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august 2012.



[ dance : v. intr. to move rhythmically usually to music, using prescribed or improvised steps and gestures. ]


What if Dance was more than just some erratic movements performed on some proper combination of sounds. You may be a simple spectator or a part of the performance, for the show or just to celebrate the moment nevertheless Dance remains a powerful tool for gathering. Used and still in use not only to transmit stories and traditions but also to celebrate moments of our lives Dance is a wonderful mean of communication with which most of the conversation is non-verbal. What if this form of art were used for the best, to the best of its potental ? What is to fear anyway ? A little bit of sweat ? Joy maybe ? Mutual understanding and true comprehension ? Enchantment ? Our contributors of this month are sharing with us their own experiences with this form of art. You may want to turn up the volume and make a few steps but just stay still a little bit more, just the time to have a look at what they have to share. “Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.� – Voltaire Thibault Deconynck


04 it’s only one body that dances 07 dance magic 08 learning a brazilian folk dance 10 dancing like crazy in ghana 12 tradicional dances in macedonia 14 traditional maltese dance 15 pigs in maputo 16 cultural and urban dance for peace in esat africa

Libertas 35 dance published august 2012


It is only one body that

dances, reads and lives Laís Rosa

photos by Carolina Santana


I began writing this article without the idea of making it autobiographical, even if I have been taking classes in Classical ballet since I was five years old and, more recently, in Contemporary dance. ‘Why?’, asked a friend. First of all, I’m not a professional dancer, reality that I have to face every time I remember that my job does not involve dancing. Pain compels us to humble ourselves, and my knees do not let me lie (and oblige me to be honest from the beginning). Secondly, the natural order to Samuel Beckett is to dance first and think later: notwithstanding people think and write about dance, dancing is not originally thinking or writing. But metaphors change everything and the backstage is actually not only the best place to watch the show, but to think about it.


Lots of poets have related their art to Dance.

Likewise, many dancers have related their art to Poetry. George Balanchine, for example, has defined dancers as the poets of gesture, who can write with the tip of their fingers, their hips and feet on the floor, through the air, saying with movements what people cannot say only with words. This seems to give evidences to Martha Graham’s utterance about dance being the hidden language of the soul, in other words, the means that allow everyone to show what is deeply in their soul. Anyhow, the standpoint of these dancers is pretty ordinary close to the other side of the coin. Mário Quintana, a Brazilian poet who confessed he didn’t know how to dance, states that his way of dancing is the poem, approaching even more this two kinds of art for their ability to let the individual stuff be seen in public. Besides, the linguist Paul Zumthor goes on building up this relationship when he defends that a poem needs the active presence of a body, since dancing is the normal result from poetic hearing. This particular act of thinking about dance, however, obliges us to bring a third element to the relation between dance and poetry (literature): the real world itself. The belief that every artistic creation would be, to thinkers as Plato and Aristotle, based on the imitation of the reality was predominant until the eighteenth century, when the movement of Romanticism emphasized inspiration and subjectivity, giving more significance to the artist’s personality during a creative activity. Found upon this great importance acquired by the creator, it has perdured for years, according to Aguiar e Silva, an idea of this activity as an adventure which could reveal his rebelliousness against the effective models in society.



With the Modernism, though, this position on artistic production was given up and the arts have started to admit references to reality besides the artist’s genius, but only references: even though the work of art cannot exist in the absence of the reality, it consists in transcending mimesis. There is no “reality pact” or a “truth presupposition”, as stated by Cristóvão Tezza, because making art is to construct a parallel experience to reality, not its portrait. This construction is possible because in a work of art there is no simple and direct connection between what one sees and creates, except for a “pair-exchange” relation. The reality is there and, from this, the artist extracts experience, giving back when retakes it through what is created, which, although does not really exist, is marked by the expected standards of real world. With respect to the art of Literature, Otto Maria Carpeaux argues that the relationship between art and reality is not mere dependence: it is more complicated, with a reciprocal dependence and interdependence of ideological, formal, social and economical


