Let’s dance in the streets and squares of the world at this time of global turbulence and gloom! Let us all take strength and hope from dancing in a group of strangers who may end up as friends.
Rudolf Laban in his book “A Life for Dance” writes “In dancing we are able to express relationships in which awareness of self and others is enhanced. The feeling of joy which dance can give helps us to harmonize ourselves and gain an increased sense of belonging.”
Dance has always mirrored the prevailing social conditions. In earlier times dance played an important role in public and working life. Laban further writes “Dance has had at all times a profound connection with the working habits of the periods in which they arose or were created”.
Dance can have great political significance. The Sardana is a circle dance associated with the Catalan region of Spain. It is a non-performance dance which does not require high levels of fitness. The circles can be entirely of people of the same sex, mixed or with couples only. When a circle becomes too large, more circles are formed. Normal day wear is usual. The dictator General Franco forbade the speaking of Catalan and the dancing of the sardana. For this reason the people of Catalonia consider the sardana to be a powerful symbol of Catalan unity and identity which unites people from different walks of life and different circumstances.
I am not suggesting anything which requires elaborate choreography, costumes or music.
What I have in mind are simple circle dances. If there are a number of people in the circle who know the dance and everyone dances holding hands people will pick up the dance without any difficulty. No one can be excluded from joining in.
The circle is the symbol of eternity, of the wheel of life turning. Just as doom and gloom are both infectious and contagious so too are a positive, optimistic outlook. Holding hands, moving in unison with others in the open air to uplifting music will all help to induce a feeling of relaxation, upliftment and fun. Everyone is invited to become part of an ever changing circle as people come and go. It only requires a number of professionals who know the dance for it to become an informal community Dance and Movement session.
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