THE “DANZA MOVIMENTO NATURALE” METHOD
The Danza Movimento Naturale (DMN) method was created in 2005 by Giovanni Zappulla, choreographer, dancer and artistic director of the choreographic centre L'espace.
His long stay in France - at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance of Boulogne Billancourt and at Ridc (Rencontres Internationales de danse contemporaine) - gave Zappulla a strong pedagogical imprint that pushed him to deepen the techniques and the path already undertaken by the dancer Isadora Duncan (1877-1827).
In the footsteps of Isadora Duncan: the rebel genius and her ‘inner movement’
Isadora Duncan was a rebel genius, an essential piece of dance history precisely because she did not have a pre-established academic education and also because she always had the courage to explore the limits of dance.
The Natural Movement Dance thus starts from an in-depth study of the techniques of Duncan, the first who theorized the category of internal movement.
"We could define it as a movement that finally resolves the dichotomy between spirit and body. A dichotomy - points out Zappulla - that has been imposed as a superstructure but that the Greeks did not know: in the theatre they were musicians, actors and dancers together. In the same way, internal movement starts from the soul, radiates to the bones and deep muscles, to the mind and body: it is a force that we have not been used for centuries.
The connection with oriental disciplines
The DMN method - born from the collaboration between the choreographer and the dancer Annachiara Trigili - developed with the substantial union of contemporary dance with music and with the encounter with Taijiquan Chen and Qigong, disciplines in which we find the concept of internal movement, consistent with human nature in its biomechanical, energetic and psychic aspects.
"It is not surprising that Western thought and techniques meet with Eastern ones, just as the mind and body return to dialogue through the Danza Movimento Naturale method,' Zappulla observes, 'because the human body is conceived as an orchestral instrument. It has the same harmony that we find in the images of the dancing Greek figures, the same harmony that Isadora looked for in museums, in order to bring it back to the theatre: the natural place of this harmony'.
Questions to (re)start from
What contemporary dance has started to do again just over a century ago is to give the body the opportunity to construct its natural history, to express its essential movement according to its inner balance. In the DMN method, the body learns to listen to these laws.
"We have to start - says Giovanni Zappulla - from some questions: do we let our body express its own rhythm? How can we follow its natural mechanisms to really move, regardless of the effect to be produced, of the result to be achieved? How can we move slowly or quickly, without being imposed an artificial functioning? If technological progress has helped to shrink the space-time in which we acquire information in a bulimic way, what about individual space-time?"
Sicily, abroad, the past and the future
A method, DMN, which has already been exported across borders, from France to Mexico, through workshops and performances in which the dancer's body is no longer considered an object to be irreversibly worn out in homage to the aesthetics of movement, but a centre of strength, growth and well-being.
The dancer thus becomes strong through dance itself. And dance becomes natural again, incredibly rich; bodies can go far beyond questions of technique and style, movement has its own truth.
"At the same time,' the choreographer continues, 'the research I carry out could only have originated in Sicily. The company I direct could only be conceived in a land with an immense heritage of complex and different cultures, and which possesses the strengths and capabilities to find a meeting point. A contemporaneity in evolutionary continuity with a past in which mind and body were united in a single harmony. Our task is to find it again. Only then the dancer will realize that s/he already has a music inside her/him, written just for her/him: and all s/he can do is listen to it and share it'.