The therapeutic and educational success of Biodanza is due to its effects on the organism as a whole. These powers to rehabilitate life come from the combination of:
The power of music
The power of integrative dance
The power of vivencial methodology
The power of caress
The power of trance
The power of expanded consciousness
The power of the group
Each one has a transformational effect and if linked to each other, following a scientific theoretical model, they constitute eco-factors with extraordinary powerful effects.
1. The Power of Music Music has been known throughout the ages to have a soothing and healing effect. Even in ancient cultures, this fact was recognised, and throughout both Eastern and Western cultures. Musical power is a common element in religion, philosophy and natural healing therapies, and has been recognised and used by shamans, Tibetan monks and Sufi dancers alike for centuries in their pursuit of spiritual healing and enhancement.
In the Western world, studies by numerous renowned researchers have shown that music can have a profound effect not only on human beings but also on other life forms, and has been used successfully in a number of different therapeutic endeavours.
In Biodanza, music is selected to stimulate the eco-factors linked to the five lines of vivencia. “Organic music” is that which presents biological attributes: fluidity, harmony, rhythm, tone, a sense of unity and cenesthetic effects (harmony in internal organs); It has the power to create integrating vivencias.
Because music can evoke intense vivencias, the selection of music in Biodanza follows a carefully structured gradient which holds specific thematic, vivencial and emotional significance and implications.
Music can awaken affection, vitality, creativity, transcendence and sensuality which become vivencias when danced.
2. The Power of Integrative Dance Biodanza encompasses about 250 exercises and dances whose purpose is to activate human movements in a harmonic and integrative way. There are no dissociative movements in Biodanza.
We have several motor and sensory-integration exercises, affective motor exercises and many of cenesthetic sensibility (ones which restore the individual’s sense of inhabiting his own body).
Yet another series of Biodanza exercises is composed of simple dances that evoke the vivencias of vitality, sexuality, creativity, affectivity and transcendence (a state of higher understanding of oneself and of life).
During a Biodanza session, the music becomes a physical movement and the dancer enters into a state of vivencia. The combination of music and movement in vivencia brings about subtle changes in many of the body’s systems and ecologies, restoring balance and general health.
The dances are powerful ways to enter vivencia, their effects feeding into and off of one another with profound effect – an elevated quality of life and joy of living.
3. The Power of Vivencial Methodology A vivencia is an intense feeling of being alive and present in the moment and in full possession of one’s physical and emotional perceptions. Vivencias have various emotional nuances, including ecstasy, eroticism, tenderness and a sense of internal peace, which aid in the expression of the individual’s authentic identity.
The Biodanza methodology is aimed at bringing about powerful vivencias through which the individual is able to reconnect the disjointed or fragmented facets of him or herself that result from the disconnection so common in modern living.
Vivencias allow us to be ourselves in a way that is generally prevented by our cultural norms. Our native inclination and ability to connect with others and with our surroundings are inhibited by social boundaries and these can be restored through the experience of vivencias.
4. The Power of Caress Restoring the connection between people is essential to any process of rehabilitation into life. Human development cannot occur in solitude and neither can the restoration of health. Contact with his or her fellow human beings is what allows the individual to grow.
Verbal connection alone is not enough. It is necessary to introduce physical contact, as in a dance between a couple or in a group, which entails an enjoyable and reciprocal physical element.
There is no shortage of scientific evidence of the power of gentle touch. Numerous researchers and authors have discovered that physical contact has a therapeutic and enhancing effect on the human psyche.
Naturally, touch on its own is insufficient as a therapy and must be accompanied by the establishment of a mental and emotional connection in order to be truly effective.
Caress is not only contact, but also an emotional connection. Therapies that don’t include corporeal engagement are dissociative, because they work only on a conscious level and not in important vivencias of love and communion.
5. The Power of Trance A trance is a modified state of consciousness that takes the individual deep into a primal mental state. It is a sort of retracing of the initial steps of a person’s existence.
Trance in Biodanza is a light state with no side effects. It does not contain or condone any state of trance induced by any form of hypnosis, use of drugs or other ways used to induce potentially destructive forms of trance.
The state of trance induced through Biodanza brings about a biological shift because in this specific condition the individual’s original biological characteristics are contacted and the first needs for protection, nutrition and contact are again accessible.
For this reason the exercises of trance allow the individual to experience a rebirth within a context of love and care. Many adults bring within them an injured child, without love. These exercises help them to access and start to heal childhood issues around the absence or lack of love through trance and rebirth ceremonies.
The deepest form of trance induced by Biodanza is known as a trance of suspension. This allows a participant to reach a deep state of trance in a progressive way and with a soft abandon in a safe and supportive space.
6. The Power of Expanded Consciousness Expanded consciousness is a condition of amplified perception that has been known to be induced in Biodanza through music, dance and ritual ceremonies. To accede to the “supreme experience” it is necessary to be prepared and to possess a superior level of integration and maturity. The processes we use to induce progressive changes in levels of consciousness are:
exercises to amplify the perception of nature and people through the five senses
reading of the soul through the perception of companions’ faces after the trance
exercises of cenesthesitic pleasure to decrease the ego intervention
exercises of slow fluidity with abandon
exercises of ecstasy and intasy (connection with oneself)
7. The Power of the Group Biodanza works because it is a group. There is no ‘solo’ Biodanza. The connection to the other is the essence of Biodanza – “I am because of you.”
Biodanza does not entertain an individualistic view of life and does not make use of verbal communication for its effects. Its power lies in the mutual induction of vivencias between the members of the group. These have the power to transform people’s attitudes and relationships.
In Biodanza the integration of the group follows a very different form from that traditional group dynamics. Through their experiences of vivencia and the greater levels of consciousness and awareness that these awaken in group members, they share inter-connectedness with one another whose like will not be found anywhere else and which forges a profound bond between them.