You'd never know it now, but as a child, Aviva wondered why nobody let her talk. At 16, she first heard her voice recorded. She recognised the words she'd used, but to her horror, the high-pitched whine that projected those words was not what she thought she sounded like at all. In that instant of recognition, she set about changing her speaking voice. Singing was part of her full-time dance training, as was anatomy. She combined singing and dance techniques to transform her voice. Since then, she has assisted thousands of people do the same, using experiential anatomy as a basis for every movement and sound.
In utero, we move. The first thing we add to movement when we're born, is breathing. Very swiftly, we give voice. As babies, we explore our movement and our voices simultaneously, discovering what happens when we do this or that. Vocal Dance gives us a new opportunity to delight in moving, breathing and vocalising freely while we explore our abilities. You don't have to be able to sing or dance to enjoy Vocal Dance.
What is it, this Dance? Why are all dancers, regardless of style, technique, anti-technique, choreography, artistic, commercial, folkloric, "good" or "bad"... addicted? All through the ages, in every culture, every country, rich, poor, there have been groups of human beings addicted to, obsessed by, dance.
Through my lifetime of addiction to dance, this has been my view of the phenomenon. It's energy - everything is energy. Moving. Moving through everything. Moving through everything that moves. That's no new idea, any scientist will tell you that. Being aware of it is the essence of dance. Feeling energy circulating through the body, causing us to move. It happens from conception. We can learn to channel energy, to let it flow into movement. Performance is not only for the audience - not only for the performer. It's experiences being shared, discoveries being made, exchanging and generating energy.
It's a buzz! I feel the air on my skin and in my lungs. Sweating as though my soul is emerging through my skin. I can feel the blood circulating, moving muscles, moving tendons, tendons working limbs, soul in flight - Time/Space/Energy - flowing through me to the audience - tingling, throbbing, pulsating and flowing back to me.
It becomes an addiction, an obsession, a glorious ease that brings life. Visual silence - held breath - building - growing - hold on - look out - up, up, rising, rising, rising to - soaring energy - Dance: the Sublime Energy Exchange.
© 1981 (then Aviva Marsh-Marchinski), 1998, 2015 Aviva Sheb'a
Aviva was always conscious of being painfully thin as a child. People remarked about how thin she was. Conversations stayed with her. Her uncle telling her father as she left the room, "Her arms and legs are like matchsticks". A woman praised her mother as they waited for the train to attend physiotherapy at the Royal Children's Hospital: "It's so good of you to take in a little refugee child." At thirteen, as she gained strength and developed breasts, she thought she had become fat.
Performing, teaching dance, coaching elite athletes in a gymnasium, and very overweight - and very happy - women in another gym, and watching the development of eating disorders over the years, gave Aviva plenty to think about.
Aviva's work as an artists' model, and in more recent years, her life-drawing, have given her refreshing ideas on the human body. Raising a boy and a girl to adulthood gave her added insight.
Aviva blogs her thoughts on (amongst other things) why people regain weight, what she thinks about diet and exercise, creating positive self-image in general.
Listen to Humanosaurus below
For further information regarding workshops, seminars, public speaking and performances, please contact Aviva.