Review 'A meditation in movement'

When we think about someone meditating we imagine in our heads someone immobile: Helena Pellisé demonstrates for us a new view. By Bárbara Raubert

She defines herself as a dancer, improviser, teacher and a meditation practitioner. Helena Pellisé doesn´t stop, and her need for movement lets her do away with pre established forms, reject closed choreographies and explore improvisation from the innermost core of her senses, meditating. Fragments de Cos (Fragments of body) is the latest fruit of her work in this direction, and now it´s presented in Antic Teatre.

Meditation in movement is a variant of the meditative practice – which is nothing but an attentive listening and concentration towards one´s self – increasingly adopted inside the dance sector. On one hand, it permits interprets to increase their presence on stage, an aspect who’s reinforcing was sought after in many different ways since the origins of dance. And on the other hand, it delves into experience, intensifying each of the actions preformed.

Following these premises Fragments de Cos offers an exploration of the physicality belonging to Helena Pellisé, erring on different corporeal situations which tend to movement – and from which improvisation strikes – plunging into the pleasure of letting the body move about freely, until observing the formation of her personal vocabulary. An internal process which the observer can decipher and sense in his own body, if he´s capable of tuning his attention.

“The dancer lets her body move about freely until observing the formation of a personal vocabulary”

Not too long ago, the University of Berkeley made a study about the synchronization between the body and the mind of dancers. If their control and knowledge about their own bodies is indeed something to be envied, they posed the question then, do they possess the same fluidity in relation to their minds. During the study they compared them to meditation practitioners and people who did not practice neither of these activities, and the results were resounding; the dancers could control the tension of all their muscles and how they align to form a shape, but these decisions did not necessarily have a direct relation to their emotions.  In fact, part of the training of a dancer is based on being able to separate his or her focus of attention between music, time and space, while practitioners of meditation showed a careful harmony between emotions and corporeality.

Bringing together these connections with the internal organs of those who meditate, the muscular abilities of a dancer in addition to the plastic capacities of staging, is the personal challenge of Helena Pellisé. And of all those who wish to accompany her.

Antic Teatre.
Sat. 26 & Sun. 27
TimeOut Barcelona (N 253, page. 61)
 January 2013