Origins of Biodanza
Our first obligation as creators is to give birth to ourselves. ~ R. Toro
What is Biodanza?
The academic definition of Biodanza is the following: “Biodanza is a system of affective integration, organic renovation and relearning of the original life functions, based on vivencias induced by dance, singing and encounter situations in groups.”
Further elaborating on his concept of Biodanza in 2009, Rolando states that “Biodanza is a system of acceleration of the integrative processes at a cellular, metabolic, neuro-endocrinological, immunological and existential levels through enriched environments that result in the transformation of human beings at all levels.”
However, the poetic interpretation is that Biodanza is a radical worldwide system that awakens our potential to live life fully. It is about falling in love with life. This means deepening our love for ourselves, our connections to others and to nature and all that is through movement and music! It is the poetry of the human encounter.
The Biodanza system was created in the 1960’s by Chilean Rolando Toro Araneda, a psychologist, while he occupied the chair of Psychology of Art and Expression at the Pontifical University of Chile’s Institute of Aesthetics and some of his first innovative thoughts on medicine came to him while he was teaching at the Center for Anthropological Medical Studies of the School of Medicine at the University of Chile. Rolando talks about Biodanza arising out of his personal experience, but that its structure is based on life sciences and most particularly biology. He also looked for his inspiration for Biodanza in the field of anthropology and has made some special investigations into the field of expansion of consciousness and creativity.
He is a poet and painter and found out that while music is the universal language that everyone can understand, dance is the ideal art form capable of integrating body and soul. The dance experience can also offer all participants happiness, tenderness and strength.
Biodanza was created by Rolando Toro in the 6o’s while he was living and working in Chile. He then took it to Brazil and Argentina where it spread to other parts of South America. Rolando was invited to Italy in the 80‘s and off he went to share the Biodanza revolution with the Europeans. You can now practice Biodanza in most European countries. From Slovenia to Israel, Japan to New Zealand, Canada to Cuba, Norway to the continent of Africa, Rolando Toro has left his legacy of love on humanity in the name of Biodanza. Biodanza boasts an amazing critical mass of dancers worldwide. 100,000 people practice Biodanza weekly and there are 2,500 +- facilitators offering weekly classes around the globe.
In the United States and North America, you can locate all of the authentic IBF trained Biodanza facilitators on this website under contacts.
What did Rolando Toro create?
Biodanza, which means “dance of life” is a healing system of development that integrates music, authentic movement and heartfelt emotion to provide experiences of intense perception of being alive in the here-and-now. We dance to feel. We dance to exist. We dance to be present with ourselve and others. These dance experiences are known as “vivencias”, coined from the Spanish root: vivir (to live).
Vivencias are doors to access primal emotions and help movement emerge that is the most natural expression of your true self. Vivencias follow the organic movements of life….its biological rhythms, the pulse of the heart, and the impulse to connect with others.
Continuous exposure to Biodanza strengthens your identity and relationship with life and others. The practice of Biodanza happens through two hour weekly classes and weekend workshops. The experience is mostly non-verbal, which opens participants’ communication and connection regardless of their sociocultural background. We turn off the cortex and see what comes from our hearts.
Kids, especially, love the freedom of Biodanza where they can express their inner creativity through movement. It’s a safe space where they can access their joy, spontaneity and creativity. It improves co-ordination and motor skills, develops flexibility and increases capacity for action and rest.
The Biocentric principle finds its inspiration in the intuition of a universe organized around the function of life. It is a proposal for the reformulation of cultural values whose reference is the respect for life. The Biocentric principle proposes the strengthening of life and the expression of its evolutive powers.
From this point of view, Biodanza is the poetry of the human being, based on universal laws that conserve and and allow for the evolution of life. Every action of Biodanza are oriented in accordance with the deep and touching phenomenon we call life.
Biodanza uses a vivencial methodology. Giving more importance to the real experience than the verbal information. It allows for the ignition of internal transformation without the intervention of repressive mental processes.
Let’s take the visionary thought of Alberto Schweitzer: “thinking about life, I feel the obligation to respect every will of life around me, to be like my life”. The fundamental idea of good is that it consists in preserving life, favoring and conducting life to the its highest value; and that evil consists in polluting, wounding and putting limits to its flowering.
The biocentric principle focuses its attention on a universe conceived as a living system. indeed, The kingdom of life is more than vegetables, animals and human beings. All existing things, from neutrino to quasar, from stone to the keener thought, are part of prodigious living system. According to the Biocentric principle the universe exists because life exists and not the contrary.
(taken from Rolando Toro)