Services

Muse Circle provides expressive arts facilitation for individuals, families, groups and corporate clients. Please contact us for more information regarding:

 

  • Conscious Dance

  • Arts in Nature

  • Drum Circles

  • Family Jams

  • Couples Retreats

  • Teambuilding

  • Alternative Space Engagement

  • House Concerts

  • Online Learning

  • Teacher Training

"On the dance floor, I can express my emotions and put them into the dance. This is a treasure to me, as I don't express much in this busy world. When we dance together, I can be in the present moment and stop thinking, worrying, just enjoy the music and let my body flow. I don't know why, after I dance with Muse Circle, I am more confident to show my body and to express my feelings. Those are things conscious dance gives me, body awareness and an opportunity to reflect on myself."

 

Ben Kwok

Tai Chi and Embodiment Practitioner, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champion, Hong Kong

"At first it felt a little awkward to move to music in unstructured ways together with others. The very experienced facilitators plus the companionship of other dancers invited me in. And I quickly found it to be very enjoyable, at times exhilarating,  touching and often very stimulating and inspiring. Flo has a vast experience and deep intuition for guiding all kinds of people into safe movement that soothes and inspires, all the way from stillness of inner journeying to the stimulating aliveness of partner games and community support for risk-taking and self-exploration. The thoughtfulness and creativity that goes into the music curation is amazing to me. Dancing with Muse Circle I get energized by nostalgic favorites and brand new tunes that are customized to align with the themes we explore."

 

Angela Spaxman

Executive Coach and Leadership Facilitator, Hong Kong

 

Values

Renewing through the arts our true nature as living beings entails grounding ourselves in a truly natural environment and surrendering to its mysterious wonder. Our surroundings take on various forms from mountain, ocean and sky to wall, drinking fountain and ceiling. Many public spaces, including institutions of governance and learning, attempt to push nature out of its central role in our development. Many authentic learning moments escape our attention as we adhere to programs designed long ago to promote conformity and the status quo. Individuals and groups tend to adopt patterns that reward them with incentives, punish them with prescribed consequences and alienate them from their highest vision of themselves and society.

 

Production, transaction and consumption dominate public life and creep into the dreams of individuals who might otherwise be imagining and inventing greater goods. Nature is set aside as another commodity, taking the form of gardens, parks and conservancies. It becomes objectified as if we were not one in the same. We identify with artificiality and shun authenticity at every level, including our modes of creative expression. Our inner world risks becoming as sterile and impotent as the institutions we see wilting around the world. We find ourselves trying to change others while bending ourselves backwards to please them.

 

Perhaps the distress we witness out in the world reflects a loss we have already felt inside. Maybe if each of us recalibrates our inner landscape with the patterns found in water, air and land, we can relearn our own natural rhythms, melodies and harmonies. So we can dance a new dance that is as old - and wise - as the hills.

 

We go into nature - literally - to commune with and learn from it. 

 

It speaks to us and directs our play, conducts our music and choreographs our dance - so we don’t have to.

 

We go into nature - figuratively - to remember it and reproduce it. 

 

All that humans produce may be considered artificial, but our production can also be natural.

 

For this to happen … 

 

…we must get out of our own way.

 

… we must get out of the way of our children.

 

Typically, a child given a drum plays it naturally with a steady beat and a lot of flourish. Usually, a child left alone to play will act out wondrous stories in detailed scenes. Ordinarily, a child with crayons will make art that would have inspired Picasso. Predictably, a child who hears music will dance like nobody's watching. Many of us have had our music, drama, art and dance trampled on. We’ve been regimented, measured, judged, critiqued and eliminated.

 

Or trained, rewarded, glorified, consumed and spit out. We may believe we have no creativity, talent or worthwhile skills. We may believe that others should be producing art for us to consume.  And yet, free expression is our birthright. Without it we wither. When we cease to express our true nature freely, we enable the Behemoth of antiquated, dogmatic systems to run us and our planet. These systems tell us what to think, feel, say and do.  They put temporary gains in front of sustainable practices.

They dehumanize and artificialize us.

 

Fortunately for our children and us, we can engage right here and now with our natural creativity. If we are in an artificial environment, we can take steps to go back home to nature. Just paying attention to our own body is a great start.  We notice our breathing, our heartbeat and sensations throughout the body. Being in nature facilitates this process, but we can access it anywhere. We can bring nature into any environment and benefit ourselves and others.

 

Going into nature with others, especially people who have had some experience creating in the wild, catapults the spirit into a new dimension, one where we can experience the joy of being a musician-dancer- actor-artist.

 

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.” - Rumi

 

We understand that we are at choice and can recreate a world that is just as real - actually more real - than what people refer to as the real world.

 

And with the renewed energy we receive by being in nature and being natural, we can go out into the real world and inspire our communities and our world.  

 

We aim to promote a harmonious learning environment, accepting of all without regard to race, national origin, religion, age, gender, socio-economic situation, neurodiversity, sexual orientation, gender identity or ability.

