On Saturday, February 16th from 6:30-8:30PM, the All Saints Parish, 1773 Beacon Street, will take part in One Billion Rising, a global initiative to get one billion people to rise up and dance in solidarity with women around the world who are victims of abuse. One Billion Rising is the brainchild of V-Day, a non-profit organization founded by The Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler. V-Day's mission is to end all forms of violence against women.
The Rising in Brookline, which is open to both men and women, is a sacred dance circle led by All Saint's parishioner Karen Mcintosh.
"This event is about the spirit of people coming together," Ms. Mcintosh, 59, of Chestnut Hill, said by phone.
Stories of violence targeting women are all too common in daily news stories. From the acid-throwing incidents aimed at schoolgirls in Afghanistan, to the case in December of a 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi and later died from her injuries, there is a growing sense of outrage around the world about such senseless acts. However many individuals don't know what they can do to help the victims.
According to One Billion's Rising's website, "ONE IN THREE WOMEN ON THE PLANET WILL BE RAPED OR BEATEN IN HER LIFETIME. When One Billion bodies rise and dance on 14 February 2013, we will join in solidarity, purpose and energy and shake the world into a new consciousness."
When asked what motivated her to become involved in the Rising, Mcintosh cited another news story, the banning of music in Northern Mali by Islamic Fundamentalists who had taken over the region.
"It struck me that for a group in power to outlaw music...it's like outlawing hope," Mcintosh said. She also sees "a war on women" being waged and that we need to start paying attention.
Mcintosh, who is Jamaican American, leads a scared circle dance once a month at All Saints Parish. The event on February 16th will be the second dance circle offered in Spring 2013.
"I want to bring back the spiritual value of dancing together, "said Mcintosh, who is also a Nia teacher. Nia is a type of dance that emphasizes sensory movements and freedom of expression. "Moving in step is like communicating...it's very powerful," she added.
Mcintosh will demonstrate the steps before the dance begins. The dance is easy to learn because there are no mistakes, just variations. No previous experience is required—just a willingness to participate. Dances are suitable for all ages and no partner is necessary; the circle is your partner. Mcintosh recommends participants wear comfortable clothing, including footwear, although dancing barefoot is an option. A donation of $10 is suggested but not required.
If you can't make it on the 16th but are interested in seeing what other One Billion Rising events are happening in the area, or you wish to make a donation to V-Day, please visit www.onebillionrising.org.
By Jennifer Campaniolo