A saxophone player's perspective of a Biodanza workshop (guest blog)

Improvising rhythms

Hi my name is Will and I’m a Saxophone player. When Sue contacted me about accompanying a Biodanza workshop, I wasn’t sure what to expect! She described how, together with a percussionist, I would improvise around specific rhythms while participants reacted to these improvisations. I had not encountered Biodanza before, but I have plenty of experience improvising and I’m always happy to try something new and see what happens!

Communicating openly

The first thing I noticed was the welcoming atmosphere in the class. Everyone seemed both perceptive of their own state and receptive to the other participants, with everyone communicating openly. By the end of the session I realised that the communication I was witnessing, the openness, extended to a physical language as well as a verbal one. I began to recognise familiar elements from personal experience of wellness and meditation, but this element of communication was fascinating - especially as I began to play. Music contains multiple layers of communication - between players, between players and audience, and between instrument and player.

I began to appreciate the sense of playfulness

On a personal level, the focus on breath was particularly relevant. The saxophone requires a great deal of breath control and, although I already maintain a focus on my breathing when I play, becoming aware of how that breath affects my body, and my mind, was fascinating. As the workshop progressed, I also began to appreciate the sense of playfulness that became apparent alongside moments that were personal and intimate. 

The vibrations from my saxophone have rarely felt as in tune with a room!

I was invited to stay for the rest of the session after I had finished playing, and I was only too happy to accept. It was a wonderful opportunity to experience some of the movements first-hand, and the devotional kirtan at the end was very moving to be part of - the vibrations from my saxophone have rarely felt as in tune with a room! Personally, this was a brilliant introduction to biodanza - and hopefully not my last experience! It was also a great reminder of the power of music to heal and communicate. 

This blog was written by Will Rathbone.

Will Rathbone is a professional saxophone player, performing in bands across London, the UK and abroad. He performs in small and large jazz ensembles that are available for events - email will.rathbone88@gmail.com or call 07849739220 and he's happy to chat!