Dance freedom – or free dance – The structure of Biodanza
By Christos Daskalakos
“We are free but we are not free.”
A common mistake is to assume that totally unstructured free dance will elicit feelings of freedom and self expression. Actually given the opportunity to dance freely participants in a class will usually resort back to their patterns of movement governed by habits of behaviour. ‘Free dance’ in this context refers to dancing where there is no discernible structure – usually any movement, at any time to any music. Biodanza on the other hand while having a structure encourages dance freedom by challenging the very movement patterns that keep us locked into our habitual way of being.
Biodanza is interesting because it is not choreographed dance and movements and yet it cannot be described as free dance because it has a structure. However the structure and form of Biodanza is not founds in particular set movements, performed in accordance with a certain aesthetic or technical aims. The structure in Biodanza refers to the conditions that are created to enable participants to enter vivencias with specific intentions through dance.
It is important to note that Biodanza is a process. The class is carefully structured along a curve of experience which integrates and harmonises the dancers physically and mentally. The dances are planned in a progressive order so that we can reach higher levels of evolution. These dances, therefore, do not have an isolated value in the sense of a list of dances compiled in some arbitrary sequence. They are organised to generate a ‘process of change’. For this reason it is important to experience a class in its totality from beginning to end. This progressivity continues over the course of many classes and so committing to a group over time is important in order to reap the best benefits from the dance.