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Some FAQs about Kolo

Categorized in these topics: Interviews and Other Works about Danica Anderson

Interview with Danica Anderson about the Kolo.

What is the origin of Kolo?
The Kolo is Bosnian/Serb-Croatian, and translates as, to be in a circle or to dance. It dates back to the Paleolithic era where Proto-Slavs performed rituals through dance in the shape of a circle, and where women who were menstruating would gather and bleed together. Kolo is social memory brought into the moment; becoming eternal. Chris Knight discusses the importance of female solidarity in Blood Relations; Menstruation and Origins of Culture, when he states that "Yes, Gender solidarity and synchrony established culture. These stories were in their own way good science." Good science is to merge together: add feminine to masculine side, to engender.

The kolo can only be experienced and lived. Even the definition of the kolo suggests an experiential medium. Putting your whole body into a kolo whether it be a dance step or orally in a circle, surrenders to archetypal energies while activating sacred and eternal memory.

What are the different levels of healing which occur in the Kolo?
Kolo is a manifestation of layers of healing which occurs. The most immediate level is the dance. Dance can alter DNA. Dancing shoulder to shoulder, while the footsteps might be different for each person in a circle, gives the experience of solidarity with diversity. The next level is the connection through first person story, in the circle behind the dance steps. There is a communion that happens at another level. Breaking bread or sharing feeds souls and bodies with communion. The final level is reunion: much like when we used to bleed together. Women have this reunion with each other when they share their private pain. Women share their wisdom when bearing witness to each others’ lives and that of their family. The Kolo allows for observation of universal patterns in this sister kinship.

What was the original Kolo and how did you incorporate it?
Facing the aftermath of the Bosnian war, where neighbour against neighbor and friend against friend reacted in violence, murder and mayhem; I recognized that if I entered this world associated with an ethnic tribe such as Croatian-Serbian or Moslem that I would be met with more hatred. By using symbols and the word Kolo that had a prehistory before any of the wars, and actually for several thousand years, I circumvented the political ideology and violence by returning to the real ‘me’ of kolo. What was just a tourist entertainment, Kolo was known as folk dancing, I returned the Kolo to its essence and discovered the healing that transcended the violence.

What different Kolos do you facilitate?
Some of the kolos in Bosnia and Sri Lanka are based around genocide and trauma rape and torture. In the USA, my private practice is also around trauma, rape and incest while others are about women issues and spirituality. Everything is the Kolo.

What kind of connection do the women from different Kolos have with each other?
When women of different kolos come together there is an immediate soulful connection. Yes. It is as if they have an instantaneous plug in to each other and the universe.

What is first-person story, and why is this storytelling important for women?
Storytelling, according to Germain Greer, states that feminism is first-person story. I have found that women rarely speak of their life experiences, either because they were not asked, they were made to feel invisible, or they had guilt and shame as if it was their fault. First-person story identifies archetypal and universal patterns and energies. First-person story is, in essence, sister kinship earth-wide. Hopefully, within women’s first-person stories, female rage will erupt. Female rage is female social justice that needs no armies, no governing entities or police. First-person stories heal us, and can etch our mitochondria DNA by the encoded potentials that carry recorded life experiences from our first mother through future generations. In the end first person story and storytelling is the universes’ song.

How is the Kolo important for women’s empowerment?
The Kolo ripples out; for instance in Bosnia, survivors of war crimes were able to testify at the Yugoslav war-crimes tribunal making a political and legal impact. The impact was so large that the tribunal finally made rape a war-crime in the late 1990’s. Another example that touches upon the eco basis is the annual Peaceful Dimensions against Gender Violence conference held in Novi Travnik, Bosnia. The women’s only skills of cooking and cleaning are taken into a self sustainable position to that of hosting conference participants in their homes. With the social gifting that occurred, domestic violence was greatly lowered since these invisible women were able to earn money.

Do you feel this channeling of the feminine can contribute to global healing?
We live in such a bruising masculine world that in order to balance it we have need of these female energies. I noted how every female culture had dance interweaving the collective memory of the mother line into a feminine madrigal. This wondrous female energy which is present in the Kolo is, in essence, a dance that needs to be sung.

Discuss / Raspravljati


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