Last month I attended Broke LA with my dear friend Ilana (The Indiecation), at which we were told about another show. So on May 2nd, we went to this other show. It turned out to be a great residency at The Bootleg–Gavin Turek– that night also featured Res and Alina Bea.
These women inspired me. All of them.
Alina was really impressive to me. I think I could listen to Alina’s music all the time. Her music is dark and sometimes a little heavy, but that’s entirely up my alley. Not to mention, her lyrics and some of the rhythmic choices in the prose was so empowering. This is some woke music, if I may say so. She kept making jokes about how the next song was going to be happier. I personally think her music needs no change in mood. Music, and art, does not have to be always happy to be powerful–and heavy doesn’t necessarily mean unhappy. Her music understands emotional complexity. Its very powerful, and very empowering. Her lyrics, persona and artistry are another force to be reckoned with–like Gavin.
By the time Gavin came out, I was ready to dance. Luckily, her music inspired such action, which persisted after leaving the venue, going home and falling asleep. I think I was still shaking my hips as I slept that night.
If you have not yet heard or seen Gavin perform then you absolutely must. She is a force of absolute girl power, clad in an armor of fringe and self confidence. She was moving the entire time–sometimes just spinning in circles to allow her fringe some spotlight time.
As a singer myself, I have no idea how she does it. Then I remember– she’s a dancer. That’s how. She has clearly had many years of training and experience with dance and music. It is evident in her performance, her music, her vocals, her understanding, etc. She is a well trained, intelligent, free and unconfined artist–my favorite kind.
Another good friend, Cynthia (For Swooners Only), likes to call moments like this “Dance Church”. I think this is incredibly accurate–as any kind of dancing can be an empowering spiritual experience. It gives us a chance to be present in our entire bodies, to lose ourselves, to literally shake off all the stagnant energy and vibrate higher! In the same way that going to mass on a Sunday renews someone’s spirit for the week ahead, dancing this night gave me life for the month.
The empowerment I experienced from watching these women perform inspired my inner girl power. I feel so proud of my femininity, and feel like I personally redefine what it means to be feminine in my own life. I think this is important.
Although it is often denied, or pushed off as less important, it is still commonly known that women are not treated as equals in this world. We are, and have been for millennia, treated as second class citizens. Anyone in a position of oppression must find empowerment within themselves, and it is different for every oppressed group.
I have been told, for years, that my emotional vulnerability, my sensitivity, my nurturing capacity and my sexuality were reasons people would seek to hurt me. They were always presented to me as weaknesses which I had to overcome in order to be respected and powerful. This coupled with the pressure to comply with the white patriarchy have destroyed my sense of self love, pride, and feminine power.
I recognizing though, these things are how I personally define my femininity. I recognize that the definition is different for others– and I love that! What fun would this world be if we all thought exactly the same?! (boring). However, it is a long road I’ve been traveling and just now am I starting to see the path. The trail to personal power, as it has been blazed by the women who have come before me, as it will continue to blaze for those who come after.
For me, this is what Femme Power Dance Church is all about. Its about respecting that path toward empowerment, respecting how each person finds and defines it, and empowering others to go forth and do so for themselves–and all through the powerful expression of music and dance.
While inequalities are definitely systemic issues, we still have to find the power within ourselves to rise above the system, as much as possible. After all, without that rise and recognition, how will we ever see the wrongs of the system and expect more of it? How will we implement changes toward equality? How will we know how it is we deserve to be treated and demand that of those we interact with?
Anyway, all this to say, dancing is incredibly empowering, rejuvenating, and straight up flawsome (awesome in all beauty and “flaws”). It does not require good moves, or rhythm, or an understanding of the music. It does not require a particular setting or an education. It only requires sound and movement. Sounds which come from other humans, from nature, from movies, from music, from the world. Movements which come from the heart. Dancing is bringing the introspective self to the surface. Dancing is allowing that light in your heart to shine and be seen by others. This is why it is empowering. This is why, on Monday, May 23, we dance with Gavin.
So my friends and I invite you to join us for this concert, the last one of Gavin’s residency with The Bootleg, and dance your ass off. Dance for the sake of yourself! Dance for the sake of humanity! We all want to know and see that glowing light in you. Please, share it with us all and with these incredible musicians.
Check out Alina Bea’s music video for “Live Undone”
and Gaven killing it at the Bootleg