Oriental Fusion Dance
From the beginning, the man sought to communicate through his body with hidden forces that could explain the mysteries of life that tormented him. The observation of natural cycles, the conception of a new life and new reality of his end were certainly sources of inspiration to seek for a language that could convey his innermost torments.
The relationship between micro and macro cosmos was a way that the ancient man found to understand the nature and, in consequence, himself. What externalized in that environment and what he lived internally were in harmony. The perception that his body was a reduced version of elements presents in his habitat provided him a wisdom that was needed to live in the environment and evolve himself. Thus, the pelvis’s center fascinated the ancient man and it was the forerunner of dancing movements: move the pelvis was to connect with the primordial force of creation, and waving it was to establish a direct relationship between natural cycles and his own human body. Man as a divine image and similarity! This concept has no national or cultural boundaries it is inherent to mankind.
Over time, the geographic conditions were delimiting territories that established unique characteristics in dance. Remained the pillar of the fundamental concept, the man dances for nature and the dance takes shape based on elements that were incorporated from that. We can affirm that pelvic movement transcended geographical barriers; however it won different qualities depending on the region that where practiced. Then, with the desire of praise the life, the fertility and fecundity rituals were danced using enigmatic snake’s movements which were allusion of natural elements belonging to the symbolic universe of the infinite. This concept kept on deploying throughout history without losing the quality of genuine spirals, as well as it was embracing and absorbing many stimuli that always motivated the human needs for communication and understanding with other, with the environment and with himself. Throughout the history distinct nomenclatures emerged in order to explain the dance of life.
Oriental Dance, translation raks del sharki, is a dance danced in Middle and Near East also known as “Belly Dance” in West. This dance had its heyday in harems of the ancient palaces belonging to the Ottoman Empire, which were women communities from different parts of the East that like slaves had the craft of entertaining the sultans and their guests. But the will of communication and overcoming established in that moment of the history, a unique opportunity for developing the language of the dance without borders, racial losses or barriers, the elements were incorporated and it formed a hybrid art with many shades and forms.
Even though there are currently discussions about the origin of these movements – different people have tried to give to themselves -, if you put your body to work for dancing and look for mimicking with different cultures, and then getting closer to what is the most genuine with proposals to dance your language, you realize that there is more similarities than differences in humanity!
This is what Patricia Passo did, she created the OFD Method (Oriental Fusion Dance): she joined in places seemingly austere and distinct to feel in her own body the authentic, the genuine, the primary concept that join us, the man as divine image and similarity!
The OFD dance born from an exhaustive anthropological study, in addition there were a huge field research and a philosophical experience about concepts that are inherent in oriental philosophy.
- The pelvic movement as the mother of dancing movements
- Utilization of symbolic universe that is characteristic of the ancient civilizations
- Inspiration in nature elements for understanding the internal body movement and its stylization
- The Idea of body dualism belonging to dances of primitive character
- Wide gestural language characteristic of crossbreeding occurred over the centuries
- Observation of the sacred geometry and direct relationship with body shape proposals
- Spiritual Dance principle, concept anchored in a need of divine communication and not in a physical exercise.
- The birth of the movement from the center to the edges.
- The own anatomy as treasure map, all the answers are in the body
- Every human being is unique, the technical releases.
- The body spirals has upward and downward directions which moves the body energy making it more harmonious and expressive
- The different feminine archetypes that are found in mythology and ethnic diversity have enriched the dance of elements, allowing play with infinite possibilities of being the same
Finally, it is worth noting that the choice of calling the Oriental Fusion Dance method is not related to the necessity of embracing distinct modalities of dance, nor to consider an incomplete modality, but to call and work with fusion as a philosophical principle. The OFD study follows its course and the main premise is the deep respect to all dance manifestations, all cultures and its legacies precious, reason of why in our classes a large theoretical and historical material are provided. Our intention is to expand the vision and the perceptive capacity of body gesture, understanding that before the differences there is a universal collective unconscious that shares the principles of unique, complementary, merged and transgressed dance.