Often people who have not danced look upon the dancers and ask questions such as, “what does it mean?”  Without the embodied experience they try to understand and translate the movements of the dance into something cognitive, verbal – in fact into a description.  Dancers on the other hand know that while dance is a language of communication it is not often translatable.  Isadora Duncan, one of the pioneers of modern dance early in the last century replied to a reporter’s question with this illuminating answer – “if I could say it in words, I would not have danced it.”

Joseph Campbell, author and expert in the field of world mythology once said that the point of life is not about seeking meaning, it is about the rapture of being alive.  Meaning has to do with the mind.  Being in the body is about experience.  This is what dance teaches us – to be in the moment and experience life as is.  Dance is not about reaching the end, finding a goal.  The dance is the dance and the experience is in the moment.  We find meaning in the dance, not outside of it. 

This is a wonderful lesson to take out into life.  When we talk about ‘the dance of life’ we are talking about living in the moment, flowing through and around our challenges and being creative in each and every moment.  Life itself then becomes our purpose, not some idealised utopian future outcome.  Life now!  Life lived, life danced in all its mystery and wonder.

 

~Christos Daskalakos