By Tucker Harris EBS STAFF
BOZEMAN – In many ways, Halloween is a time to release inhibitions and pursue desire. Costumes and lore allow you to dip into a space of fantasy; to be whoever you want. The practice of ecstatic dance, a global freeform dancing movement, embraces this whimsical spirit. This Halloween, a Bozeman-based art and event space will present the opportunity to celebrate the holiday with an ecstatic dance event.
Biome Slowcraft is hosting an ecstatic dance Sunday, Oct. 31 from 7-10 p.m., the first of its ecstatic dance winter series. For this special night, bump up the celebration a notch and arrive in costume.
Ecstatic dance is liberated body movement; motion fueled by emotion and whim. According to Daniel Kern, soundscape DJ and event cofounder of ecstatic dance in Bozeman, ecstatic dance provides a space to explore personal expression while benefitting the body and mind.
Kern and cofounder Amy Raven are excited to bring ecstatic dance to the Bozeman community. Kern describes ecstatic dance like a wave: it starts low, rises in intensity and then releases into relaxation and reflection. Raven will begin the event with an opening circle, allowing space for deep breaths and an opening collective prayer before the dancing begins.
Kern will be DJing the event live with an array of “universally danceable music,” he said. From house music to tribal songs and distinct beats, he plays music that helps keep the tempo up and bodies moving.
“I like to play a little bit of everything,” Kern said, “so each person on the floor at different points feels some real resonance and excitement about different songs which creates a very inclusive environment…where everyone can feel like there is a little something for them.” An example of Kern’s DJ set for an Ecstatic Dance event can be found here.
There are countless benefits to ecstatic dance both physically and mentally, according to Kern. Two hours of freeform dance allows for blood to flow as you move, healing the body at its core while also mentally allowing emotions–both painful and joyful–to pass through with more ease, he said.
To round out the dance session, Raven will close with chimes, singing bowls and a space to reflect on the experience.
Kern and Raven’s ultimate goal with these monthly ecstatic dance events is to merge into and support the communities in Bozeman and Big Sky. “We want to amplify what’s already good that’s happening here,” Kern said. He described the Bozeman community as fertile soil, into which he wants to plant the seeds for freeform and universal music; a space to be whoever you want to be.
As Kern and Raven continue with monthly ecstatic dance events at Biome Slowcraft, they plan to use the events as community fundraisers, giving back to local nonprofits that are already grounded in the Bozeman and Big Sky communities.
For more information on the Halloween ecstatic dance event or to purchase a ticket, visit beaconcollective.us/event-details/ecstatic-dance-biome-oct.