Dance, Corporeity and Psychosomatics

On February 28th, 2018, a dancer, psychiatrist and a theatre scholar discussed the impact of movement, rhythm and body experience on illness and health. This was the second public dialogue organised by The New Utrecht School in 2018.  

The dancing human 

The human body feels, breathes, moves, works... and dances. So what happens if you fall ill, and suddenly, your body does not function anymore like it used to? What if you are a victem of severe, long-term physical symptoms, without a solution or even a diagnosis? How do we create new ways to express ourselves and our bodies and to feel better - maybe even feel healthy? 

Expression and experience 

The human being is not just a storyteller, as was discussed in the first public dialogue from The New Utrecht School, but also a dancer. The way how we experience the world and express that experience is always bound to our physical senses. Moods ("what are you feeling like today?") alter how we perceive life, and even our rational-reflective knowledge has a physical foundation: our senses pass on information to our brains, but at the same time alter the information that they receive. Expression, specifically dancing, can therefore play a major role in medical interventions. 


  • Mariella de Jong, former dancer of the Dutch Danstheater (Dance theater) and the Scapino ballet group.
  • Prof. Frank Röhricht, professor of psychiatry, expert in physical psychotherapy and dance therapy.

  • Prof. Maaike Bleeker, professor in Theatre Studies. She is an expert in the relation between technology, movement, and physical perception and cognition.