Getting in the ‘Flow’: Celebrating movement: New collective’s events teach movement arts, bring community together

  • Christian Gonzales works with an Astro Binder at the monthly NOHO FLOW in Childs Park July 17. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Joseph Goldin introduces a group of people to the Astro Binder at a recent NOHO FLOW gathering in Childs Park. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Finlay Stewart teaches Kim Deshaies some poi techniques at a July 17 NOHO FLOW event. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Joseph Goldin introduces people to the Astro Binder at NOHO FLOW in Childs Park. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Andy Morris-Friedman works with Kali Ransom on juggling at NOHO FLOW in Childs Park. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Finlay Stewart teaches Kim Deshaies some poi techniques at NOHO FLOW in Childs Park on July 17. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Joseph Goldin introduces a group of people to the Astro Binder at NOHO FLOW in Childs Park on July 17. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

For the Gazette
Published: 8/13/2021 5:01:48 PM

NORTHAMPTON — It was 2 a.m. and Joseph Goldin had been talking to strangers from around the world for over 12 hours. He met them at the Traveling Rings in New York City, a sandpit in Riverside Park with dangling hoops that anyone can swing from, almost as if flying.

Goldin, a New York native, said he would go to the rings without the expectation of meeting anyone, but “to see what happens to life, and see what life does for you.” He’d witness people swinging, juggling, hula-hooping, unicycling, slacklining or working out, and conversations that lasted late into the night would naturally arise between him and the array of people at the park.

This kind of scene was typical for Goldin, who started juggling at age 10, and went looking for a juggling club on his 16th birthday. He found one in Manhattan’s Bryant Park, where he’s met many of his mentors, and he still goes there whenever he’s back in the city.

While at Hampshire College, Goldin had an internship abroad in Argentina where he found a similar atmosphere of playfulness, connection and spontaneity as he juggled with the malabaristas and street artists all day. Goldin admired the friendliness, warmth and appreciation for art that he witnessed all around him at the parks and plazas: the aerial silk performers, jugglers, bands playing, and the people soaking all of it in with maté, an Argentinian herbal infusion, in their hands inspired him.

“What I’m really interested in,” said Goldin, “is this idea of serendipitous connection where you are able to flow with life.” These connections, Goldin said, are what “community is fostered by.”

Now a Northampton resident, the 26-year-old is the founder of the Pioneer Valley Movement Collective, which offers free movement-based events and classes to the community. Through it, he hopes to recreate the vibrancy and connection that he cherished so much in Riverside Park and Argentina.

He began the collective after a cold and isolating winter to give people a space to connect with one another. One monthly event, NOHO FLOW, is inspired by Flow Arts, which is an emerging art form combining creative movement with prop manipulation that helps one reach a “state of present-moment awareness known as Flow,” according to the Flow Art Institute.

Andrew Morris-Friedman, a 60-year-old chess teacher and martial arts instructor who helps organize the event with Goldin, said Flow is difficult to define as it’s “interdisciplinary, it’s multicultural, [and] it’s a new art form.”

The event occurs at 1 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month in Childs Park, and the next one, set for Aug. 21, will have workshops for a multitude of skill levels, props available to all, and time for play and practice.

“You’ll never find a bunch of happier people than people who are in the Flow,” said Morris-Friedman. “Especially when they’re together. … Learning and teaching and helping one another, sharing ideas from different disciplines and different ability levels, different ages and different cultures.”

Goldin described the event as a “hybrid between a weekly club and a monthly festival,” and emphasized how everyone there is both a student and a teacher, and that all are welcome and encouraged to join. Whether they are teaching juggling, hula-hooping, clubs, yo-yo, poi, fans, staff or even light saber manipulation, there are always beginner workshops.

All about movement

Kali Ransom, an Easthampton resident who recently moved back to the area after living in California, has attended a couple of Flow events. “I was craving connection and also moving my body because I work from home,” she said.

Ransom is learning juggling and poi, and finds the event to be “so supportive and so play-oriented and go at your own pace, and own level. They are free offerings to the community by people who want to give back to their community, so it’s just a great environment to be in.”

“I feel personally as the organizer so much joy when I see people connecting … when it touches people’s lives,” Goldin said. “I used to be stressed out when I’d run it … but it’s gotten to the point where I feel so grateful.... I always say, ‘It’s not me, it’s everyone.’ NOHO FLOW is the community. Every single person who shows up adds literally like a hundred percent.”

When Goldin considered discontinuing the program during COVID-19, Morris-Friedman encouraged him to carry on. “It’s too good a thing to stop doing,” Morris-Friedman remarked, “with COVID and all the anxiety in our culture these days, it’s so important to have a place where people can just come and have fun and be together and enjoy the thing that they love, with people who love it as much as they do.”

Other Movement Collective events

Ransom also enjoys other Pioneer Valley Movement Collective events when she can. Yoga is offered seven days a week, a class called Primal Practice is offered twice a week with instructor Aaron Cantor, and there is a Kendama club that meets once a week.

Goldin encourages those who would like to collaborate with him, or would like their own offerings to be featured on his website — which he made to be a “one-stop shop online hub for all of the already existing outdoor movement activities of the Pioneer Valley” — to contact him at pvmove.com/contact.

Since beginning the collective, Goldin has been thrilled to witness and take part in many serendipitous connections. After the last NOHO FLOW event, despite a downpour, Goldin and other attendees played Kendama, then Frisbee, and then picked up a pizza and hung out for hours into the night. And the other day, after a morning of yoga in the park, the same thing happened.

“I see that spider web weaving of community, I see other people having friends because of it and having connections because of it, I see people hanging out afterwards who wouldn’t have met except they met him in NOHO FLOW. And that is what brings me so much joy … that’s a big way in which it enriches my life,” Goldin said.

For more information about NOHO FLOW and the Pioneer Valley Movement Collective’s work, visit PVmove.com/.


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