Add as bookmark


by Karen Woodley(more info)

listed in movement, originally published in issue 39 - April 1999

The creation and organisation of Biodanza was initiated through research by Rolando Toro during the 1960s. A clinical psychologist, anthropologist, poet and painter, Rolando Toro always wanted to develop the most illuminated form of human expression through creativity using different ways of expression such as music and body exercises. His first experiences were in a hospital in Chile with mental patients where he observed the powerful influence of music on health. Some music produces peaceful relaxation while other music has a very stimulating and euphoric effect, fighting against depression. In this way Rolando Toro started to develop the primal experience with music and gradually he added different exercises related to specific music within a therapeutic context.

Dance movement

The doctors and nurses were very interested and wanted to participate in this new experience, applying this system to ordinary healthy people. They wanted to receive the benefits of deep relaxation and the comfort of revitalising the vital functions of their bodies. The exercises provided them with a sense of rejuvenation, a different way of communicating with life. So Rolando Toro's greatest aim was accomplished, to humanise medicine. Having an instrument of healing that works with the healthiest part of the human being, he arrived at the most pure conclusion: Increasing the light makes the darkness of our pathological conflicts disappear.

Rolando Toro developed the technique so it could be applied in different areas. In clinical areas of medicine such as psychosomatic disease, asthma, Parkinson's disease, hypertension, anorexia, bulimia, osteoporosis etc., and in the re-education of adults (stressed citizens of civilisation) realising that it is the old tiredness and stress of daily life that produces harm in the immunological system, existential depression and inhibition of the human potential. The system was organised in order to express our abundance of energy, facilitating the expression of emotions through dancing, singing and group communication exercises. A group of psychologists and medical researchers invited Rolando Toro to live in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he created the first school of Biodanza in the world. Patricia Martello and Marcelo Di Matteo studied Biodanza with Rolando and they, together with a group of pioneers, helped to spread its development in South America and Europe.

In 1991 Patricia Martello, helped by Caroline Churba, an English physiotherapist interested in the healthy benefits of the system, introduced Biodanza to the UK. Biodanza and Patricia Martello were embraced by the English people who started to change their lives through her unique, warm, poetic passion of South American flavour.

Rolando Toro
Rolando Toro

The real success of the workshops of Biodanza is due to the human crisis of repression of emotions! For those participating the workshops led by Patricia Martello involve full commitment, physically and emotionally, challenging the fears and blockages internalised by the frivolity of the culture, respecting the different degrees of repression of each person. Patricia says: "Repressed emotions are kept in the body creating different tensions, sooner or later these tensions enter into the organs, therefore, Biodanza is a preventative medicine. My task during the training is to dissolve gently, through the dance, with a varied set of exercises the old negative memories. To re-imprint into the body a new tenderly sweet memory of love and life. Eros means love, so, what I'm saying is to have an erotic encounter with the forces of life that inhabit ones human essence in a permanent resonance with the sensuality of our existence." Paradise is here, in our open hearts and the possibility to feel it is here and now. Now or never!

Biodanza is the poetry of the human encounter, so, we need to stop the tendency of feeling a victim of the circumstances of life and to take self control of our own lives, to no longer feel guilty but, to receive the gift of the 2nd, 3rd or 4th chance in life and to enjoy it! Biodanza rescues the best of each of us through dance and music, 'the universal language of the heart' capable of moving the inner strings of our emotions. Each participant has the opportunity to work in three levels of connection with life. With yourself, connecting with your intimacy, listening to your heart, listening to your own needs. With the other, in communion with another human being who suffers, dreams and loves just like you and who is trying to improve the quality of his or her life. The third level of connection with life is with the universe, connecting with the forces of nature, connecting with the human species.

The exercises of Biodanza are designed specifically in order to develop, within a poetic, gentle and safe environment the five lines of vivencia. Vivencia is an instant lived at full, a moment lived with intensity with the mind and body fully committed here and now. Our genetic expression manifests psychologically within the 'five lines of vivencia', they are:

Vitality: the potential of organic balance, homeostasis, biological harmony and vital impetus. It is the energy to face the life.

Sexuality: the capacity of fecundity, of feeling sexual desire and pleasure. It is the permanent seduction with life.

Creativity: the element of renovation that must be applied to one's own life to create oneself and to put creativity into each act of our lives. It is to be the owner of your personal identity in life.

Affectivity: the indiscriminate love for all human beings and life in general. It is the affective uterus each of us has in order to connect with others.

Transcendence: the capacity to go beyond the ego and to integrate unities each time larger with humanity, nature and the universe. It is the expansion of consciousness and mystic ecstasy.

The five lines of vivencia have their biological expression in the period before birth. Each one of the lines comes from the protovivencias, these being the sensations the baby experiences during the first months of life. Vitality is developed from the protovivencia of movement and of the vital functions of activity and resting. Sexuality is linked with the protovivencia of loving care, touch and the first sensation of pleasure produced by the tender caresses received during the act of breastfeeding. The Creativity is linked with the expressive function of wellbeing, curiosity and change of posture with environment and language. Affectivity is linked to the protovivencia of nourishment, hunger, necessity of care, loving warmth, laughing and communication with people. And finally Transcendence is related with the protovivencia of plenty and harmony with the environment.

Biodanza comes from a meditation based in life, in order to reinforce our identity and to rescue the force of the instincts, to develop all our human potential. The genetic human potentials are seeds that are waiting to express themselves during the whole life. Some of them appear during infancy, some later and they need ecological environmental conditions to be expressed. The seeds of a tree need time to grow and come to fruition, human psychological growth is the same, our master is nature! The exercises of Biodanza enforce with progressiveness the profound connection with our inner talents and their manifestation. Paradoxically, working into our bodies we are working with our minds, opening and amplifying the consciousness; connecting with the intelligence that comes from the heart, with the pleasure of living. As we approach the third millennium it is important to propose a new healthy attitude towards life, one of sincerity and without masks, a new sensitivity with affective motivation. It is so important to open the door to Biodanza in order to feel again, to recover the gentleness of the body. We live in a culture that denounces the body and extinguishes the sacred flame of the instincts, domesticating life, thus we become well educated robots trying to achieve a standard fiction of happy comfort without inner contentment. People so deserve to live with dignity creating their own lives with joy and love.


  1. No Article Comments available

Post Your Comments:

About Karen Woodley


  • radical spirituality

    UK publisher of rejected knowledge in areas of esoteric thought and radical streams of spirituality.

top of the page