Especially art, yes, but especially dance. Because the body has been the first alphabet, because the movement has been the first language. Dance is natural and instinctive expression of the human body and is viscerally connected with the matter, to the Earth. Life, birth, cosmos, celestial bodies, and everything exist according to a rhythm, our own existence is linked to a rhythm, the one of the heart If we think about it, our mother’s heartbeat is the first rhythmic sound that we had heard. Dance comes from the needing to find the rhythm that governs us. As all the arts, it is born from a needing, from a desire to express, to externalize emotions and feelings. From the necessity for communication, when the language of words wasn’t born yet.
The first movements
It may look absurd, but that’s how it is: our ancestors had learnt movement before thinking. To make movements, it isn’t required to be able to think, we must have instincts and the ancients had plenty of it. Being able to move fast and with rhythm served to escape from an imminent danger or to hunt prey. And right the rhythm of the nature has been the first necessity of body language. The body used as an instrument to make the sound of what was considered cozy and familiar. The percussion on the body with hands, and of the ground with feet, put in communication the human being with the environment, with the Earth.
Ultimately, the movement, marked by the rhythm, is what that has always accompanied human beings along their life path; a path made in close union with the rhythm of everything belonging to nature: the moon, the sun, trees and tides.
After ballet, the return to matter
With the birth of ballet, the union human being-Earth was abandoned in favour of an ethereal vision of the woman. The female figure was perceived as a supernatural being that lived in close relation to the sky and air space. A maiden that needed support, to be lifted up towards spiritual purity.
But human instinct is earthly, has solid and strong roots tied to matter. That’s why dance evolution has developed a return to the contact with the ground. Brought back the body downwards, ancestrally attracted by what had originated life.
A very important figure in dance history gave back to the body the natural movement linked to the relationship with the Earth: Isadora Duncan. She was the pioneer of modern dance, the one that has brought back dance to the research of harmony between body and matter.
It is at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries that dance experienced a substantive distancing towards the classical method, too rigid and unnatural. Among those who brought a great innovation, we have Isadora Duncan, American dancer. Duncan rebelled, showing up on stage barefoot, with air down and wearing wide and soft clothes. Her free dance brings to the stage a body language where instinct gives voice to movements. Duncan puts the body again in alignment with the mind, the cosmos and its elements from which she draws inspiration for free dance. The rhythmic unit that can be found in every exhibition of nature, waves, leaves, winds, represents the principle on which her art is based, a sort of rite, through which the dancer enters into communication with the breath of everything, of earth, trees, sea.