‚BATHING REFRESHES THE BODY, TEA REFRESHES THE SPIRIT’ – A KITCHEN TABLE TALK WITH SOPHIE MARS
Updated: Jan 12, 2020
By Sophie Mars and Liesa Maria Lettau
Sophie and I have known each other for about one and a half years now. The face of our exclusive ‘Biste Berlin Collection’ and I recently shared a flat in Berlin Neukölln. Reason enough for us to get together to learn more about the Berlin performance artist.
Half British, half German – she is a child of the world, studied Literature and Film in London, Performing- and Visual Arts in Madrid and Dance movement therapy in Heidelberg, with long travelling stints across the globe, particularly in New York and South America. She has just founded her dance movement therapy studio Symbiosis in Berlin, currently accepting clients via her Instagram account @sophiemars_ as she is still building her studio website.
'What is the best discovery you made in therapy with a patient?’ I ask. She does not mention a specific case but answers that her experience has convinced her of the power and knowledge of the body. ‘It speaks to us and is a tool that can reveal all.
Everything is in the body.’ Dance therapy is a journey, an exploration, an adventure.
That leads me to one of my favorite topics: ‚What does body positivity mean for a dance therapist?‘ In a nutshell: ‚how good acceptance feels‘ Towards oneself, but also accepting oneself in the presence of others. Positivity occurs when you feel this acceptance between one another.
And what can people expect of one of your sessions? What is a typical dance therapy session at Studio Symbiosis? ‘That depends on what you bring and what you’re interested in: a topic, an idea or a thought, or perhaps you’re just curious and would like to try it out’ One of her favorite techniques is called ‘Authentic Movement’, a Technique from the 60s in which you close your eyes and move intuitively without music. The body moves you. Mover and watcher discuss what they saw and felt. It becomes a feedback loop in which the unconscious and conscious is defined and reflected.
Sometimes repetitive patterns and themes are discovered. For example somebody might keep seeing the image of a shell. This technique works best when the person doesn’t have a particular goal, since it’s about the subconscious. You can see some examples on my Instagram! In lots of them I’m wearing Lettau l|.!
Dance therapy is an open space for people who would like to get to know themselves through their bodies, from a less rational perspective.
‘And now about the modelling. I have the feeling you use your body in a very specific way in front of the camera.’ I’m actually uncomfortable in front of the camera. I feel it can be intimidating, even though as a performance artist I’m used to a similar type of attention. ‘The music the photographer Sheerin (Antieve) played in the background helped me relax. And the topic ‘Biste Berlin’ in this shoot meant for me: empowerment, strength, athleticism. I was in the ‘Look’, it became a role.
Fashion has a huge effect on her, she thinks it has a transformative quality and loves to embody different roles. Each time you meet someone new you can create a totally different persona. ‘There were situations where people thought I was totally conservative.’
‘Do you still have a personal style in that case?’ – ‘I’ve asked myself the same thing!’ (she laughs). It seems we are back on a therapeutic topic. Do humans even have a kind of essence?
‘Well, I’d say I’m playful, colourful, otherworldy’ ‘Expressionist!’ I say. ‘Does Lettau l|. Art Fashion have an essence in its style?’ – ‘Underwater worlds! Something with mermaids...mermaid chic!’ Intuition has spoken I would say!