other on an ordinary day, a breathtaking release
of the heart."
- Craig Caddell
Vice President of Operations
"Through the beauty of two women, with
two hearts beating, with the mother drum, a 'YES' resonated: "it
must be now, the dance of Ancient Modern". As assistant
director from 1990-1995, I write these thoughts:
rehearsals, searching for the bridge between the technique and
the essence of the dance. SMI, International(IIA) was included
as the Independent study for my Undergraduate Curriculum at San
Francisco State in my studies of Speech and Communications."
I had the opportunity to bridge my academic world and my journey
with sound and spirit into perfect balance. I apprenticed, assisted,
directed the performance company, consulted with the Sound/ Movement
Integration Center, became family, created community, (1989 until
A space to be held,to witness in love
and be seen through the eyes of the ancient ones. How do I describe
my experience? A sweetness? A purity? You call for the best in
everyone: a resonance, a call to the soul's design.
The blue print? How do I quote my experience
of so many years? "Sound opening my crown, remembering my tools, voice changing,
rearranging herself, deep into the soul of my body/spirit home.
Sounding over and over, early morning sessions, sounding postures,
over and over: the discipline, the exercises,the family".
- Teya Chavez-Krokty
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