From the Inside out: the power of dance
With Samadhi Dance Company
Dance is the expression of the unspoken, the mystical aspects of humanity that cannot be communicated through words. Inner movement is streamed into space, giving expression to deep-seated desires, emotions, experiences and questions. It has the ability to express and transform difficult personal experiences into positive, inspirational movement whilst releasing blocked energy from the body. Thus not only inspiring others, this universal art form can physically alter the body and stimulate healing when done with the right mindset and conscious intentions.
Dance as a means to connect, transform and heal
In dance, we aim to connect on all levels; with the elements, our own body, other bodies, the surrounding energy, the music and the moment. To dance is to connect and as dance is a universal language it has the capacity to speak and communicate with everyone and anyone. It connects our inner world with the outer world, and it is in this connection where we find purpose and happiness. Yoga means ‘union’ or ‘to bind’ so when dance is approached as in yoga, we are literally uniting or binding all these diverse aspects with each other.
When the inner movement is harmful, in other words, when memories of pain, experiences of suffering and trauma are bottled up in the body, it creates illness and disconnection. By the use of dance, especially when using hand gestures and yoga techniques, we are able to transform negative experiences into powerful art, giving a voice and form to that which we cannot explain. This expression of vulnerability transforms into empowerment and simultaneously inspires others to do the same thus contributing to a stronger more courageous environment.
We will commence with a lecture about the purpose of dance and its connection with spiritual life and yoga. We will then explore several movements and exercises where we awaken our chi or prana and focus on the use of mudras, meaning hand gestures, combining healing movements with aesthetic movements. Mudras are also known to instantly connect with the heart chakra and can be practised at any time, in any situation, by any individual. Following this interactive section will be an intimate dance performance displaying how vulnerable and personal emotions enable the dancers to relate and connect to each other and the viewers, transforming fragility into strength.
Open to all levels
Healing, dance, mudras
Lecture, workshop, performance and discussion
Vision of Samadhi Dance Company
The philosophy of the Samadhi Dance Company and its director Vraja Sundair Keilman is based on the teachings of bhakti yoga as a means to enhance the body-mind relationship and move from the heart, collaborating with the body in a harmonious manner. Basic on the principles of this yoga form, the implementation of the yoga of the nine emotions (navarasas) as stated in the Natya Shastra and the use of hand gestures - mudras - are actively explored in an uplifting and inspiring manner. Mudras are used in Indian classical dance as a means to speak through dance and visually convey stories or things, as well as inner feelings. They are also used during meditation to channel the body's energy flow and improve health. Mudras have a direct connection with the heart chakra and help unblock the meridians, enhancing the flow of movement. Besides its beneficial effects, the gestures bring a certain grace to one’s posture as well as improving the quality of movement and individual expression.
Sundari’s dance methods and vision aim to improve body-mind awareness by using the intelligence as a means to understand and collaborate with the body in a healthy and efficient way. The body is seen as an instrument or bridge to connect with others and express inner movement with the outer world. She aims to celebrate and rediscover the body’s unique intelligence, decreasing the chance of injury and forced, rigid movements while increasing physical freedom, range of movement and individual expression. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of the individual's personal experience during physical activities. Especially the use of positive thoughts and the emphasis on possibilities and solutions versus limitations and judgements play a vital role in this unique process developed by Sundari over the last 15 years.
“Directing personal impressions and inner dialogues into geometric visuals and energetic expressions, using the human body as the connecting instrument and transformative vehicle in the desire to awaken the soul, inspire the heart and bring both the beholder and performer into a state of Samadhi."
About Samadhi Dance Company
"When we succeed in becoming so absorbed in something that our mind becomes completely one with it, we are in a state of Samadhi. Samadhi means “to bring together, to merge.” In Samadhi our personal identity-name, profession, family history, etc. completely disappears. In the moment of Samadhi none of that exists anymore. Nothing separates us from the object of our choice; instead we blend and become one with it."
The Samadhi Dance Company is a Netherlands-based contemporary dance company, famous for their unique presentation of devotion and fusion in dance. Original work by artistic director and founder Vraja Sundari Keilman is created and performed worldwide by high quality dancers of various backgrounds. The company is renowned for its collaborations with artists in other disciplines and their innovative fusion of various dance styles. The choice of music in particular has a major influence on the creation process of the productions. The contents of these productions are characterized by integrating knowledge of the ancient Vedas with Western art and dance techniques. The vocabulary of the company is based on contemporary ballet, with strong influences of Bharata Natyam (traditional Indian dance), yoga, theater, modern jazz, urban and classical ballet, to create a wider range of movements and surpass cultural boundaries.
More about Samadhi Dance Company
Founded in 2007, the Samadhi Dance Company quickly captured the hearts of its international audiences by performing award-winning productions by a diverse and charismatic ensemble of dancers, presenting a profoundly physical and philosophical approach to movement, expression and theatrical dance. Emphasising the intention of the dancer in his or her movement, Sundari aims to free the performer of its physical identity to share the authentic expression of the soul, connecting with the viewer on a deeper, more universal level, creating a collective energy or in Sanskrit ‘rasa’ with the spectators. This ‘rasa’ aims to absorb both the viewer and performer to bring them into a state of ‘samadhi’, which means “to bring together, to merge.” In ‘samadhi’ our personal identity-name, profession, family history, etc. completely disappears. In the moment of ‘samadhi’ none of that exists anymore. Nothing separates us from the object of our choice; instead we blend and become one with it.
The Samadhi Dance Company is a small, independent company described by Bachtrack as a dance company “whose work brings a breath of fresh air to local theaters”, performed by dancers with an “unprecedented technical quality” (Dance Magazine). The company is celebrated as a genuine and devoted group of artistic individuals dedicated to contributing a healthy and wholesome approach to dance and performing arts in and outside of The Netherlands.
Samadhi also provides regular educational dance classes for children, teens and young (semi) professional dancers at its award-winning dance academy known as the Balletschool Marut Jorquera based in Baarn. The academy currently counts 160+ students and is directed by sisters and leading dancers of the company Vraja Sundari, Rasarani and Sarada Sarita Keilman. In 2013 the academy was awarded with the Culture Award for its qualitative classes and diverse range of dance styles. The company and its academy have been acclaimed by local and national organizations for its valuable contribution to the Dutch dance scene, both in the performing field as in educational dance.
The beautiful Vondelkerk, located next to the Vondelpark, has a rich history. With it’s painted ceiling, gothic architecture and deep grounding energy, this is a very sacred space. The church was designed by Cuypers, also the master behind iconic buildings like Amsterdam Central Station and the Rijksmuseum. Cuypers had many ideas about what the ideal society looked like, and the Vondelkerk is an expression of that. We believe that the practice of yoga and meditation leads to a new society, and practicing inner peace in the Vondelkerk is meant to be.
Why do we practice Inner Peace in a church?
Churches are designed to channel universal wisdom to the people. Their locations are always chosen with a clear mind, their energetic field functioning as the nadis of the city. These urban sanctuaries are charged with spiritual energy. By practicing inner peace in these sacred places, we tap into this energy. Here we can come in oneness with the universe and go beyond religion.
"The work of this Dance Company brings a breath of fresh air to local theaters”, performed by dancers with an unprecedented technical quality”
– Dance Magazine
"A blend of traditional Indian tales and contemporary elements that grabs people’s imagination and spreads feel-good vibes: a golden combination that defines the identity of Samadhi Dance Company"
– Writers of Bachtrack
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