Category Archives: BIMA

Exploring Repetition, Gestures and Space in 2D and 3D

Collaborative Workshop Reflections- BIMA Visual Arts and Dance

The first thing we did was to pretend to make a hat in an assembly line fashion in small groups. Then, in two larger groups, we turned that process into a machine with our bodies being the moving parts inside. After, we transferred the 3D movements on to 2D paper by drawing the positions in motion. We practiced repetition by doing the exact brush stroke with ink inside the shapes. We then filled in and outlined more shapes with 3 different colors of paint.

Repetition was a similar theme for both Visual Arts and Dance. As a warm-up, we were challenged to do the exact same movement five times and also do five completely different moves. On paper, we practiced that with a clean brush and then doing the same stroke over again.

It was amazing to see the movements being drawn on the paper from a person in real life. Also, layering and deciding which movements were on top of the others (constant) created a completely unique product.

Maggie D. and Danielle L. 

Empowered

Below is a poem written by BIMA participant Tamar L.  (Creative Writing, Coral Springs, FL ) about her Jewish identity on her first day at the program.

Empowered

“You wear long skirts and you wear long sleeves,

You can’t show your elbows or uncover your knees,

They shut you down as a woman, limit what you can do.”

I’ve heard everyone else define me as a Jew.

 

But very few know that it’s not quite that way,

I don’t walk around feeling shame every day.

I’m more than my body, much more than just skin,

I’m a mind and a heart, and I’ll gladly let you in.

 

Like Deborah, I am a wise woman.

Like Yael, I am a strong woman.

My clothes don’t hide me, but instead they reveal

What I’m like, how I think, what I inwardly feel.

 

As a Jewish woman, I question, inquire.

I try to teach others, to learn and inspire.

Tfilah – I connect to my G-d up above,

And I thank him for constantly showing me love.

 

B’zchut Nashim – they say we were the cause

That the Jews left enslavement against all the odds.

Bina Yetera – our understanding is deep,

In our minds, inspiration can easily seep.

 

So no, I don’t feel limited or oppressed,

It is covered like this that I feel at my best.

I’m an Eshet Chayil, special for what I do.

I’m a confident woman, an empowered Jew.

BIMA/Genesis Kavanot – Primal Scream

This summer, I had the opportunity to offer one of my favorite meditation exercises, the primal scream. It is an activity that I developed when I was a participant here in 2011, and have been working on and returning to ever since.

Meditation exercises often focus on silence and tuning out other noises. However, I often struggle to find ways to focus on being silent while I am meditating. The Primal Scream emerged from the need to draw contrast between my ability to produce noise — by screaming — and my ability to be silent and focus on the silence and the noises around me that are out of my control.

The Primal Scream, however, is more than just screaming. We focus on different breathing exercises, alternating between silence and screaming. We also took meditation exercises and adapted them to screaming, such as using our voices and our noise to propel our problems away from us. As with all good primal screams, we ended with a long run down Chapels Field, screaming for as long as we could.

After that, when we had been able to hear both our noises, our voices, and our silence, we gathered back together to appreciate the silence. We then read a passage from I Kings about Elijah the Prophet, who sought to find God through wind, earthquakes, and fire, but instead encountered God in a “Small, still voice,” or in silence.

The Primal Scream is much more than just uncontrolled screaming. It is, at its core, using noise and silence to find connections with something bigger than us. Some of us might call that God, while others might not. Despite that, the Primal Scream is one of my favorite meditations, and one that I was glad to share with participants this summer here at BIMA and Genesis.

– Community Educator Amram A.