features. Similarly, Antonio Candido sustains that the external information (which is not fictional), at first, matters not as cause, neither as meaning, but as an element that plays a role in the constitution of the story’s structure, becoming, then, internal. This way, the relation world-art is so complex that one cannot simply split up its parts. When the work of art isn’t just mimesis its object is seen in and through it, giving signs which permit to place it in an specific artistic movement. However, just a few writings can be characterized as being located in a literary movement, with a demarcated historicity and whose pertinence is spatially and temporally limited. Paul Zumthor, who was already mentioned, believes that Poetry, as an art of human language based on the deepest anthropological structures, is independent of its ways of concretization. And so is Dance: technique, besides of being great for habilitating one’s body, it sets this body on specific standards. Maybe dancing is truly getting rid of everything else.

] ! [

dance magic Katerina Kostadinova

Dance. It is magical. Magic that brings two souls close, magic that capture light slowly and quietly sneaks trough your heart. It is like a wave of feelings, like a whisper from the soft air, or like the water in the river. It goes deep down in you. Brings you wildest dreams. It is a movement‌ so elegant.. smooth‌ live.. wrapped in different colors of feelings. Enchanted circle vivid pictures, It brings truthful, realistic sensing. It could release your soul, will help you to show your emotions to someone without words, but with something more than that - with feelings.

photo: Carolina Santana



Learning a

Brazilian 8


folk dance in New Zealand Sophie Yeoman

My first encounter with forró (said foh-ho) was in Denmark of

all places, introduced by a Brazilian friend. I’d been teasing Raphael about not being Brazilian enough to dance samba. He changed the music and grabbed my hands and we swayed awkwardly around the floor. Raphael was very nice about it but I couldn’t get used to the 3-3 timing. I wasn’t used to dancing so close and I think I might have stepped on his feet. Forró is actually a music rhythm as well as a folk dance from the Northeast of Brazil, danced in pairs. It’s usually played on three instruments, an accordion, a zabumba (drum) and a triangle. It can be relatively slow or very fast, and is often danced very close, though it depends on the style. It’s played and danced all over the world now, but is still most popular in Brazil. Some months after my introduction to forró in Denmark, back home in New Zealand, I saw an advertisement for Brazilian dance classes starting in a city bar. Despite my first slightly awkward experience, I wanted to keep learning. That first night there were just five of us: my teacher Clo and her husband Tiago from São Paulo, Amane from Japan, and Liviu from Romania. While Clo watched and corrected, Amane and I stepped around the room with Tiago and Liviu in the close embrace typical of forró, with female heads close to resting on male chests or shoulders and legs almost entwined.

In the weeks and months that followed our class grew. I met Guilherme from Rio de Janeiro who had been dancing forró for over ten years, Hillary who worked some nights as a belly dancer in a Turkish restaurant, and Chris who had performed as a breakdancer. Liviu already danced salsa and Amane danced everything it seemed. I was still stepping on my partner’s toes and getting dizzy in the fast turns. But after six months it was getting easier. No longer restricted to swaying side to side, I learnt to keep my eyes open in the turns, and it started to feel natural to dance on my toes. I started going to Brazilian gigs in Wellington, and danced with different partners. Being female is a huge advantage when you’re learning a partner dance, because you’re able to just follow a skilled partner. Unfortunately, depending on how you feel about blindly following a man, this can itself be a challenging skill to learn. Let’s just say it took me a while to learn to follow directions... Finally I was quite good. I had learned to relax and trust my partner, and the different steps and timings were becoming easier too. I loved the music. But my teacher and her husband went back to live in Brazil, and it’s not so easy to find dance partners for forró in New Zealand. It’s been over a year now since I’ve danced. Next year though I’ll be in Brazil for some weeks, and I plan to take advantage of every friend I have there to take me dancing. I might even make it to the Northeast. Now to see how many toes I step on...

