Spring Equinox Celebration – Chelsea Birnie & Mikayla Gauthier

We chose to host a social gathering to celebrate the Spring Equinox. The details of the event were as follows:

The celebration was held at 42 Quebec St., Guelph, ON, Guelph Youth Dance, studio A. The space was chosen for its ample sunlight and high ceilings to provide a bright and open space to engage within. The event lasted for two hours and five main spectacles as related to Spring were enacted as a means of heightening the energy of those participating in the experience.

The experience itself was an exercise in self-care. These activities include eating healthily and staying hydrated, physical exercise, listening to music, social interaction, communal ritual, and creative stimulation. These exercises can help reduce stress, anxiety, and SADs, which are particularly prevalent during the winter season.

We provided various fruits and lemonade and covered the space in bundles of flowers. This spectacle is the first of five that was presented to our participants. The fruit and flower provide a pleasurable sensory experience, while also being symbols of abundance and prosperity.

The second spectacle was a ritual celebration of Ostara run by member of the Guelph Hermetic Arts society, Amy McCann. The participants meditated on the concept of the seed and were summoned to germinate that seed with an intention to manifest positivity in the new season. A chant circle finished off the ritual.

The third spectacle was an exercise in play and imagination. We asked our participants to all collaborate on a 2 foot mural. The mural itself is an artifact of the celebration. Other documentation such as a roll of 100 ASA black and white film, as well as digital photography was taken to serve as artifacts of the experience.

Alaina Osborne performed a belly dance routine as the fourth spectacle. Her choice of dress and music was appropriate for the Spring celebration.

The fifth and final spectacle were a number of exercises that engaged all of the participants bodies as a sculptural medium. For one activity each participant pairs up and one of the two uses their partner’s body to create a form that relates to the other participants bodies until one amorphous shape is made. This demands a great deal of trust and respect between the partners and the group as a whole.

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