Reconnecting Body and Soul – Reflections on the dynamics of image and movement

Paulo José Baeta Pereira
Monografia apresentada para obtenção do título de analista do Instituto C.G. Jung – Zurique, sob orientação de John Hill
SYNOPSIS

When I started this work I did not know, as in a process of Active Imagination, where I would land at the end. Starting with Blake’s picture, the missing aspect for me was exactly the connecting point where soul and body meet, the mouth, the window, the breath, this moment, the bird on the window sill, the movement of my hand. By stirring the images through writing, the dance they created had the character of a “circumambulation” and not of an accomplished choreography. I experienced rather the improvisation that goes on in daily life, in this exact moment, in a play of chance and choice, the unrolling of an image track, presupposed but not yet written, the script of which unfolds as it becomes flesh in us. Is life the eternal dance of soul and body? Is it the evolving embrace of Purusha and Prakriti, of Matter’s aspiration for light and the blessings of the Unknown?  There is a mystery of hide-and-seek in Shiva’s dance of creation. This that is outside, is like this, that is inside. But the path evolves with the steps.

In this whole improvised dance, an image guides me constantly, expressed in these words from Sri Aurobindo’s “Savitri”( AUROBINDO, 1972, p. 707):

 

 

Even the body shall remember God.

 

This line hides a quest, which as the same times nourishes and challenges me throughout life. And this is what took shape in this written work. Two main areas of reflection crystallized along the line: on one side the perception of life as an energetic flow , as a constant movement, an the other the awareness that this flow not only expresses itself though pictures – visual, auditory, corporeal or of other quality or texture – but also that behind it there seems to lurk an intermittent line of images which characterizes and predisposes the way we live and what we are. It was even more relevant to me to call attention not so much to the search for an understanding, but to the possibility of an empathic connection with this eternally kiss of body and soul in each of us at every moment.
Evolving my reflections out of Blake’s picture of the “re-union of soul and body” in the introductory chapter, I moved in chapter two to the dance improvisation performance I presented in connection to Jawlinsky’s paintings. The intention here was to evidentiate the two tracks, dance and picture, and their interrelation. These were elaborated separately in the two following chapters. In the third one, it was my connect to provide the necessary practical information on dance to allow the reader not familiar with this field to move along with the reflections. In an excursion through my own experiences with picture, I tried in chapter four to bring into evidence the importance of image in the process of interaction of conscious and unconscious. Chapter five elaborates on Jung’s approach to active imagination and the role of images in this for the analytical work so important introspection technique. The material described in this chapter contains for me the biggest potential for the practical interconnection of image and dance. With the intention of showing some concrete possibilities of that interconnection, I presented in the following chapter a few examples of my exploration of visual material in the dance classes. As mentioned previously, my intention with the whole work was not to present concrete results of how image and movement relate to each other; it was rather an inner journey in search of the essential connections between them. I hope also that this work is a contribution to inspire new explorations in this line.
So far, the specific use of dance or body work in the analytical sessions with my clients has happened only sporadically. It remains an open potential to be explored further. I am curious to see how the analytical and the artistic personalities within me will succeed in joining hands to dive deeper, to fly higher and to explore new horizons together.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1.      AUROBINDO, SRI, Savitri, Collected Works, Vol. 28, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, 1972

SINOPSE

Meu objetivo é explorar as características destas duas áreas de expressão e pesquisa – a linguagem imagética e o movimento –  seus pontos em comum e sua capacidade de mutua fecundação. Com o desenrolar de minha experiência como bailarino, coreógrafo e professor de dança, e como psicólogo clínico e analista junguiano, tendo trabalhado nas duas áreas tanto com crianças e adolescentes como com adultos, observei o quanto a linguagem do corpo brota de imagens internas (não apenas visuais mas também e sobretudo sensoriais) e se nutre delas, e o quanto a percepção e expressão dessas imagens são importantes e mesmo indispensáveis para o nosso equilíbrio psicológico e para nosso desenvolvimento como indivíduos.

Partindo de minha experiência de vida e profissional, abordarei tanto o trabalho de Dança Contemporânea, focalizando a sua dimensão de criatividade e expressão espontânea através da improvisação, como o trabalho com imagens enfocando sua utilização na Psicologia Analítica. Como embasamento teórico, apresentarei e analisarei por um lado, dois métodos de improvisação na dança apresentados por Rolf Gelewski em seu livro VER, OUVIR, MOVIMENTAR-SE, e os conceitos básicos de movimento segundo Rudolf Laban, que deram origem à estruturação do movimento na dança moderna européia. Por outro exporei minhas experiências com as artes visuais, tanto no campo da dança como da psicologia. Na dança, descreverei sobretudo o espetáculo que realizei em Novembro de 2000 no Museu de Arte de Zurique sobre Pinturas de Jawlenski, Paul Klee e Hodler. Na Psicologia, exporei minhas experiências em dois centros psiquiátricos –  no Rio de Janeiro e em Viena – que baseiam seu trabalho na criação artística visual.
Quanto ao aprofundamento da pesquisa da intersecção destes dois campos, pretendo realizar laboratórios de movimento onde movimento e imagem serão usados numa troca mutuamente fecundante. Movimentar-se a partir de imagens visuais e de imagens internas, desenhar a partir de improvisações de movimento e usar o desenho livre como registro do processo de percepção auditiva e como agente estimulador da improvisação na dança serão as principais técnicas que pretendo utilizar.

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