Written by Radana Kodetová_2018
Translated by Žubra Žubretovská_2021
Photo by Zuzana Štolcová

Zuna, the author of the book “The TAO of Movement”, in which she offers a comprehensive overview of the moving human body from the point of view of Chinese medicine, its needs, its possibilities and the way to keep it healthy. Zuna as a professional dancer and dance teacher brings a book in which every “mover” – whether he is a dancer, a yogi, an athlete, an actor of physical theater etc – will be able to orientate himself in the energy context with his moving body. The book is part of Zuna’s long-term research of dance interconnection with the principles of Chinese medicine and Qigong called Dance and Medicine, which includes practical seminars, lectures, research activities, studies. You can read about it in this interview.

Radana: Zuna, what was the impuls for your decision to write this book?

Zuna: Since 2000 I have been engaged with Chinese philosophy – I have studied Chinese medicine, Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Shiatsu, Qigong. My study basically continues, I’m going into deeper sources of knowledge (Yi Jing, Feng Shui, etc). Since I am a dancer, I have literally a physical need to transform all this knowledge into a body and dance practice. Therefore, my husband Milan and I run workshops of Dancing Qigong focused on perceiving Qi energy in motion and on how conscious working with it can help maintain the health, but also the quality of a stage performance. I include health issues in the Dance and Medicine seminars, where I try to show people ways to understand their body through the principles of Chinese medicine in a movement. These workshops are presented on this page and at http://danceandmedicine.wixsite.com/zuna/home

People and dancers are interested in the health topic. Many of them ask me where they can read about it more, they want to go deeper to solve some of their health problems, or they are „just“ fascinated by the topic of understanding the body from this point of view. They ask what concrete book I can recommend them. Although there are many books about Chinesse medicine I can´t quite answer this question. My study – there are dozens of books, notes from the lectures, audio-recordings, personal experiences and discoveries, discussions with dancers and physical theater actors. I can´t recommend one, even two or three books. In addition, I haven´t found a book that focuses on Chinese medicine in the context of movement and dance. So, I decided to write one 😊.

Radana: Can you pinpoint the focus of this book and who it will be addressed to?

Zuna: In the book, I would like to provide readers with practical instructions on how to maintain their health through the means of Chinese medicine. It will be designed for dancers, movers, physical theater actors, hence it will focus on the physical context that Chinese medicine offers. The information from the book can also help people who don´t practice dancing and stage performance – athletes, yogis, but also ordinary people who are interested in health and life cycle circuits.

Radana: Would you lightly describe the structure of the book, and what interesting the reader will find there?

Zuna: The book will contain the necessary explanation of the importance of prevention, but also options for solving some health problem. I will thoroughly explain the context of Chinese medicine and its basic principles – it will concern Qi energy, energetic centers, energetic pathways – meridians, organs and their effect on our body structures, which are bones, cartilage, muscles, skin, or tendons used in movement. I will explain the yin-yang theory and demonstrate readers how to work with it in both professional and personal practice. I will deal in a great detail with the concept of five energy transformations (the so-called five elements), which are water, wood, fire, earth and metal. Each of them offers a different way of working with the human body, both in health and art matters. We will look at some typical problems of dancers and movers – knee pain, backache, joint dislocations, sprains, but also other health problems such as fatigue, weak digestion, breathing or menstrual problems…

The book will bring precious information about maintaining health while making greater physical demands on the body. It also penetrates the world of psyche from the point of view of Chinese medicine in relation to these professions or hobbies, in topics such as stagefright, success-failure, or inability to release mental tension. Philosophically (but also practically) it dips in the work with pain, rest and so on. The special part of the book will focus on detailed description of meridians and offer opportunities to work with them on the move.

Radana: Will there be also nutrition information in it?

Zuna: The book will certainly offer information on eating and dealing with various dietary issues because they are part of this complex. This information will be consulted with a Chinese dietitian specialist Martin Kanovsky.

Radana: Do you consult professional information in the book with a western medicine doctor?

Zuna: This project is professionally consulted with Mudr. Jiří Mařádek, physiotherapist and practitioner of Chinese medicine and big fan of dance and theatre 😊. I consult the book also with Mudr. Martina Hrošová, a cardiologist who participates in my workshops practically, because she is an amateur dancer.

Radana: When will the book come out?

Zuna: It depends on how fast my writing will go, but also on other necessary tasks. Publishing a book requires a large and functional management. I already have three quarters of it finished and I need a few months to complete it. However, its English edition is still preceded by a translation into English, obtaining funds for that translation, searching for a publisher who publishes books in English of such focus. And when I find one, there is a communication about the issues and the release itself.

The energy and time expenditures for all these actions are huge, and I have only one dose of energy 😊. By this, I would like to appeal to readers that, if anyone had an interest in being at the birth of this book with their help, I would be glad to hear from them. If you know any interesting publisher, or someone who would be able to fund this project, please type. Perhaps one of you would like to get involved in the publishing of this book as a manager. I am open to any cooperation and grateful for it. You can contact me via my email address zuna@artyci.com

Accompanying pictures are from Dance and Medicine_whole year series in Prague_2016, taken by Zuzana Štolcová.

Translation of this text is supported by Slovak Art Concil

An interview about Zuna´s book