Contemplative Dance Practice in the Virtual Space

Contemplative Dance Practice in the Virtual Space: an online movement meditation practice.

a participatory digital performance practice

Contemplative Dance Practice draws both from the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and from the post-modern dance lineage. Devised in 1980 by Barbara Dilley, Contemplative Dance is practiced in its original and adapted forms all over the world. CDP brings together the discipline of sitting meditation with free movement investigations and the practice of improvisation. 

CDP constitutes a research practice of being-ness while moving. It is a performance tool of the mind/ body/ space interrelationship. Through the practice of observing without bias, things simply start opening up. An attitude of both discipline and acceptance gives rise to a sense of discovery and play. CDP offers the opportunity to cultivate mindfulness, awareness and community. It has applications in the fields of health, education, religion, human relations and the arts.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been forced to practice CDP online. Practicing in front of a computer screen, we have been challenged to negotiate a dichotomized world between physical and virtual space. Two sides across from each other foster two different qualities of experience: the ‘felt-sense’ experience of being and the ‘looking at’ (or ‘being looked at’) experience of doing. Through our online CDP practice we have been exploring ways to nurture this double perceived world. We have been looking for ways of connection and togetherness that lie in the present moment, oneself and the other (s) that’s on the other side. 

Instructions for the participants/ audience members: 

Set up your computer so you can both sit in front of it but also have room around you to move. It is not necessary to stay in your zoom frame while moving. You can join with camera on or off. Please have accessible a cushion or a chair for  sitting meditation practice and some writing material.


Duration: 2 hours.
Direction-Facilitation: Anna Tzakou
Performers: Maria Constanti, Georgia Nikolaou, Vasiliki Nomidou, Zoe Papadopoulou, Erato Tzavara, Domna Zafeiropoulou.


May 2021

2nd Seminar on Performing Arts and Contemplative Practices: Performing Arts, Contemplation and Coexistence
Tradere Research Group (CNPQ),
NUPAC (Centre for Research in Performing Arts- UFSM)
CRIA group (UFMGUNIRIO (Rio de Janeiro-Brazil).