TOPAZ Issue 3 / 2002
Understanding of the Template
Template Foundation Dance Team
The Theatre of Japan
Living in times of change
Film Review
Interview with a composer
Handling uncertainty in crisis situation
A Mark of support to the people of America
Book presentation
New approaches to cancer treatment
Art and Design

The Template Foundation Dance Team London

Dance is one of the oldest form of art; it is a rich and colourful means of expression and communication, with a diverse range of forms and natures throughout the world. A simple movement can evoke a quality or value, a facial expression can reveal an inner state and feeling, and a dance can tell a story in a way that could not be told in language.

The Template Foundation Dance Team has brought together people from a wide range of disciplines, such as Irish dancing, Flamenco, World dance, ballroom dancing, fitness instruction, dance therapy and yoga, all of whom have a love of the possibilities of dance. We were all keen to see how these different experiences might be brought together in our creative approach to the vast and colourful art of dance. In addition all of us have undertaken some foundational training in Electrobics, which, at its first level, is a discipline of mind states and movements that work on and help clear and charge a person's energy systems.

One project we are currently working on is dance that has a state-producing or meditative nature, and we have recently choreographed a dance using movements based on human qualities such as respect, value, care and patience. Each person in the team worked with a particular quality that they individually wanted to build into their own life or improve in themselves. The movements we then choreographed were born out of this process and woven into a dance.

We are also engaged in work concerning co-ordination and balance, and this involves discovering our own range of movements and improving our co-ordination and balance through increasingly challenging exercises.

Concurrent to these two areas, we share a love of natural rhythm and are researching some of the well-loved traditional dances, such as Irish and Flamenco dance. This is leading to new understandings about world dance and how natural rhythms and radiations of the land influence them. This also ties in with exploratory work we have been doing on the frequencies and influences associated with different colours. This is an exciting project that is leading us to explore and discover huge dynamics.

We have an open and broad approach to dance, which makes it possible for anyone who has a love of this area to be involved. Traditionally, dancers are often 'picked out of their cots' for various reasons, not the least of which is the flexibility that young people have. Whilst this can be important, it is by no means the whole picture, and there are many opportunities within the group to explore the realms of dance regardless of a person's age or experience.

Our research into dance is ongoing, emerging from many years of individual study, and we are always searching for new ideas. We are also all of one mind about wanting our work to cause a sense of healing and well-being both in ourselves and those witnessing. This means we are always searching for ways to elevate our work to achieve this, not so much in terms of complex choreography but rather through specific and researched connective movements as opposed to random movements.

So we are looking ahead to continue opening up and understanding dance in all its varying aspects, where each one of us will be attempting to find not only the joy of our own lives through this media but will hopefully also give a boost and increased well-being to those receiving what we do.

Jenny Dunmow

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