 

We would like to extend a warm invitation to the LGBTQ+ community of Hong Kong. Know that our sessions are a safe space for you.

Thomas and Flo, the founders, smiling on a path on Lantau Island.
 

Thomas & Flo Vinton, Founders

History

We founded Muse Circle in Austin, Texas in 2003 and have been facilitating expressive arts activities for groups and individuals ever since. 

 

Originally focussing on after school activities, our offerings have always promoted individual and group expression over performance and virtuosity. 

 

Much of our work has served communities learning additional languages and very young children developing their first skills. 

 

Early on we discovered that people learn more when they forget they are supposed to be learning and are immersed in an experience that allows intuition and creativity to bubble up naturally. 

 

As we began working more with families and adults, especially in the field of conscious dance, we continued embodying the philosophy of non-directive coaching and sourcing creative flow without imposing steps or rigid structure. 

 

In our current phase, we are diving deeper into nature and bringing people out into the wild to become the wild creatures we are all meant to be as human beings. 

 

While we the founders, Flo and Thomas, have led Muse Circle since its inception, our children Swan and Tifenn, now adults with careers of their own, have been - and continue to be - an indispensable part of our story, participating in the creation and performance of nearly every interactive event we have produced since 2003.

 

2022

Lantau Island, Hong Kong

After serving Hong Kong’s international community for seven years, we cease normal operations and focus on creating original art-in-nature pieces and workshops in the wild, following up on experiments previously relegated to our spare time.   

2015-21

Hong Kong Island

We develop and facilitate after school arts activities that include early childhood and primary school music and movement, art and drama, in French and English for international schools, clubs and families.

 

In addition to facilitating directly at the Canadian International School, The Harbour School, The Repulse Bay Club and others, we develop parent and teacher trainings for arts integration at Discovery Montessori, ESF Language and Learning Centre, EtonHouse International, Fairchild Kindergarten, Hillside International Kindergarten and Kornhill International Kindergarten.

 

Our students engage in jamming, songwriting, recording, creating scenes, telling digital stories, making art, dancing and experimenting with sensorial games. 

 

Our focus is creativity and fun.

 

With adults, we host weekly conscious dance sessions and offer several nature-based workshops, including barefoot walking meditation and spontaneous art making in the woods. 

 

In response to the pandemic and to accommodate diverse needs, we develop a flexibility strategy that allows for dynamic shifts from dancing together in the studio to participating only online, moving outdoors and combining live and online learning.

 

We ally with local artists to produce live events and videos, becoming a regular feature of Le French May with frequent collaborator, May Yeung.

 

Other collaborators include Marloes Van Houten, David Yeung, Paul Yip, Ernest Chang, Kai Djuric, Elizabeth Ehrig, Lydia Liu and Liane Mah.

 

Our collaborative video series, The Fifty Flo Show, includes contributions from our wider circle, culminating in the music video, “Let Love Flow.”

 

We relocate to Lantau Island and fully immerse ourselves in its natural beauty and unique culture.

 

2013 - 2014

Nantes, France

Teaming with L’Atelier du Coteau, We launch arts activities and events, in English as the target language, for multigenerational gatherings and for every age group.

 

Events include spontaneous musical parades through the outdoor market, large group creative experiences in the studio and themed birthday parties like our interactive tribute to American Graffiti.

 

Our partnership culminates in the production of Identité à la carte, a live original stage production featuring a multigenerational ensemble performing on live instruments and dancing in front of an elaborate multimedia display. 

 

2004 - 2012

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

We develop arts activities for local schools, including Atlanta New Century School (ANCS), where we produce a dozen student shows, often featuring original music and student-authored dramatic scenes.

 

Our musical worship series, The Gospel According to Pop, an investigation into the power of mass communication in expressing spirituality, becomes a recurring Sunday morning service at the Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

 

We write and compose the original musical, Acoustic Mouse, Electric Mouse, and produce it first in English at ANCS and then in French at Lac du bois, Concordia Language Villages, Minnesota, where we are artists in residency for a summer.

 

We bring forward the importance of immersive language learning through the arts and develop activities in French for English speakers, featuring Chez Flo, an exquisite evening of French wining and dining, singalongs and interactive games.

 

The Forty Flo Show, a one-woman show featuring our founder Flo and a cast of local heroes like Elise Witt and Virginia Schenck, pays tribute to the families and friends who have inspired the ethos feuling Muse Circle’s interactive cultural experiences.

 

We run a successful Kickstarter campaign to produce our video webseries, Atlanta to Nantes, which documents our transition from the US to France.

 

2001 - 2003

Austin, Texas, USA

Founder Flo teams up with artist Valerie Chaussonnet, whose home and garden become a nature-filled playscape for learning French through the arts, La Petite Provence.  

 

We launch Muse Circle with the release of the children’s CD and accompanying concerts, Nommi: My Name Is Nommi Girinkinin, featuring our founder Thomas plus family and friends.  

 

We develop our first after school program to facilitate collaborative songwriting.