11 Garden St, Cambridge, MA
7:30 - 10:30pm
|To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.
~Agnes De Mille
(Our longtime dancer poet Maji was kind enough to write the following informal history of Dance Freedom)
The birth of the dance free movement began out on Cambridge Commons spontaneous summer of love celebrations 1967 & 1968. The Wild drum dancing jams would attract the multitudes. Ted, a dancer & drummer extraordinaire & Father Kenny of Christ's Church 0 Garden Street connected to have a Wednesday night gathering where we can dance in free formed creative movement.
We first met in the basement of the Churches Rec. Hall with Ted's equipment and music. We had a warm-up tape for 1/2 hour, then Ted had us hold hands and led us into a circle dance, then we all let go and danced to all era's of music in groups, duo's and solo's for an hour. We would break for messages than usually have a 1/2 hour Drum Jam. Ted again circled us for another 1 1/2 of high energy dance deliverance. On our last dance we for the third time held hands as a community of individuals sharing our sacred dance space together.
By 1969 we out grew the basement with 60-80 dancing fools, We spread out upstairs in the rec. hall and on stage. People would even dance outside in the summer in the garden next to the windows. Allison became the facilitator and the center pieces became extravagant, the light shows spectacular, the middles became magical and the sounds & tunes terrific. She would play a waltz in the middle of the night and the whole floor danced in a cyclone of consciousness. We would end every night with an Om or group song in the middle of the floor.
By 1973 our fifth anniversary we where 120-150 a night and would have huge clumps of cuddle puddles and group pile on floor dances and had a few crowd control problems that almost ended dance free. Allison's communications with Father Kenny saved the day. Occasionally we would continue the dance at Allison's or Steve's house near central square into the wee hours of the morning or most likely go to Jack's on Mass Ave. With our community of over 50 regulars Allison organized week-end outings in the white mountains or on Cape Cod. We formed strong ties to each other as a collective of individuals. From our weekly gatherings there are those who have become friends, lovers, roommates, parents, partners, enemies, husbands & wives.
By 1978 on our tenth anniversary The movement had spread to Friday Nights and across the country. In Northampton, New Haven, New York City, Washington D.C., Miami, Santa Monica, San Francisco and Honolulu Hawaii, The dances all started with some one seeing it here and taking the idea there. Allison Copyrighted Dance Free's name and kept tight reigns on the format of beginnings ,middles and endings as well as the control and quality of the music. Other dances either became cooperatives or owned by whomever organized it. The dances even popped up in Amsterdam, London, Jerusalem and Poona, India. over the years.
By 1983 Allison moved away, took the name Dance free with her and sold the old record library. Dance Freedom was born out of love of the Wednesday Night Magic with Litty, Zee, Alan lee, Rachel, Maji, Tim, Anna, Mitch, David, Charles, Nelson, Elizabet, Arthur, Christine and countless others whom attended the dances and the community meetings through the ages. Although the format has remained consistent, we are now in the era of different facilitators, tape makers, light show persons and leaders, yet the dance goes on strong and true through rain and snow, heat or sleet, we continue to meet and greet and dance with bare feet.
By 1988 Dance Freedom had moved to its present home at 10 Garden Street. The Dance Friday Community networks a Dance New England, Dance Camp and Dance Weekends. The two Cambridge and Watertown dances never merge although they have similar content & form there remains an organizational difference. Dance freedom under new dynamic tape makers (Mark & Christina) and light shows still remains the Best Show In Town.
By 1993, We celebrated 25 years of continued mid-week frees in leadership changes doesn't interfere with the music or light shows. The content and presentation of the night remains focused. Mark and others of the eighties take over with the last of the seventies leaders let go AKA Allen Lee & Rachel. New youth blend in with elder and mid aged dancers that still delight in a group waltz or country go-around. New sounds make us move including Alternative, Ambient, Techno and Celtic.
By 1998 we celebrated three decades of dance decadence on April first Wednesday's Dance Freedom. Our celebration was for all past, present and future dancers and enhancers whom have come and shared there sacred self through the free-formed movement we created here. May we continue into the next millennium with this creative self-expression and collective consciousness we call Dance Freedom.