Planetary Dance

After a series of killings in California, Anna Halprin reclaimed the defiled ground and Planetary Dance was born.

The Story

Between the years of 1979 and 1981 in Mt. Tamalpais, California, just near the Golden Gate Bridge, six woman were murdered. Authorities closed all trails leading into and out of the community, leaving the people inside helpless.

Anna Halprin,
an improvisational dancer, and her husband Lawrence, set out to reclaim the mountain. She, and the people who came with her, began to inact a positive myth in dance. This included walking along the trails that the killings had occurred upon.

A few days later, after years of roaming free, the killer was caught.

A local shaman vis
ited Halprin. "This mountain is one of the most sacred places on Earth. I believe in what your people did but to be successful in purifying this mountain, you must return to it and dance for five years," the 109-year old advised her.

The Tradi

Over the next five years, people gathered to perform the dancing ritual again and again. What was once a reclaiming of the mountain, it grew into "Circle the Earth" - a dance to re-purify the Earth itself. People all over the world participate in the dance, aiding to the name.

Long after the alotted five years, the entire world dances. The Dance is now called Planetary Dance, and is performed in dozens of countries. Each individual is encouraged to draw his or her own inspiration and run for something personal and global.

The Dance

The Dance consists of large numbers of people moving in concentric circles, and is divided into three runs.

In the first run, each person is invited to call out a cause he or she believes in, and begin running. It might be for another person who needs healing, or a cause that is personal to the participant. He might yell, "I run for my sister, who is paralyzed and may never run again!

The second run consists of a global cause. Each participant is invited then to call out a cause that affects all of humanity. She might yell, "I am running to save the Earth from global warming!"

Lastly, the children are invited to dance on their own, and though they may invite the adults to run with them, it is primarily for the children.

Many people have been moved by the powerful experience, some have even claimed healing had come from it.

Planetary Dance is still danced today, every year, all across the world, uniting people from all races and backgrounds for one common cause: healing the world.

Thank you to JJZ and chamarisk for their respective photographs.
Used through CreativeCommons at Flickr.