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Come to The Dying to Live Tour and Cabaret

Come to the Cabaret

What good is sitting, alone in your room?
Come hear the music play!
Life is a cabaret, old chum!
Come to the cabaret!

What good’s permitting some prophet of doom?
To wipe every smile away
Life is a cabaret, old chum!
So come to the cabaret!

Start by admitting from cradle to tomb
It isn’t that long a stay
Life is a cabaret, old chum!
And I love a cabaret!


I was in Scotland on the isle of Lismore the night Mairi Campbell called her neighbors to join a ceilidh in her living room. It was late. There were a couple of fiddlers, some jokesters, a piano, some singing and some spirits. Everyone knew that in sharing folk music, singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling some people would naturally step up. Some would be cajoled. Like their ancestors they improvised an evening that circled around the fires of love, life, hardship and death to find hope, belonging, and sometimes wisdom.

It was a homegrown informal cabaret where musicsongdancerecitation, or drama included food, drink and some content of an adult, underground nature. We could use more homegrown cabarets.

Like the song says, “What good’s permitting some prophet of doom to wipe every smile away? …Start by admitting from cradle to tomb, it isn’t that long a stay…Life is a cabaret old chum, so come to the cabaret.”

With our parents, family members, friends and some of our idealistic dreams dead are dying, where do we play with the rough edges of life?  It’s hard to tell our real stories in a death-phobic culture. A cabaret could be useful as a form that includes death as a norm of life. Embracing sister death allows us to live with a little less fear and maybe be a little wiser. 

That’s why me, your interplayful cabarista, and Rev. Stephen Winton-Henry, a grief educator with countless hours sitting in the mystery of death and dying, do hereby inaugurate the Dying to Live Tour and Cabaret.  We’re practicing “bad Ukulele” and songs that honor life and death. And Boy, could we use some help! We don’t have folk dances, but we can improvise a move or two. Stories? Oh yeah! We have em both made up and real.

As Lord Buddha said

Lord Buddha: How many times do you think about death?

Monk Number 1: I think about death every day.

Lord Buddha: Too little. How about you?

Monk Number 2: I think about death with every bite of food.

Lord Buddha: Not enough. And you?

Monk Number 3: I think about death with every breath in and every breath out.

Lord Buddha: Perfect.

You know things. We want to hear. This will require some levity, honesty, and practice if we want to get real and really live!

Interested in a Dying to Live Workshop-Cabaret evening or day long retreat? 

Rev. Stephen Winton-Henry, hospice chaplain and grief educator and Cynthia Winton-Henry, cofounder of InterPlay are dying to live.  With decades of helping people get into and out of their bodies, in the Dying to Live Tour and Cabaret they honor the lessons and questions of community around the biggest dance we do: Live and Die. Through reflection, music, stories, and movement, we’ll toast one another, write our names in the book of life, and touch on

  • Death’s role at the sacred center of life
  • That death is no solo dance
  • Our need for a fear troupe
  • The holy obligation to die well
  • and more…

all with playful, creative reverence.  

If you are invested in conscious living, wondering about conscious dying, seeking peace in the midst of change, someone who doesn’t plan on living forever, invite us to lead a cabaret! We’ll get you started on leading your own cabaret, if you like.

This is perfect for anybody, including grief educators, health care professionals. family and friends who might be ready to lift up life and death when they see it. It includes Friday 6pm Dinner, introductions and orientation
Saturday Sessions on The Dance of Death, The Poetry of Life, a Happy Hour on The Art of Legacy, A Cabaret of Community Stories, Songs, Dances,Tellings, and on Sunday the Song of the Soul.

OK, off to make Dying to Live Tour and Cabaret T-shirts!  YOU KNOW YOU WANT ONE!


Catch the Mary dance i did 30 years ago

Phil and I are theologians. Our thoughts and wisdom embrace a spirit and power greater than ourselves. We coined theokinetics, bodyspirit, and the physicality of grace, to claim the essence of this experience as dancers.

During the sermon time Phil shared a video of me and my colleague Judith in “A Merry Meeting choreographed to a Brandenburg concerto, referencing the biblical story of the pregnant Mary going to see her older cousin Elizabeth. When they met, it seems, their babes, Jesus and John the Baptist, leapt in their wombs.  Now that’s kinesthetic identification!

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from the dance and Phil’s reflections on the power of Motherhood. (My body still remembers this three decades later!)

Peace Needs Reinforcement! Come Dance the Peaceway tonight

Dance is not just action. It is a consciousness residing deep within the body that rises up.

