Symbol dance (SD or SDP) is a new direction in modern dance culture, which is based on the improvised ritual performance of sacred geometric figures and symbols. It is an imitation of gods & goddesses, and scenes from ancient myths in order to expand consciousness and harmonize the space inside and outside one's own body.
SD is based on the practical and theoretical study of the ritual dances of the nations of the world, temple sacred dances and hybrid late styles in order to preserve the traditions of the ancestors. The main purpose of this dance was not a demonstration of the skills and results of practice (ego, rajas, mind, subconciousness), but rather than spiritual progress and dedication of fruits of practice to Nature, God, the Creator, the Universe - the source of all life (Spirit, sattva, consciousness).
SDP is based on the following principles:
1.geometry and symmetry - an important place in practice is given to the development of proprioception and the adjustment of body positions in terms of points and lines placed harmoniously in space. The theory of sacred geometry is taken into account. The body as a starting point, the dance as an alive formula. The body, that is in need of healing of distortion, is a perfectly balanced vessel, a temple from the very beginning.
2. ritual and performance - dance, as a celebration of the union of soul and Spirit, mind and heart in a healthy temple of the body. Going beyond the Self and serving the higher powers, sacrifice through dance.
3. meditation and attention - the development of the skill of mind concentration, which transcends the physical act of dance. This, as a result, directs the positions for a dancer's body in any space, letting her/him surrender to the presence, be “here and now” on the stage. Expansion of consciousness becomes a goal. A calm mind becomes an ally in achieving mastery in the art of sacred movement.
4. awareness and knowledge - the study of myths, the cultural foundations of the dance of the ancient nations of the world for the most profound and timeless living of the images of gods and goddesses. A clear understanding of the body and dance as manifestation of the Creator and life. Study of the universal laws of the Creation and its interpretation through the body and the art of sacred movement.
Like any other dance style, SD has its own base, which relies on ancient and modern foundations:
yoga - geometry and symmetry, activation of energy channels, balance and posture maintenance, 5 appropriate asanas that structure body and movements.
2.odissi - Indian classical temple dance
odissi - basic postures and steps: samabhanga, abhanga, chowka and tribhanga. Then papa bhedas (36), karanas(108), hastas( asamyuta&samyuta hastas), chali, boydha, utplavanas (...) - it means the study of dance traditions according to the theory and practice of the Natyashastra. Rethinking traditional movements in symbiosis with other styles, development of improvisation, based on classical foundation and literacy.
tribal fusion - detailed development of the pelvis patterns and chest isolations of female body; philosophy of the tribe.
4. street dance techniques
animation - is a technique that is universal for all dance styles, the essence of which is to create an illusion with the body (as in a computer game or cartoon) through subtle interaction with one’s own weight by shifting from one plane to another. Mostly is used in street dance.
popping - is a technique that involves rapidly tightening and relaxing muscles in order to induce a so-called ‘pop’ or hit impulse in the dancer's body. Such impulses are rhythmically reproduced in response to external / internal rhythm to the music.
waving - creating waves in the body based on movements in the joints and muscles (arms and spine).
slow motion - deceleration, movement at a very slow speed
speeding - acceleration, very fast speed
robot - imitation of robot movements, biomechanics
floating, gliding, sliding - leg movements in different directions to create the illusion of flying, sliding.
tutting - reproduction of straight and developed angles in the dance, similar to Egyptian bas-reliefs.
Streetdance is a bold style that liberates one from fear and embarrassment to be in the moment without knowing what the next step is. Freestyle is a necessary and easy discipline for a dancer, but it is also a challenging skill to develop. It is important to be patient and to learn the basic elements to the point when a dancer is able to spontaneously perform exquisite combinations and their variations in the non -critical free mind state.
The essential difference between street dance styles and all the other styles is that in the first one it is fundamentally important to be able to improvise within different techniques to the music chosen by dancer. All other styles are based on parampara choreography or another author's composition. According to canon of classical Indian dance, improvisation usually is not welcomed, and can even be restricted as disrespect for cultural heritage. Nevertheless, these boundaries are already being erased today. Experienced masters are experimenting and trying to develop something new by leaving their comfort zone and getting beyond the classical canons. After all, the only thing that is constant in the world is change.
