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Blog: The Undercurrent

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

What works underneath....the undercurrent...the frequency, the effectiveness of intention, mindfulness, awareness...In this stream of movements from one seminar to the next, from one festival to the other, it becomes more and more recognizable for me: what connects us is this becomes more and more clearly perceptible, audible and tangible, more and more people not only feel the longing, but also shape their lives accordingly...the connections become more and more subtle. The fascia of our consciousness is interweaving underneath and the holistic work with the body, sensing and being is like the fabric through which this quality is allowed to flow....

I'm telling you: now I've been teaching for 6 weeks almost continuously (TT14, TT13, Kontaktland Hungary, Natural Body in Depth Retreat, TT14 and Impulstanz) and yes I am tired and need rest and recovery...BUT!!! so fulfilling, so wonderful to feel and experience how we as a community, as dancers find together and connect.

There is something I call the undercurrent, the connection, the attention, maybe even the love that moves us. In the six weeks of my teaching marathon, the focus was sometimes on introducing and arriving, sometimes on Holistic Dance pedagogy, sometimes on intimacy, then again on the inner and surrounding nature, sometimes on improvisation scores and then again on releasing.

Sure we move in a body with certain limitations, gravity gives a clear direction, we are accompanied and guided by natural laws. But then there are all these different stories, body and soul stories, individual needs and highly different channels of expression. Underneath there is a commonality, a flow that accompanies us though.

I'm guessing this is how Nancy's (Stark Smith) defined the Underscore (even though the Underscore has clear structural purposes, she was concerned with what is "below-under"). In other words, chi and life energy will also be meant and yet for me it is not "just" energy that I perceive. We dancers are on the trail of a connection with ourselves, the other, the community and our environment. A path of healing, of becoming whole. And a being-in-the-body that is deeply fulfilling, grounding and pacifying.

Oh if only the whole world would dance. In a certain sense it does, even if we do not always perceive it. And: we are becoming more and more. More and more people realize that we can change things with our body/dance work not only inside but also outside. This undercurrent is the current that brings us back to ourselves and thus always back to our original nature.

On another level this undercurrent is also present in time, a staying and unfolding. Gregory Chevalier, my dear friend and student of mine for many years has organized a wonderful Contact Festival in Hungary, congratulations! I meet my former teacher Raza Hammadi at the Impulstanz Festival and we realize that I learned with him 34 years ago (!!)! Sri Louise is at the Festival again this week, I met her in 1990 in a joint Limon class in Chicago and she told me about the university I went on to study at (Columbia College Chicago). So many connections...

Many years ago I was sitting in nature as a witness at an Authentic Movement Retreat and felt quite angry that 2 helicopters were circling loudly overhead during the session. At that time, I asked the Earth what she had to say about it. The answer was "it's good, I'm here". I believe sensing the undercurrent, is sensing the healing.

Photo: Olga Berdikyan

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