We are so lucky to dance. We are so lucky to reach into our body wisdom again andsoul-retrival again and to re-member the way of ease, play, and the deep holding grace of Love that is in and all around us.

Tonight that is my focus. To Re-MEMBER with gratitude.

I know I forget constantly. There is so much that my being-body is struggling to perceive.  I honor that struggle.

Being awake in a world on fire makes it tricky.

But, the world has always been this way–fields of grace and fire.

This is why spiritual practice and prayer and thanks are so important IN COMMUNITY! Community is the secret sauce!

Remembering together is active, physical reinforcement.

Bring in the reinforcements! embodying, bowing, and savoring all the grace arises as comes we ACT great.  And dancing, as Hafiz says, helps us to ACT GREAT.


What is the key

To untie the knot of your mind’s suffering?


Is the esoteric secret

To slay the crazed one whom each of us

Did wed

And who can ruin

Our heart’s and eye’s exquisite tender


Hafiz has found

Two emerald words that



That I now cling to as I would sacred

Tresses of my Beloved’s


Act great.

My dear, always act great.

What is the key

To untie the knot of the mind’s suffering?

Benevolent thought, sound

And movement.

~ Hafiz ~

 (The Gift – versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)

We can playfully enter into each other’s dance of gratitude over great distances.
We can remember and PLANT the trees of our memory in the soil of grace.

Come tonight and take time to be with like-hearted beings.
We will bow 1000 times
bless and thank the good
and get ourselves reoriented
to what matters.

By the way this week we enter into mercury in retrograde, 22 days where communication can be tricky. Very important to go slow, be mindful, grateful, playful, and reflective.


If this is your first time Check in at 4:50 to get into the room, just as you would if you were coming to see me.  I will greet you.

Click on https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/527180021 or  Join the Meeting at http://joingotomeeting.com/fec/?locale=en_US&set=true 
Meeting ID: 527-180-021

Use microphone and speakers (VoIP) – a headset may be needed.

If you are on a Mac and are asked to launch an application the first time download the file with an optional browser plugin that lets you launch the GoToMeeting software faster. These links may help although GotoMeeting has been upgrading so check their website if you need to.

Download the file in Safari

Download the file in Firefox

Download the file in Chrome

 A vertical control panel pops up on your desktop. Find a vertical file of buttons/ Click on the camera icon to turn on your camera and the mic button. You will be able to mute and turn your camera on and off.

If you have trouble text me at 510-814-9584 or email Cynthia@interplay.org.
Nancy Pfaltzgraf is at Revdancer@comcast.net.

Make a 15 dollar contribution for a single session on the website here. 

Bored and Tired? Do a Time Off the Clock Dance

Ready to dance with wholeness?  Try this Off-the-Clock Dance: From Chronos to Kairos

Secret:  enter deeply into time or learn how to lose it.4be7d31e1be967b72ecdd707f3e22ab7

  • Do you know what time it is? Notice the clock.
  • Walk in any direction, moving in serpentine fashion. As you count to sixty, move to a steady beat for 
about a minute.
  • Keep moving in cadence if being in this kind of 
chronos time feels like dancing.
  • Now put on some music. When you are ready, 
switch to some “t’ai chi-like” moves (slow, smooth 
  • Glide through space. Open, extend, and stretch your 
limbs as you play with the space. Imagine dancing with the stars or a loved one in a far-off place.
  • Let this meditation stretch out for as long as you like.
  • When you come to an end, take a deep breath and 
let it out with a sigh.
  • Squirm around to come back to the present
  • Notice the clock again.
  • Does playing with time and space expand, limit, 
or connect you to a bigger reality?


Monday 5pm pst

March 9  How to Lose your balance to Allow More Movement with Four Movement Styles: Drive, Hang, Swing, Shape.
March 16  Tired of holding back? Embrace The Fall. Get personal with Gravitas to learn how to fly.

March 25  Dancing for Healing begins!!!

Restoration, Exformation, Confession, Soul Retrieval to address Trauma, and Dancing on Behalf of (Intercession). Understanding what the body wants for healing has been one of the great wisdom’s I’ve received.  I would love to share it with any of you who are reading.

All sessions are an hour long and provide live coaching and community that helps us move into conscious contact with the Divine and affirms each person’s experience in our shared practice. Start any week and end when you want. 49.00 for four sessions. Email me at cynthia@interplay.org if you are interested in playing and praying.