Malaïka, Guide to freedom

Photo Martine Dutruit, Modèle Malaïka
Photo Martine Dutruit, Modèle Malaïka

 I first carefully observed her movements, the way her body moved, her rhythms, her expressions, her arcs, infinitely entertaining and varied. Malaïka has a way of moving freely in perfect resonance with a rich palette of music. Her hands endlessly captivated me. It was as is if they were able to turn the air into a solid object. Malaïka is a star who comes to us to shine a little light and provide a great deal of lightness. Her naturalness gives me the desire to find my own so that I can express my enjoyment of dancing through switching off my mind...


It’s a shame that dancers often lack humility. The moral poverty of dancers trapped within their standards makes dance accessible only to a certain elite. This frustrates both dancers and spectators. We do not know how to effectively move our bodies freely. That’s why I was keen to study with Malaïka, but what seemed easy initially really was not. At first it took me time to remember the body’s connection between heaven and earth. I sometimes had the feeling that I was a puppet but I forced myself to continue and to liberate myself from my uniform aesthetic references.


With Malaïka it’s a case of letting go... The constraints in dance’s academic regime essentially forced me to produce symbolic structures. Being natural had become difficult. But it was also my dance training that gave me the opportunity to recognize the work of this extraordinary teacher.


Essentially, she possesses the whole basis of dance,... she combines all the beauty of the outward appearance and the effectiveness of what she brings to the inner being. However, to experience this  it is necessary to be open to oneself, the environment, the music and to others.


The body has to learn how to find its own path again, imposing rigid forms would only stifle and stiffen. With equilibrium in motion, I’ve found greater freedom.


I’ve learned to expand my perceptions and sensations, to experience motion from inside my body and to develop it – thanks to the practice of breathing. During the warm-up, each movement is practiced and lived depending on the moment as a kind of improvised self-massage. This approach combines the body’s movements  with breathing exercises.


The connection when moving from one position to another is enhanced in a form of natural language, but always related to a consciousness of breathing. I realize it is a long job. However, I enjoy it, I adapt it and I play with it...


Gradually, I found the pleasure of dancing essentially by not thinking about what is wrong ... My body moves better, but it also makes me aware of its blockages. Old pains come back, but are warmed up and relieved. I am less tense, I use less unnecessary effort and achieve better results.


Life returns to the innermost recesses of my body and mind. Amazing warmth emanates from within. I really feel it is difficult to breathe freely, but when the energy is properly directed it helps my breathing and that of the whole group.


Together we share the joy of dancing. Everyone has their place, their space and their rhythm ... Laughter comes, we relax, we yawn, we dance, we play, but without losing the thread or the presence of what we are, of what we do and also of the others. Malaïka guides us without imposing. She takes us on a journey in a fluid but very stable approach. We should all have the opportunity to meet someone like Malaïka to get out of our ruts and away from our clichés.

Charlotte (professional dancer)