We had a busy week in DanceHouse researching and developing movement material to my current Screen Dance Project. The first day was teeming with deep thoughts around the questions: ‘what does contact with nature mean to you?, How far is this modern/contemporary living taking us from our essence?, Do we really need so much external intervention to carry out tasks that have been done by mankind for millenaries?’

The answers and discussions around these questions were deep and inspiring, generating endless thoughts about human life, nature and modern living. I’ve listed some of mine and the dancer’s thoughts and discussed topics from the first day.

When in contact with nature…

…stimulate the sense of smell;

…connect to ourselves, with our essences, with our own body;

…a clear notion of a creative and controlling force in the universe, for me in particular the reinsuring of the existence of God;

…be one at universe, but also feeling humble as part of nature;

…we can survive without modern living, but we can’t survive without nature;

…if bees die humans die after four years.

Although we are part of nature we often forget it and do not use of some of our instincts on an everyday bases due to modern living, resulting in ‘absent instincts’ as a consequence. For instance, a strong example of disconnection with our own bodies and nature is the increased culture of women who do not believe in their ability while giving birth. Throughout the years myths have been created such as, ‘you are too small to give birth, baby is too big, your body doesn’t dilate, you are under weight or over weight, your baby is breech or have circular of umbilical cord’. These and other myths have created a culture of fear and disbelief in women, making us hand the hospital our empowered gift of birthing a baby. Hospitals are good and save lives everyday, but only 10% of pregnancies and births have complications. 10 to 15% is the rate of recommended C-sections by the World Healthy Organisation, but unfortunately the numbers of C-sections has desperately increased over the years reaching 26% in Ireland, making Ireland one of the highest number of C-sections in Europe. Brazil unfortunately has reached number one in delivering babies by C-sections, 52% in public hospitals and 90% in private hospitals. Women have been disconnected from their instincts of birthing while some doctors have disconnected from the ability to assist women to delivery a baby naturally.

This and other habits we have such as bottle feeding babies and adults feeding with milk, are modern habits developed over the past hundred years. We are the only specie in the world who feeds from a different animal’s milk… WHAT?… and the only mammal that never stops drinking milk as an adult. DO WE REALLY NEED THAT?

Thanks for reading my rough insight about these endless topics and lets keep in touch. 

Selma Daniel.

This project is supported by the Dance Ireland Residency programme and Brazilian Embassy.

Photography by Karen Stein.

Dancers Aliina Lindros, Katia Pagni and Verbena Cartaxo.

Choreographer Selma Daniel.

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