As evolutionary beings, we strive to stretch and grow within ourselves, while expanding the horizons of what is possible in the spaces we create with others.
At Interfusion we have the privilege of diving to great depths while exploring a wide breadth of experiences. We realize that the space we create here is something of an anomaly among conscious festivals and dance congresses, this is intentional.
We strive to be a catalyst of growth, an agent of change, and to create new possibilities in this age of expansion.
However, with any expansion (whether it is internally within the self, or externally within a community) there comes a time when it becomes necessary to acknowledge, negotiate, and clarify boundaries. Here are a few ways this could happen:
- Individually: This requires privately negotiating a boundary with yourself about what you are or are not ok with. Which involves learning what it means to honor yourself and understand your needs.
- With others: This involves negotiating the boundary of consent while creating an agreement or engaging in an activity with a partner. Which means communicating your needs or limits to another person, verbally or non-verbally.
- For communities: The discussion of clarifying boundaries is also of great importance for communities to have. For example when a form, discipline, or tradition begins to grow and evolve in ways that have never been explored before, the negotiations of boundaries become an important one for the larger community at hand.
For example, addressing what the form is or is not, what must be preserved, what needs to evolve; these are all natural and critical discussions that can and do take place. They become very poignant during the times when a form evolves and grows in significant ways.
Related to this, there may be an outcry, confusion, or excitement from a community when its leaders begin to explore practices that fall outside of the boundaries of the traditions that they are known and beloved for.
For the purpose of this article, we will shift our focus now to just the third kind of situation involving community, and return to the first two (individual, with others) in a subsequent article.
These are human phenomena that can create deep feelings of excitement and empowerment, or anxiety, defensiveness, and fear.
If you find yourself caught in the swirl of one of these storms that can take over a community when the form is expanding and growing, remember to ground and reach for clarity and truth, as opposed to creating or contributing to drama.
A storm, as is being referred to here, is the turbulence that can come about internally or externally when one encounters one of these situations. Navigating the growth of a community, and the process of identifying and establishing boundaries can be a very emotional one. But be careful not to get swept up by the flurry.
Recently within our community, we had one such situation arise, when it became known that a couple of the Zouk Artists on our roster were teaching a workshop centered around kissing. This information spurred a lot of turbulence within the global Zouk community.
We’ve come to realize that much of the discussion was based around inaccurate or incomplete information, so we wanted to take a moment to try and help clarify some things.
The ‘Art of the Kiss’ workshop being led by Brenda Carvalho and Kuna Hamad (who are traditionally Brazilian Zouk instructors) is housed within the ‘Sexuality & Intimacy’ stream of workshops. This means that although this workshop is being taught by artists who are professionals in Zouk, this is not a Zouk workshop.
We believe in the agency of artists to grow and share offerings of various modalities that they feel called to. We support their expansion and evolution.
We realize that there has been much concern expressed within the Zouk community that the festival may be confusing people on what Zouk is and is not. Please be assured that although there is a large variety of modalities being offered at our festival, that each discipline being offered stays true to its form.
If there are other things being introduced as an integration (for example intimacy practices within the Zouk & Intimacy Intensive) the distinctions of each practice being offered are identified and clearly communicated to workshop participants as to mitigate any confusion.
It is the nature of human realms of creativity and art to constantly evolve, change, and become inspired by new ideas. The cross-pollination of thought and culture is something that has been practiced by humans across millenia. Beautiful things come of this.
Sometimes, this dynamic may create great chaos, conflict, and confusion as well. And that’s ok, these are natural parts of growth. We embrace the challenge of evolution.
We are honored to be able to create at this place in time, an opportunity for us to dive into so many inspiring practices in one space that help us to grow as humans on this path of change and transformation.
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The truth is, as humans we need to know and honour our boundaries in order to feel safe.
As a community we need a clear sense of identity to protect our sense of belonging and honor for our tribe.
These behaviours are deeply primal and instinctual. But don’t forget your humanity or compassion as you navigate these experiences.
Remember that a healthy community dialogue is important. Be wary of the toxic temptation to jump to conclusions based on incomplete information or assumptions.
Stand your ground, but do so with kindness and compassion. Know that most of these conversations are highly subjective, so stay open to new possibilities, but honor your truth. Be careful not to get defensive or go on attack (that’s just your ego trying to be righteous).
At Interfusion, we bring worlds and people together to connect in new ways. We’ve never seen anything quite like it, and we love that.
With growth comes possibility, the exploration of the unknown, and all of the things that come along with that.
We invite you to center in your awareness, become aware of the resistances, and challenge yourself to grow with us as we continue to evolve (as individuals, as a community, and as a species of human-kind).
With love and gratitude,