Most of the things shared here, are an attempt of documenting a transformative journey, which no one knows when it started exactly and it’s not that relevant but rather, a question of identity and means of self expression, through movement.
Let’s say that a first encounter was few years back in a “free movement class” in a community space in Copenhagen, from a student of the Psychomotorik Rehabilitation education. That was the first time, that I felt what free movement is, after a long education of learning on how to sit properly, and go from A to B. It was the first time after a long time that I started to become aware of how much I have been carrying, literally and metaphorically. I was going around daily with a very heavy backpack, that for the first time I realized its weight and that I could just drop it and have my bike carry it instead of me. I was aware and more appreciative of my back, and my back was grateful for that.
That first encounter opened a lot of possibilities for this free movement discourse and when I saw on the Internet the title “Transformative Dance” with Hadas Fisher-Oren I couldn’t help but move to Berlin for three whole months to take the course. That was one of the most magical times, meeting beautiful people, and exploring movement, and indeed my life was transformed and forever grateful, for becoming aware of this dimension. She keeps hosting workshops in Berlin for those who want to try, and also to become space holders.
While learning how to move, I can’t help but see the metaphors that are not just ways to move the body, but this vehicle of life through life itself, and can apply to many ways of daily encounters, where it is very important to see how to balance, where to pay attention, how to let go, and feel the flow, and so many more.
A great platform to explore these relations is also the Contact Improvisation practice, that I also tried for the first time in Berlin around the same time (2014), and later in other places, like Copenhagen, and Athens. It is interesting to see the same practice through different lenses, but still the same principles, of how bodies interact with each other in movement.
There was a time, that I was not seeking social movement so much, but going more inwards, exploring that which connects and that creates more inner space. Something more holistic and poetic at the same time, that goes into great sensorial detail. That which brings together the inner and the outer experience into oneness, and that which dares to express even the unwanted, the ugly, beyond the social acceptance. Butoh, has been a very loyal, honest, and deep revealing companion along the way.
Another important step in this journey was Dervish In Progress with Ziya Azazi, where I learnt to spin on spot, and not pay attention to external ever changing world but the inner axis!
I also want to write a line about Gaga movement who is so much playful and freeing, and worth to try! I tried that in Copenhagen with Siri now you can dance online with Kari.
Movement Merging into sound . . .
“Put All your weight Down! ” I still remember that moment, when Joe Tornabene in his course Body Listening, commanded that ” Now Put All Weight Down!” . That was then maybe the first time that I was actually asked to put my weight down. And while I was allowing my weight to be let down, I felt a relief, a deep sigh from my guts through my breath and another force rising that I hardly ever notice that was there, and it is always there, feeding me from the earth, and keeping me up. I don’t have to try to keep my self up. When I allow my weight to be held by the earth, she keeps me up. That was a great lesson, actually a reminder, of effortlessness, that I may still forget, due to daily conditioning and mirror neurons that are doing the opposite that we are trained to do. Looking outwards in a desperate need to be our social self while seeking connection.
Body Listening with Joe Tornabene was a beautiful combination of exploring the physical or embodied sound putting aside the inner critic, but allowing the breath and voice come through, and also explore different body systems of movement like skin and bones, incorporating practices from Authentic Movement and Body Mind Centering. That was a breath of freedom I was looking forward to in the daily hectic city life. A beautiful way of coexisting without the common social self, but enhancing the authentic self.
From Kungfu into Dance with Kerem Shemi, was a wonderful surprise to bump into while I was visiting my friend in Berlin once again in july 2018. Kerem combines kung fu principles to establish a good base into a free movement improvisation solo and in pair. During the 10 days that I was there I managed to attend 3 of her classes and got into my mind, maybe I should move back to Berlin just to follow her class, but eventually I headed to Athens.
Contemplative Dance Practice as taught by Anna Tzakou is a Moving meditation that “draws both from the ancient wisdom tradition of Buddhism and from an atmosphere of perceptual play which defines the avant garde. First offered in 1980 by Barbara Dilley, Contemplative Dance is practiced in its original and adapted forms all over the world.”
“CDP brings together the discipline of sitting meditation with free movement investigations and the practice of improvisation. It is an opportunity to integrate outer and inner worlds, alone and together. In both stillness and movement, participants are invited to observe an inner dialogue.”
“Through the practice of observing without bias, things simply start opening up. Aloneness and collaboration are welcome and an attitude of both discipline and acceptance gives rise to a sense of discovery and play. This practice offers the opportunity to cultivate mindfulness, awareness, kinesthetic delight and community.”
Most of these practices have many similarities, and are somehow of the same family as circling and authentic relating for example as they are based on the same principles, of authenticity, but there are different ways to express. They are ways to communicate, or languages, of movement or bodies sharing space together.
The journey of movement never really ends, as it is an ongoing relationship. As they say, and you can try this at home, and see through experience. Balance is not something static, but it is a dynamic relationship where you always adapt to the given situation, through micro movements and that’s how you stay in balance. If you become stiff you will be out of balance.