What moves the body?
What heals the body?
- Childhood memory
As a child, I had a difficulty in learning. I couldn’t write or speak properly until the age of 10. I still remember the silent period where I spent mostly with my grandmother in a countryside of South Korea. By then, my playground was open rice fields, abandoned bushes and forests. My 80 years old granny was my best friend.
One day, I was alone in a forest. I began to move my hands and my back. It was slow gentle motions arising from my little body. I was moving at the same time being moved. I could feel and sense every single motion passing through me like an electric shock.
I noticed that moment clearly that my body is being moved by something. I would never forget the experience that there was something invisible moving me and communicating through my body.
“What was it?” I wondered.
I didn’t share this experience with anybody, not even with my grandmother. I kept it for myself. I knew intuitively that the experience was only for myself. And it happened for a reason. Since then, the incident brought me to a question.
“What moves the body?”
This inquiry continued though my 20’s & 30’s while working as a dancer & choreographer. And then expanding my practice in oriental medicine and somatics, the inquiry transformed into
“What heals the body?”
Last September 2021, I was invited to the 7th Radical.Body performing arts biennale in Hungary. I got opportunities to share my ritual performance ‘Planetary acupuncture’ with the local audience in two different places.
For the festival I wanted to create a performance that can reflect my process of creation and healing. And I wanted my performing act becoming a part of planetary offerings for the earth. I received an inspiration to create a ritual performance for trees to connect to the earth energy.
First performance was held in University of Pécs – faculty of music and visual art. I felt immediately a sense of creation & vivid energy of the art academy. Professor Blasz showed me a gingko tree that was planted by a founder of the school. The old tree was standing so tall reaching high to the sky. The leaves were full and moving gently with the wind as if she already knew that I come for her. She welcomed me and the audience with her calm presence.
Second performance was held in a reformatus church garden in Cegledbercel, a small town 2 hours away from Budapest. The church was facing a cemetery. Batarita (festival director) showed us around and explained about Hungarian tradition.
As soon as I walked around the place, I felt familiar to the surroundings as if I have been here before. There was a linden tree waiting for me in the church garden.
3. Moving spirit
During the performance, my voice and body were moved by the energy of the place. Unusual sensations passing though me as sharp signals like that moment of my childhood.
I felt so much moaning and sorrow arising from my belly and moving through my legs and feet. At some point, my slow dance transformed into a shivering and crawling motions.
And then blackout. I don’t have any memories about what happened. When I came back to my conscious, my hands and arms were full of tears and saliva. I felt the audience looking at me with such a focus.
In that very moment, I was in-between space of SOMEWHERE my moving spirit belongs to and HERE where I am performing in front of the audience. Both places were existing together at the same time within my body and my dance.
Audience’s focus supported me truly to carry on the performance. I brought all my attention back to the moment of now where I was present with the tree, earth, air and sky. Every single moment was a language of ritual, offering, meanings and gratitude to the invisible and the visible.
During the performance, I received a message that;
“Earth has been going through radical changes. The speed of changes is extremely fast. Earth is transforming completely to a new energy. To work with her, we need to let go of pain and suffering. We need to see beyond life and death. Then, we can transform with her into the new.
Earth listens to us. All the works with sincere gestures & intentions to connecting to the earth energy are truly necessary. Planetary works are safely guided with nature wisdom. This creative healing force comes together as one resonance for higher purpose where we can look into a light.”
I would never forget the experience. I take the message from the earth as a direction of my further journey where my body unfolds a secrete language of healing and creation.
About Ko Jihae
She is a registered acupuncturist, dance artist, somatic movement teacher & researcher based in Amsterdam. Her work deals with healing and creation through sensory awareness and therapeutic process. She is a co-founder of Medicine body studio in Amsterdam where she facilitates ongoing sessions. She works closely with clients with body-mind symptoms and women’s health.
Recently, she is presenting a ritual performance ‘Planetary acupuncture’ in specific locations. She offers her creation for the earth.