Some links to songs and dance clips that I like: A more modern take on forró music (mostly in English) watch?v=v8OWpeF8jy0 A classic song watch?v=zZaEA2PEvas Some dancers much much better than me watch?v=ChDHRRu_eFU&feature=related

] ! [



Dancing like crazy

i n G h a na text and photos

Vladimira Bravkova

The last semester was full of Africa for me. I decided to study (among others subjects) African Studies at International People’s College in Denmark. Before I started with African Studies I had no clue about the culture of Sub-Saharan Africa and their culture. After three months of studies in Helsingoer, group of 15 enthusiastic people traveled to Ghana. Many of us spent their lifetime savings on this studies and the trip. And what is important, it was not just a journey to some touristic destination, it was a tour around


the whole country, visiting different NGOs and various projects. We visited several schools, youth centres, sport centres, local radio etc. in different places – from south coast via the capital city Accra, up to the North region, Tamale city, national park Mole, we explored a rainforrest area too... There were many moments which influenced my life quite a lot. But I’m not going to write about serious topics and problems of development aid in general. I will respect the topic of this Libertas issue and write about African dance.


I visited NGO Footprint in Ghana, which works with young people who have various disabilities. One of their activities and a very nice way of nonformal education is everyday workshop “Drum and dance”. Youngsters meet every very morning when the weather is little bit colder and have a training. Some of them play drums, some of them dance. Between locals are also several foreigners who pay money for that course and contribute to the work of this NGO this way. Once I joined their afternoon training and after two hours of dancing without shoes on a very hot concrete surface I earned many painful blisters. I was tired, sweating, and my feet hurt a lot, but I felt very happy and full of energy. That day I thought it was my first and also the last experience with African dance. But next day when I saw a performance of this gang, I realized how great the dancing and playing drums is. The audience was very excited and the dancers full of optimism were spreading a great joy around. You could not say how many of the dancers struggle with some disability, at that moment were all of them equal – dancing like crazy and very happy. After we returned from Ghana back to Denmark, our school offered us a course of

African drum and dance. 40 people signed up for it immediately. Lead by a Ghanaian teacher we were dancing and playing drums for three months. We experienced several public performances and tried to spread a part of African culture and good mood in our town. My personal wish is to continue with drum and dance in the future, because dancing makes me very happy, and to learn much more about Subsaharian Africa and rich culture of this region.

] ! [

Traditional dances

in Macedonia Katerina Kostadinova



It is well known that every country has its own cultural and traditional dance and specific music. Mostly the original traditional dances are performed for different kinds of celebrations. Firstly, here in Macedonija this traditional dance is called Oro (pronounced as written) wich is actually folk dance. Some people might think that this dances are most common at the weddings, but others might say that they are used for any celebration here. That is a kind of a dance where all the people are holding hands together forming a circle and dance the same speed and steps. We also have special and cultural way of clothing, witch is mostly expressed on the traditional celebrations, like weddings. We are wearing national costumes called Nosii (pronounced as written). Those costumes are mostly in red, yellow and white color. (pictures: http://www meni11.php?id=13&submeni=24) People around the world come to our country to see the most known traditional wedding – Galicka svadba. This wedding is held every year on St. Petar on July 12. It is rich with very original, unique and unrepeatable wedding customs and rituals. In the days of the wedding different instruments are playing loud and traditional music from Galicnik to the River with all underground and overhead echo to the stone of Bistra and the firmament.They are companions of migrant workers in this region of Macedonia, who always announce Galicnik wedding which is with most wedding guests. Galicnik wedding since it’s existence contributed it the way that the unique wedding customs, rituals of the inhabitants of this region, the original songs, dances, and widely known Galicnik costumes-made with filigree precision and accuracy of tailors to remain the same. Each year a special commission selects two young people who will marry the Galicnik wedding. One of the prerequisites is at least one of the youth come from Galic family. Each year during the Galicnik wedding, are respected a great many of customs hat characterize this wedding: waiting for the drums, the mother in law

