Are you a dancer?

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

This is a very simple and profound revelation: dance is already my Language, I already speak it, and it already speaks to me.

I practice it, work with people in and through it.

I guess I’ve long had a kind of imposter syndrome : when people asked me "Are you a dancer?" I almost always said "No, I just like to dance". And it’s true. For a person who grew up in the Russian culture, anyone who doesn’t dance a part in the Swan Lake in Bolshoy Theatre, would not probably be considered a dancer. Or at least they should dance in the contemporary ballet company Todes. Or on Broadway... Well, you get the idea.

I was trained in ballet in my childhood but haven’t finished the training - the school closed down...

Yet now I am understanding that it is more than that, that I am probably past just the "liking" stage.

Dance has become both my philosophy and my practice, the research object and the method. I am well aware there are plenty of people who know lots more than me about dance and even more people who have more professional dancer-body physiques, who have mastered the techniques etc. but I am gradually starting to accept myself as a dancer or someone deeply interested in it, someone who can stand the ground in this territory and has something to say.

And so as I read the works of Martha Graham, Merce Cunnigham, Gabrielle Roth, Barbara Dilley, Anne Halprin, Mary Starks Whitehouse, I start to discover that I can relate to what they write. Like those ideas are so resonant to what I feel and what I've lived in my own exploration of dance. Now I have this desire to not only explore by practicing the movement, but also to see how this practice relates to my bigger understanding of things, of life, my perception and experience of it. How the body as a microcosm relates to the macrocosm, or how I can also see the body as a macrocosm within which microcosmic structures exist & develop.

I view relationship with my body now as a constant dialogue, "un entretien" , where communication between me (my consciousness) and the body, runs both ways, shaping the double loop feedback, or perhaps there are even more interlocutors, if we look at the subconscious as another participant of this conversation .

I also view the body as a process - whether in movement or not. Actually stillness is never absolute, because we breathe, the blood moves in our veins, there is constant electricity running though us. There is constant movement, constant change.

The dancer, the body, the movement, and the dance are all at the centre of my study. But above all that, a human being, a human - in his being - in this life. Dance is one of the models of Life. The way we dance can describe the way we live, the way we relate, etc. It can also describe the relationship between our inner processes, e-motions, and the surrounding world, between our soul, spirit, body. It helps us better understand our own nature, our own inner landscape by externalising and shaping it into outer forms.

And so yes, I am a dancer! And so are you!

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