SD is a bold example of this. In the age of digitization, when antiquity is increasingly losing its reverence, symbol dance refreshes old truths and preserves them carefully.
The one aspect of street dance culture that SD lacks is sneakers culture, namely shoes. It is believed that dancing barefoot without limits is extremely vital for maintaining a good posture, establishing a direct energy connection with the earth without "intermediaries," and developing a proper feeling of support, motor abilities, and sensitivity in the foot.
5. khmer/balinese traditional dance
Khmer traditional dance - "twisted" positions in the feet and hands, as an imitation of the chthonic image of Naga (Snake), are a signature feature of this traditional dance, which is included in the SD’s foundation. Khmer dance is highly unique and modest: such an intelligent mix of its elements creates a refined feeling inside the body when watching and performing this dance. Khmer traditional dance ewokes deep admiration and encourages.
The foundation of the Balinese traditional dance is an assymmetrical basic stance or agem. A locomotive as opposed to a stationary transition is called tandang: the feet and arms do quick, energetic bursts of movement from one side to the other, reflected in the music.
The posture is a reminder of the importance of balance in Balinese culture.
Throughout Indonesia, only Balinese dance utilizes eye movements. Many people believe it’s origin is East Indian dance although there is no concrete evidence of this.
The walking pattern for women is a sensual swaying of the hips stemming from the knees; body traces a figure 8 (ocean wave) on the floor.
Very few hand gestures have symbolic meaning. Only a few movements actually depict specific things: ulap-ulap, nuding and manganjali.
Many movements are abstractions of things in nature, such as ngelo(ripe rice stalks blown by the wind), capung manjus (dragonfly bathing), lasan megat yeh (lizard skittering above water), kijang rebut muring (deer swatting flies from its face). There are abstractions with little reference to content or plot. Many of the movements are named after their function.
Quick, fluttering vibrato of the fingers. This is a symbolic of the bayu(energy) radiating from the dancers center.
What is important is that special quality of a performer which can transport the audience to a different sphere, something known as taksu, or spiritual harisma
Nowadays, an independent SD base is represented by the following:
moving, standing/sitting/lieing positions - 6 main asanas/samabhanga, abhanga, tribhanga and chowka basic poses/ street dance transitions (slides, glides, crazy legs)
hand concepts (5 main hastas/tut/streetdance techniques/twists abstractions)
basic 5 filtres
WALKING - traditional/modern/mixed feet transitions, leg movements
earth&cosmic greetings (bows to earth and sky)
animation (static/dynamic; robot and android)
7 improvisation techniques principles
1 - sacred imitation (greece, egyptian, indian characters)
2 - nutation - spirals and waves
3 - sacred drawing
4 - multistep
5 - selftouch
6 - calibration
7 - hydraulics
Mastering the most fundamental movements, along with the profound study and assimilation of the other Dance styles and yoga asanas, will eventually extend the range and arsenal of moves.
On the basis mentioned above, you will already be able to improvise and create new variations, endlessly inspired by images and myths.
Another main goal of SD is to synchronize 3 dimensions of personal experience: the dimension of thought, feeling and pleasure. Body, mind and spirit. The ultimate purpose of SD is to disidentify with the mind-derived self-image and to come to unity with The Supreme.
The body is a living temple. It is a place where streams ascending from the earth and descending from the sky collide and meet in the creation known as HUMAN.
Of great importance is the mind set with which you enter the space of dance, which you hold during the dance and with which you accomplish it. Images (imagination) and mentality (thought, words) reflect your inner dance. It has an effect on your mood, state and vibrations of the body, which altogether affects your performance.
The perfect fusion of both - outer and inner - defines the success of personal balance and harmonisation of the space around.
The main parts of the body that SD explores are:
- 3 parts of the brain: pineal / pituitary / hypothalamus
- Facial muscles, sense organs
Of course, this list does not end here: the theme of the Universe of our body, its muscles, joints, and neurological system, is not covered. Nevertheless, there is a clear emphasis on the key areas and the necessity of constant support for them in the correct position.