Jennifer de Leon

Jennifer De Leon is a dance performer, choreographer and teacher and Director of Poyema Dance Company. She is also a psychotherapist (NZAP) and dance therapist, trained in UK, USA and NZ and founder of The Healing Dance Dance/Movement Psychotherapy, as well as a Laban Movement Fundamentals Certificated Practitioner (New York), a Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming, and registered Dance Teacher (NZADT). Jenny is based in Auckland where she lives with her 2 children and is currently, alongside her dancing activities, embarking on her Doctorate.



Dance, stillness and paradox

This paper is about stillness. Using a phenomenological hermeneutic theoretical framework and drawing on my Master’s research Dance and Stillness (De Leon 2005), the poet T. S. Eliot, philosophical writings of Heidegger, Milner, Smythe, de Chardin and others, notions of equipoise and hysteresis, and an underlying Christocentric philosophy, the potential therapeutic value of this stillness is discussed. The Masters research involved creating a dance work, Stillpoint, exampling this notion of stillness. Dancers and watchers were questioned about their experience. Information was sought about the essence of the danced, watched and felt stillness and what constituted the lived experience of it. The ‘Dance of Paradox’ could seem to encompass oppositional currents—flow and undertow—yet not only are these currents symbiotic, they cannot exist without each other. All movement is contained within stillness and stillness is the core of all movement. The dancer who embodies the ‘stillpoint of the turning world’ realises time that is timeless; ultimately transformative.