Ta Ke Ti Na: Rhythm and Chaos

11 March 2013


TAKETINA is rhythm.


A Taketina rhythm circle (workshop/event—as offered by this writer and colleagues around the world) is a direct experience of the rhythms of movement linked with sound (footsteps, hand claps, or rattling a shaker, for example). Taketina also provides a time and space in which to directly experience, and focus on, the rhythms we produce every day in our lives—the rhythms of speech, breath, heartbeat. When a group gathers and creates and collective rhythmic energy field, any and all forms of rhythm can starkly enter a participants awareness. Over time, an orderly, cohesive sense of collective power and energy, can overtake the group—and a gathering of random individuals can become a unified whole within a short period of time.


Have you ever wondered or asked, What is rhythm? For many, the word ‘rhythm’ immediately brings about an association with regularly occurring, repeating sounds—a simple drum beat, for example. For others, it may conjure patterns in nature—the cycle of the 4 seasons, or ripples flowing outward from where a stone was dropped into a pond.  Still others may associate the word with the musicality of speech—a poetry reading, hip hop performance, or the cadence and phrasing of a teacher or a motivational speaker. But in all of these examples you will find one element that binds them together: A relationship between repeating elements, coupled with the smoother aspect of flow, of motion. The result? Something….regular; perhaps even reliably secure—comforting, even.


However, rhythmic regularity and security can be easily thrown off and one’s experience plunged into chaos. What happens if, at the above-mentioned poetry slam, your attention flags, your mind drifts? Or if are dancing to the hip hop groove and you somehow lose the flow of the rhythm for a moment, thrown off by an incoming text message buzzing in your pocket? Or while the motivational speaker builds their case, the microphone or P.A. system through which they speak fails and suddenly the flow of their speech is cut down to a distant murmuring in the front of a large audience? Chaos—in this context, a sudden break from an experience—can happen anywhere, at any time.


To a listener, dancer or motivational speech attendee, moments of chaos in a rhythmic flow can be disorienting, upsetting, irritating. In the context of Taketina, participants are invited to explore or even embrace these moments of chaos—if you are stepping rhythmically and lose your steps, or clapping and your claps fumble or stop altogether, this doesn’t need to be irritiating or stressful at all—it can be a moment of sheer joy and release. Allow as sense of curiosity to take over in these chaos moment, as mentioned in our last newsletter. And know that this approach can be helpful in daily life. Life will bring  times of chaos, guaranteed; why not embrace it, accept it, use it as an ally, even?


In a Taketina rhythm workshop, you are offered time and space in which to step easily into rhythm, clap in rhythm, speak syllables in rhythm, come closer to the knowledge that you ARE rhythm on the physiological and ancestral levels. Yet, unlike a hip hop show or a public speaker dealing with technical difficulties, Taketina leaders may deliberately bring in layers of chaos into the repeating, reliable patterns that a workshop begins with—a simple, steady chant, an accompanying step pattern. Lest we fall into robotic movement or awkward stiffness, the Taketina rhythm leader just might attempt—in a lovingly mischievious manner perhaps—to lure you away from stiff movements, or coax you out of an automatic physical movement pattern. Moments of chaos can lead to a ripple of laughter, or maybe even a brief experience discomfort fear, or a wave of anger—and eventually, toward a sense of rich, full presence in the moment, being truly in rhythm.


As group rhythmic activities and rituals fade more and more from many of today’s communities and lifestyles—it is more valuable than ever to engage in this profound rhythmic learning and entraining experience being offered by Taketina rhythm teachers.

(C)2013 Greg Burrows