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The origin of the Circle Dances
The main reference we have within the Circle Dances is Bernhard Wosien, a ballet dancer, dance teacher, drawer and painter, who devoted many years of his life to collect ethnic dances.
It was in Findhorn, Scotland in 1976 that Bernhard Wosien, upon request of Peter Caddy, first taught a collection of Dances to Findhorn residents.
1908 – Wosien was born in Passenheim, Kreis Orteslburg, Masuren (Eastern Prussia), son of the Rev. Louis Wosien and Antoinette-Linda, Baroness of Butler-Ponarth.
1986 – He died on April 29, in Munich.
Bernhard Wosien and Gabriele, Sacred Dance Festival, Findhorn 1982
The Movement spread in several cultures: Dance and Body Movement.
The development: the first formation of the ethnic period was the circular organization, setting men and women together at random to close the circle: it was the circle dance of the big anthropoids in circular or elliptical gathering.
Dancing was a way of life, a synonym for life in its highest level of love, work and religion. The circle was very hermetic, the dancers would strongly hold hands, elbows and thumbs.
It was the time of magic, spells and exorcisms. Later on, the circle develops with a “crack” so that the good spirits could enter and the evil could be expelled.
In a given moment in history, the number of dancers turns out to be insufficient to cover with their magic all those areas that should be protected and healed; then, the circle opens, giving birth to the chain formation.
The chain moves in a meandering fashion, the design draws arches and winds in curves, with the aim of misleading the bad spirits. At this stage, the role of the guide comes up, the one who leads the rest of the dancers. So that he could rest, the leader used to take turns with another guide and would shake his free hand in the air. By doing this, a symbolic element of the dancing purpose is introduced.
Over the course of time, when these choreographic forms became part of the folklore, the symbolic element was replaced by a handkerchief.
Folk Dances: those originated from ceremonies of traditional rites belonging to a popular class.
Popular Dances: those danced by the people in every feast or happy occasion. Their origins are not traceable, they adopt shapes and styles typical to each region and they are not traditionally related to specific ceremonies.
Popularized Dances: from the aristocratic environment, created by masters and almost immediately adopted and adapted by the people.
Ethnic-type Dances: those that resemble “body language”.
The Circle Dance comes to Brazil: Carlos Solano
It is also known that Carlos Solano is considered the first Sacred Dance instructor in Brazil certified by Findhorn. Architect, graduated from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Solano attended the Sacred Dance Training at Findhorn Foundation, Scotland, with the British teacher Anna Barton. He lived in Findhorn for eight months in 1984.
Soon afterwards the Circle Dance also arrived in Nazaré Paulista, in its Experience Center, nowadays called Uniluz.
“While dancing, the world is again circulated and passed from hand to hand. Each point on the circle line is at the same time a turning point. If we dance in the morning, greeting dawn with a Dance, we realize, while moving along the circle, that our shadows also describe a singular circle. This way we realize that we turned 360 degrees. Along the journey we feel the change through our joint turnaround.”
(WOSIEN, 2000; p. 120).
About Circle Dances, by Giraflor Circle Dances.
Circle Dances are practiced in groups. The group, in a circle, follows a choreography and, connected to one other, the dancers gather energy in search of harmony and consciousness of the whole.
In the Circle there is no hierarchy and competitive attitudes are replaced by cooperative attitudes.
By working with people of all ages, the Circle Dances can educate and socialize, rescue human values, encourage interactions among groups, promote loving dialogue among the people, develop a sense of collective organization as well as the rhythmic sense for the music and for the body movement it creates, and especially “awaken” healthy relationships within the social context in which we live.
Within the artistic languages, there lies the opportunity of positive expression of anguish and fears, feelings that are most often inadequately expressed.
Through the arts, gradually the human being can acquire self-control, the expansion of body awareness and the responsibility for his actions.
The art provides opportunities for the human being to access and develop aspects of his personality in a pleasant way, harmonizing emotions, organizing and educating thoughts and feelings and thus helping in the formation of more well-balanced individuals.
Some benefits of the Circle Dances:
• Expand perception, attention and concentration;
• Promote the identification and empathy with the others;
• Awake the musicality, rhythm, lightness and flexibility;
• Improve interactive and group skills;
• Encourage the person to express what he does best;
• Develop the ability to develop interpersonal intimacy;
• Understand dance as non-verbal form of expression;
• Facilitate self-knowledge and the individual and collective expression;
• Enable human communication through body dialogue.
“Every perfect composition consists of compass, rhythm and melody. In every musical composition these three elements counteract each other in intense and permanent interaction and tension. The compass represents the spiritual vision of the whole, the clarity and the order. The rhythm is responsible for the vitality, the tension, the blood flow pulse. The melody is the truly human side, his soul wishes and his feelings, in all its nuances.”
(WOSIEN, 2000; p. 14).
“From pre-history until the start of Christianity, every year people try to make their lives resonate according to the annual cosmic order, to the sun and moon rhythms and to the turning of the planets, through worships and parties.”
(GABRIELLE-MARIA WOSIEN, 2000; p. 27).
“Dance is the mother of all arts. Music and Poetry exist in time; Painting and Sculpture, in space. But Dance lives simultaneously in time and space. The creator and the creation, the artist and his work, they are one and the same thing. The rhythmic designs of movement, the plastic sense of space, the active representation of a seen and imagined world, all this is created by man with his own body through Dance, before using the substance, the stone and the word to send them to the expressions of his outer experiences.”
(Kurt Sachs – Universal History of Dance).
WOSIEN, Maria-Gabriele. Sacred Dance: gods, myths and cycles. São Paulo: Triom, 2002.
SACHS, Kurt – Universal History of Dance, Paris, 1938.
Text prepared by Giraflor Circle Dances
www.dancascirculares.org Curitiba – PR
Giraflor Danças Circulares- since 2006