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December 26, 2013

The joy of dancing

New Year's Eve event welcomes 2014 with music, movement

Newbury’s Ellen Kennedy would like to offer folks a different way to welcome in the new year.

That’s why she is hosting the 15th annual New Year’s Eve Sacred Circle Dance on Tuesday night at the Belleville Church in Newburyport.

“It’s all participation,” Kennedy said. “I’ve seen a blind woman dance with us, and if you don’t want to dance, you’re really a part of it whether you are dancing or not. I had two men last year who came because their sister dragged them, they stood and watched the whole thing, and all of a sudden, they were up there and moving.”

Promising dance, song and meditation from 9 p.m. to midnight, the event will also feature musical intuitive and harpist Deirdre Drennen.

“It’s a more conscious way of ringing in the new year,” Kennedy said. “You’re going to be fascinated. You’re going to either sit down or walk out.”

Originating from the work of Bernhard Wosien, a German ballet instructor and master teacher at Munich University, Sacred Circle Dance is the implementation and study of movement and dance that can encompass anything from healing to relaxation to spirituality and is dedicated to keeping the joy of dancing in community alive.

“Dance is encoded in our DNA,” Kennedy said. “And we carry the memories of dance. In this country, we are a melting pot, we are all immigrants, and if you go back far enough in our lineage, our ancestors danced.”

Often, the dances go all the way back to ancient times.

“I think that there really is an anthropological quality to the dances,” Kennedy said. “As a matter of fact, I’ve been in touch with this anthropologist in Egypt, and what they have found is, you can find very little written about dance because it would be like writing about eating or talking or grazing. It was all one within the community.”

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