traditional dance, carrying the bride on water, setting the wedding banner, inviting the dead, shaving the groom, taking the bride, making the bread, wedding in the church “Ss. Peter and Paul, “and other customs that are slowly dying but which contain and hide many details of life Galichnik in the past. In Galichnik now live only two people, but on July 12 has over 5000 people coming to see this wedding. Secondly, not only that we use this dances to celebrations but also to perform and show our country. For example: TANEC witch is a symbol of the Macedonian culture and art. Six decades of its existence has been Ambassador and presenter of the Macedonian folk creation with us and on all continents of the globe, a mobile museum of that beautiful, ancient, priceless Macedonian folklore treasure, which is the identity and history Macedonian people. Formed in 1949, TANEC accomplished the goal to collect and cherish the Macedonian folklore treasure, dance, song, the rich original costumes and to present it in this country and abroad through concerts, festivals and other events in the field of culture. The first presentation of dance out of Macedonia on the international festival Langolen - England in 1950, where the Ensemble received first prize. This event be remembered as the first but not last of its kind, and also the confirmation of successful presentation of the Macedonian folklore treasure out of the country and outside it over 4500 concerts, festivals and other cultural performances and over eight million visitors. The success of TANEC speak and numerous awards, certificates, acknowledgments and awards got on various occasions, concerts, etc. ( Any kind of dancing anywhere in the world, it doesn’t matter if it’s traditional or not, it brings happiness and joy to the people. When we dance we forget about all our problems, and when our country is represented by an Ensemble or any dancing group we are proud no matter the results. Dancing is a source of love and movements jointed together.

] ! [




Dance Ryan Mercieca

14 The traditional

Maltese dance is an interpretive routine called miltija, which describes the victory of the Maltese over the Turks in 1565. True to an age-old tradition, Carnival was ushered in by the Parata which was taken very seriously both by the knights and the people in general as it was of special significance in the history of this festival. It was customary for some peasants and later companies of young dancers to gather early under the balcony of the Grandmaster’s Palace and wait eagerly until they received formal permission from him to told the Carnival. The most recently appointed Knight Grand Cross would obtain the necessary permission and a proclamation giving the go-ahead to Carnival was immediately read from the Palace balcony. This was the sign for the general merriment to start, and the companies dressed as Christians and Turks performed a mock fight recalling the Great Siege of 1565. Then a girl representing Malta was carried shoulderhigh and taken around the streets of Valletta. Meanwhile a


stone would be hung from the Castellania, or Palace of Justice (now the Ministry of Health, in Merchants Street), as a sign that justice was “suspended� for the three days of Carnival. Today in Malta we find a good number of schools teaching a various types od dances. The University of Malta has started to offer the Bachelor in Dance Studies (Honours), a three-year, full-time day Course. The Masters in Performance Studies (Dance) is a two-year, part-time course which is offered every two years. The Bachelor in Dance Studies (Honours) three-year programme synthesises theory and practice in such ways that theory underpins practice and practice illuminates theory. It is designed to produce graduates with skills and understandings in choreography, pedagogy and technology, through practical workshops, lectures and seminars. We aim to cultivate a community of dance artist practitioners and dance scholars who wish to pursue careers in Dance-related fields: performance, education, community, management, etc. ] ! [

Pigs in Maputo Pig cartoons of life in Mozambique

by Iris Yan


for more, every day: pigsinmaputo.

pigs in maputo.

Cultural and Urban Dance for Peace in East Africa Jack Shaka


Cultural Dance Dance can only be referred to as a universal language. A language that everyone understands. When people dance, they all speak the same language. Dance enjoys a revered place in societies across Africa. In ancient days, dance was used with or without songs to tell stories. To dramatise events as they happened and in the process pass a certain message or teachings to the audience or the family members gathered around to watch. Dance plays a significant role in most cultural practices in Africa like religion (Prayer), invocations, chants, rites of passage (Circumcision) and ceremonies’ (Marriage, harvests, deaths etc). The Maasai warriors of Kenya and Tanzania are well known for their bravery in killing lions to show their manhood. Maasai’s have pre-war and post-war songs that they dance to. The Samburu and Pokot in Kenya also have similar cultural dances. Most of those dances depict peace as the end result. The Nile Valley tribes in Ethiopia and other tribes in South Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda continue to use dance for peace. Many communities in Africa use dance to send messages of peace. Dance acts as a mirror


