Local Health Authority Rome-E

Department of Mental Health, Section 18

Day Center “Valle Aurelia” for Psychosocial Rehabilitation

Rome, 14 July 2008

Thanks for the performances of June 2008

As a result of the excellent success of Your Performances in three evenings (26th, 27th and 28th last june) at our Day Center (CD-VA) in collaboration with the Socio-Cultural Association “Villa Carpegna” I feel the obligation to offer you a special thanks also in the name of all the Staff of our socio-sanitary structure.

Our CD-VA is operating from 16 May 1995 and it works both through Courses of Pre-Professional Formation (PFP, currently 4 active) or through therapeutic laboratories of Expressive for a better socialization (ETR, currently 20 active).
Therefore since ever it has received artists of every cultural and academic origin, either in order to acquire them as conductors of their own laboratories, either to house them in order to promote exchanges between different schools and comparisons of different opinions, methods and experiences also far apart. From every such encounter the working group always has exited enriched, and great stimulations have been received by the Users-Students of the Laboratories.

However this time with You something more has happened. In fact, Your specific modality of rappresentation has provoked an involvement in the present ones that it does not have equal in the long-standing tradition of our CD-VA.
The Butoh Dance with its peculiar rhythms and expressive modalities has created, in a completely anonymous place which is our temporary center (waiting for a structure more apt to our institutional purposes), an atmosphere of sacred cavern of the theatricality: at the end of your performance nobody of the present ones was the same as before.

We cannot in any way to remain insensitive to an emotional-corporeal communication as that which is conveyed by the Butoh Dance: the mimic and the gesture, the gait, the heterodox time scan and any other specific characteristic of the Butoh determines an impact on the “audience” in order to transform him, if he grants the meeting to such an incisive communication, in a “participant” at all effects.

In Psychiatry and Psychology, we always talk of “Psyche and Soma” of “Mind and Body” indicating a binomial that when it enters in antinomy any human being becomes ill in a way and/or in another.
In the Butoh, the body becomes patently psyche: the psyche, indeed, reveals itself through its body in a very explicit way, as it rarely happens in ordinary life. In this regard, an exception can be considered, for example, the expressivity of the Eros when is completely free of expressing himself in a “mature” way, which however takes place in the secret of the intimacy of the single contractors and therefore it cannot be, and should not be naturaliter, a “communication” shared coram populo. Precisely these bodies that embody the “evil of living” with an unusual effectiveness are the engine that, inevitably, activate in the “audience” a dip in his “heart / mind / soul”, an unexpected, but inexorable immersion in the depths of his own psiche.

It is precisely in the ability of involvement which the Butoh realizes the difference of contact between dancer and audience: who is present is irresistibly induced to enter in the vortex of thoughts, emotions, memories, regarding him very, very deeply.
Such prerogative makes the Butoh an adequate discipline to the completion of the Formation of the Operating ones of the Mental Health in general, and especially of those engaged in the Psychosocial Rehabilitation.
In fact, in general terms, every socio-sanitary Operator to the Mental Health should have in his curriculum at least one workshop centered on the awareness of own affectivity: such characteristic (which, for example, is at the base of the formation of psychoanalysts) not always is contemplated in the paths of the professional apprenticeship of the attache’s to the jobs, although our profession cannot correctly be carried out without a perfected personal inner preparation.

Myself, which I have an orthodox freudian formation, I have lived thanks to the intensity of Your “acting”, a “disturbing” experience: thanks.

Michele Di Nunzio
psychiatrist criminologist