Around the world on a beat and banging away through life, dancing in the stars and watching the clouds roll by, not a bad mind set, Interested ?
S.B. Do the dance.
S. My name is Saffire Bouchelion, out here from Portland, Oregon, United States, age 48, born in Hollywood, California
S.B. For starters, Hollywood is surrounded by theater in all respects, so what is your forte?
S. Normal schooling, Santa Barbara College, majored in psychology, sociology, then to being a pre-school teacher, then to counselor for the developmentally disabled, neurotics, psychotics, schizophrenics, autistic clients, did that for twelve years, and from there, Aspen, Colorado, and Portland.
S.B. So here you are in Bali doing dance and light, where did that come from?
S. Well the steps towards that were working eighty hours a week, one day I quit it all, I can’t do this, it’s not what I’m on the planet to do, quit my job, moved out of my apartment and said, okay God, you’re either going to use me for something or not, but this is it. I’m not going do this anymore.
S.B. From that?
S. Twenty seven to 30 years of age, I lived on the streets for three years with no visible means of support – bring in what I’m supposed to doing or I’m out of here, no grey area.
S.B. A true believer in the faith of life, did you have your own cardboard box? (Laughter).
S. Actually, yes (laughter), then a hand drum came into my life and it kinda started from there. I’ve now been a professional hand drummer for 25- 26 years now, been on forty two CDs, I’ve opened for a bunch of national acts in America, traveled Amsterdam, Budapest, Belgium, Hong Kong, Venice, Italy Mexico, the dance came naturally.
S.B. Okay, banging around (laughter), you got the beat, now the dance?
S. There was this free style dance jam that would happen every Friday night, people there were going to this class called Nia, I started going and just stayed there. So I’ve been doing that now for 17 years.
S.B. What does the Nia dance entail?
S. Nia dance is dance arts, martial arts and healing, it’s a body mind motion, spirit fitness and lifestyle practice.
S.B. Do you have to study each of these separately?
S. Taking the energy, of course of each one of them, it’s a whole life time study.
S.B. The basics?
S.B. When you say martial arts, can you Kung Fu somebody? (laughter).
S. I can take care of myself, for example, we use Tai Chi and Akita energy, Tai Chi is like this blow and this breathe, moving from your center and becoming aware of that energy center. From that I’ve been training all over the island, plus Wai Ching and I have our own retreat, female and masculine dance.
S.B. You may never get off the island. (laughter).
S. You know, I came here with the idea that I may not want to. I have a drummer band back home and a drum making company (Free Spirit Percussion), but I’ve been strongly considering re-locating here.
S.B. Is music a big part of your life?
S. Music is a huge part of my life, playing all over the world, playing an assortment of drums, except for tabla, that’s a whole other level, finger stuff.
S.B. Do you sing?
S. Yes I do, I’ve lead several choirs, I write songs and have three CDs of my own, so if you ask me what would I chose between music and dance, probably music.
S.B. Your philosophy?
S. My philosophy is, that the question is, why did one universal energy be God, spirit, what ever you want, break into many, you, me, him and her, and become all these different people. The best answer, I’ve been able to discern to be able to experience itself. If your everything, then you can smell a rose or eat food or make love, because you’re already that in pieces, oh wow, fish and chips, talking to a woman, it’s about finding our way back to reincarnation. I have two workshops that I created, one is called, dance into being, and that’s part of a bigger one called Shamantra, and those are all about bypassing the analytical mind and finding the integration of sound and movement in reincarnation to yourself and space and each other, finding the pulse, that’s my philosophy, that’s what I do.
S.B You said a mouthful, may the force be with you..
Chow mein, Salvador Bali