The Elm Dance
Around the planet, as people gather to work together for the healing of our world, a simple, beautiful practice is spreading. To celebrate their commitment to life and solidarity with activists the world over, they join hands in a circle dance.
The Elm Dance as it has come to be used in solidarity with the people of Novozybkov differs from the original dance designed by Anastasia Geng. I am grateful for the beauty and meaning that surround each version of the dance; both are offered on this website.
The Elm Dance description that follows was translated by Marianne von Schwichow from Anastasia Geng: Bach-Blueten-Taenze, Mechthild Scheffer GmbH, Hamburg, 1996
ELM - ULME
The most important element of this dance is an intense circling around oneself, describing a spiral with your body, both feet next to one another in close contact to the earth. This is a very personal movement and we do not define the direction (i.e. you are free to circle clockwise or counter-clockwise).
We join hands for the whole dance and after the introduction and the first 8 beats of the song we take 4 steps backwards in dance direction (counter-clockwise), then circle (4 beats) as described above facing centre, followed by 4 steps forward in dance direction. Circle again facing centre and take 4 steps towards the centre, circle there and move 4 steps backwards to the periphery and circle again.
If we start as described, the dance ends outside in the big circle and there is something like an unconscious movement (step) towards the centre.
By starting immediately with the singer, we end up in the centre which is a very sensitive spot and, as I feel, not so good a place for ending the dance, because, unconsciously, when the music ends, there will be a movement away from the centre.
The circling is a very delicate part of the dance. If somebody sways instead, neighbours are forced to sway, too, thus being prevented from circling.
According to Dr Bach, elm is the remedy which helps people who feel overwhelmed by responsibility.