in which the communities at war or in conflict can see their reflection and move towards sustainable peace building in the community. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda led by Joseph Kony has for years terrorised the people and killed children’s dreams through recruiting them into the LRA.Dance in many cultural festivals in East Africa, has been successfully used to create awareness on the recruitment of child soldiers and the effects it has on the community. After the genocide in Rwanda and the ethnic conflicts in Burundi, cultural dances have been used continuously to promote peace and national unity in both countries. The Kenya Music and the Kenya National Drama Festivals are perhaps the biggest annual cultural events in East and Central Africa that celebrate cultural dances. In both festivals, cultural dances from various parts of the world on various themes are performed. Peace dances or dances revolving around peace issues have dominated the festival for years as a result of the myriad conflicts around the world from the Egypt, South Sudan, Sudan, North Korea, Myanmar, Palestine and Kashmir (India vs. Pakistan) among others.


urban Dance Urban dance plays a significant role in East Africa since it is an instrument of change in the society. In the marginalised areas in Kenya where most of the urban poor are found like Kibera, Mathare and Mukuru Kwa Njenga slums, dance programs have shaped the lives of young children. Urban dance has enabled many children to avoid crime and drugs thereby creating a better future for them. Through urban dance, youth in the slums found a place they can call home. Dance was their way out of the slum. One of Kenya’s successful cases is that of Sarakasi Trust. An organisation that uses performing arts especially acrobatic dance to change the lives of thousands of children from Nairobi’s slums. Since it’s inception in 2001 thousands of lives have been transformed through dance and others have found peace through it. Today, artists from all over the world come to Sarakasi to spend a few months either to learn or teach dance thereby becoming change agents. Urban dance makes it possible to spread the word of peace through movement. It uses the body as an instrument to communicate the message to an audience that appreciates that

genre of dance. Children and youth in the cities in East Africa prefer urban dance as compared to cultural dance. Messages of peace through urban dance as used by singers and peace campaigners have been quite successful among the young. Tanzania and Kenya are rich in a type of lyrical Swahili music called Bongo. Bongo music is never complete without dance to emphasize the message. Bongo dances have morphed over the years to a new type of urban Bongo dance to attract the young and the young at heart. This has also been very successful. Kenyan musicians came together in 2008 just as the ethnic war was going on and sang songs to promote peace and harmony in the country. Urban dance also made waves by weaving peace stories through human bodies. Dance remains the universal language through which communities have used and still use to promote peace and end hostilities in the community.

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front COVER, editorial and contents pages, THeSe credit PAGEs, and back cover photos by CAROLINA SANTANA.


All texts published in Libertas represent solely the opinions of their authors, not of the magazine or of its publishers. Libertas and creACTive are not responsible in any way for the contents of the articles, or for the photos published with them.

Have you signed up? Send an empty message to hello@ magazinelibertas. com and receive your personal copy of Libertas by email every 5th in the month! Have something to say? Contact us at and read your article in the next edition!

Libertas Team: Daniel Nunes Vladimíra Brávková Dragan Atanasov Kristijan Nikodinovski Scott Pinkster Christine Moore Ivana Galapceva Carolina Santana Evgenia Kostyanaya Marija Gavrilov Marina Danic Rjasnoj

Contributors for this issue: Alexandre Fonseca katerina kostadinova Iris yan jack shaka laís rosa vladimira bravkova Ryan Mercieca sophie yeoman

about us: Youth Magazine Libertas was founded in September 2009 as a project of Youth Association creACTive. Youth Magazine Libertas aims to be a place where young people from all over the world can share their thoughts and views on topics that matter for them, in this way starting discussions and working as a means of change for the future. Every month, Libertas is published on the 5th, featuring articles about a different main topic and other kinds of articles such as movie, book and music reviews, travel destination, interview and brainstorm.

designed by Carolina Santana


Youth Association Creactive

Libertas 35  

This month, Libertas explores the many faces of Dance, and how it can influence our lives and well-being, as well the many cultures we get t...

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