"Dancing can be magical and transforming. It can breathe new life into a tired soul; make a spirit soar; unleash locked-away creativity;…or trigger forgotten memories.'' ~ Unknown. Model in Photo below: Ashley Rhianne Bellydancer. Photographer: Idol Hunter
I always used to have issues speaking up, speaking confidently. I didn’t know what my opinions were, and wasn’t sure whether anyone would want to hear them. And when I did voice something, it seemed to come out hesitant, shaky, unsure.
I also experienced a lot of issues with my throat – dry coughs, irritations, cracking and loss of my voice. I thought that was just the way my voice was. That I couldn’t do anything about it. I thought I hated my voice. So I spoke less and wrote and listened more. I was known as the quiet one.
Back then, I didn’t realize how much our voice is connected to our individuality. That each of us has a very unique resonance. And how that resonance gets expressed often reflects what is going on for us internally- emotionally and subconsciously. I was holding on to so much that I wasn’t even aware of- fears, conditioning, anger, sadness, trauma and secrets. Maybe not even from this lifetime, but from past ones. And this was affecting my voice and sense of self. It was also affecting how I was showing up in how I let, or didn’t let, my creativity flow through me..
I didn’t know how much I wanted to speak out. I wanted to be heard. I wanted my voice to matter. I also wanted it to sound smooth and fluid, the kind of voice everyone loved to hear. I was so envious of great singers and moving speakers because of how they would express with so much passion and confidence. I was envious of anyone, in fact, who could express so deeply and move others to laughter, inspiration and tears. Whether they were artists, musicians. singers, or dancers, even other children who seemed so free in the way they played- I wanted to know how to do that for myself. People would tell me it was natural. But it felt so far from natural for me.
Dance Me Free is all about the power of Dance- and the Arts – to move, inspire and heal. What an honour it is to feature an individual who understands and embodies this concept through a variety of artistic disciplines. Josué Joseph is an award- winning musician, composer, film producer, dancer and international instructor. He is an all around inspiration. It has been a pleasure to get to know more about what drives this artist, and I am thrilled to be able to share his insights and passion for the arts in this in-depth, two-part interview.
Thank you, Josué, for your openness and authenticity. I am grateful to have met you and I know you will continue to inspire people wherever you go.
The idea came to me immediately after the death of Tito Puente. I was talking to my father- Alfonso Panamá –who is a legendary bassist of the Palladium. After talking to him, and to Johnny Pacheco, Celia Cruz, Cachao (another famous bassist), and to some other well-known musicians and dancers, I noticed that no one else had created a film which put all of these legends together, to document their legacies. And my concept was different from other films that were done about the Palladium. I didn’t want my film to be about the Palladium. I wanted it to be about “the time” of the Palladium, and to allow people to see the musicians that supported the major orchestras. For example, Tito Puente and Celia Cruz were in other films about the Palladium. But Tito Puente and Celia Cruz were individuals, they weren’t an entire orchestra. So who were the musicians who made these individuals? That’s what I wanted to focus on.