The conception of Oriental Fusion Dance Method (OFD) was born of a deep restlessness of its creator Patricia Passo on the process of learning dance, she had worked in educational area for many years. Degree in performing arts, she studied pedagogical artistic methods which applied in public school in Brazil and in the university scope, where she coordinated the bodywork in the core of the theater from Gama Filho University. Later she transferred her residence to Madrid to do the master’s degree on the theory and practice of learning dance, continuing this way the search for answers.
Her contact with the ethnic dances was old; since she studied the African-Brazilian dances she wondered the imitative process and the lack of pedagogical development in this area. However, it was in Madrid that she decided to dedicate herself to the dissemination of ethnic dances in the academic environment and structuring an applicable method to the oriental dances. Her background in the contemporary dance offered a broader vision that helped her in directing the OFD method.
It was very disturbing to observe how in the same class each student performed the same movement in distinct way, a unique interpretative way which had an enormous artistic value. Because of this it was necessary for the director to know the difference between the technique and style, as wisely said by Martha Graham “the technique releases!”
This way, Patricia Passo developed a strong observation in her students’ bodies, starting from the anatomical studies and going through the development processes of motor coordination and the body’s relationship to space. Thus, she created a simple technique from theoretical point of view which enabled the student a rational understanding of the movement itself, helping them in the process of body’s awareness, and therefore the integration between the body and mind. The method of pelvic belly dance offered by Patricia Passo School is the base to understand and to develop the fusion language, based on philosopher Rudolf Laban teachings.
The main concepts used by school are:
- The two hearts
- The spiral of body
- The kinesthetic movement
- Recognition of leadership point
- Three-dimensional space
- The geometric shapes
- Prominence of the internal movement
- Quality of movement
Based on these studies, the creator developed the first years of Oriental Dance teachings to continue her method, and introducing the fusion as a metamorphic capacity of the body and the being for transiting by different states, and not as a miscellaneous of vocabularies without exist an interpretive body coherence.
Patricia decided to do a deep investigation in anthropology of Oriental Dances, because she saw between them more similarity than differences, and the discussion about geographical barriers tormented her. With a deep respect and desire to preserve the essence of each culture and matrixes, she carried out a generic study that expands the vision capability and understanding.
The second part of the methodological study was developed in base of similarities and differences of histories, geographies and interpretation of gypsy dances, Flamenco, India Classical Dance and theirs diversities. We recall that the apogee of Oriental dance originated in harem formed by a community of multiethnic women slaves. Thus, both the professionalization of belly dance and the enrichment of this art is a fusion result.
Basic pillars of methodological development:
- Maintaining the basic principle of primitive dance
- Extensive development of sign language
- Dichotomy rhythmic
- Oriental concept of performing arts: Dancer actor
- Utilization of objects in dance
- Maximization of body angles
- Dancer exhibition in cathartics turn
- Subjection the dance in time and space
- Tenuous relationship between the sacred and the profane
The method continues its development by years of teachings the Oriental Fusion Dance, providing the creator a huge material for investigation about the effects of dance in students’ bodies. We know that this dance is a dance of female origin, which is not prohibited that a man practices. In fact there are teachers of the same, but its history is related to the principles of female ancestry. Nowadays the disconnection with female principles is latent and it has a huge shortage in this direction, which has led many women to recognize the oriental dance as a chance to reconnect, empowerment, and as a way to feed the internal questioning of all nuances that make this universe feminine.
All this in itself is a great work of self-knowledge and therefore an excellent therapeutic tool, although Patricia observed that without some basic pillars that sustain this, the transformation didn’t occur. The dance has a wake up function, but the students could not keep the psychophysical states that experienced when they danced in their daily routine. Because of that the creator decided to investigate the energetic effects of this dance and how to bring it as a line of action, which could be applied to feed the reunion of being with itself and to have an experience of fullness and integrity feelings.
Basic pillars of methodological development:
- Body channels
- Profound anatomical study
- The sacred geometric of the body
- The symbolism of the body
- The study of the body in myths and histories
- The main energy centers, auxiliary and their functional movements
- The voice and movement
- Meditative dance
Today the OFD method continues developing in the hands of its creator Patricia Passo as a tool of self-knowledge and empowerment, creating a unique and specific way for each studient-pacient.