66 dancing

Suddenly, another world opened up before me: dancing. Somewhere amidst swirling and twisting, I found the balance of my innermost self. Like a swing, I’d literally lose and then find myself again. Delved into my essence, in those moments, I was connected to everything — the ground, the air, the sounds. All my senses were alive  in much the same way as infant might feel — that feeling of oneness.

I was brought to the dance school prior discovering trails of formal education.  And I fell in love.  Having started off with classical ballet, I evolved into a contemporary dancer until I realized what it truly meant to me.

It was during my teenage years when I discovered street dance, more formally known as vernacular dance. Vernacular dance  was born  outside of  dance studios  in any available  open space, such as  streets,  parks,  school  yards, and  raves. Claiming that any movement was dance and any person was a dancer, it was a silent protest against the legacy of “high-art”. In fact, street dance pioneers  rarely had professional degrees in dance, thus distinguishing street dance from other modern dance forms.

Often improvisational and social in nature, vernacular dance  encourages interaction and contact with others. Be it at a New York hip-hop block party or in the urban Berlin nightclub of finest techno, it is part of the vernacular youth culture and a form of the ultimate connection that brings people together by means of music.

Emerging in a social environment, vernacular dance, however, falls under the rule of “Chinese whispers”, thus encouraging expression of an individual self. The effect is that one cannot perform an absolute copy of someone else’s dance move. Hence, it boosts creativity inciting to come up with a unique style or an entirely new move.

Lost in the world of music, a dancer finds not only a unique style, but his own self breaking away from the system and the invisible cage of the modern society. In this liberating process, one momentarily escapes and deconstructs the present reality. Blown-out, somewhere between highs and lows deep within the soundscape, a dancer discovers himself in accord with the mind.

For dancing is his freedom, his jouissance, his nirvana.

Sevara Pan