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Rolando Toro

Founder of Biodanza

Rolando Toro Araneda (1924-2010) is the founder and creator of Biodanza now practiced throughout Europe, South America, South Africa, Japan and Australia. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with Biodanza.
Born in Concepcion, Chile, 19th April 1924, he has followed many careers including school teacher, medical doctor, psychiatrist, medical researcher, poet, artist, African art collector and anthropologist. All have, in various ways, contributed to the development of Biodanza – his life’s work.
He has held many academic posts including Chair of Psychology of Expression at the Institute of Aesthetics of the Catholic University of Santiago, Chile.

He has published books of poetry and psychotherapy and has had exhibitions of his paintings in Brazil, Italy and France. He has lived in many countries including Argentina, Brazil and Italy.
In 1998 he returned to his native country of Chile until his death in 2010 – still dancing and travelling the world giving workshops until one week before his passing.

His Motivation to Create Biodanza

On the origins and emergence of Biodanza, he writes:
“Biodanza has emerged discreetly in my life. It has gathered strength slowly, awakening people’s interest, causing surprising changes in some participants, and above all creating a feeling of “epiphany” (manifestation of God) and hope in life.”
“The Second World War showed that humanity could reach inconceivable levels of perversity. Events such as the holocaust of millions of people under fascism and the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki revealed how far the degradation of the human race could go. The crisis of western culture was obvious – the global vision of human beings as “ill from civilisation.”
“On the other hand, I have lived experiences of ecstasy, in a mysterious and marvellous world. I have had children. I have made contact with the first ecological groups.
“Faced with the abyss created by human contradictions, I felt a desire to conquer paradise, a shared paradise. I could not conceive of a solitary evolution. I wanted to find the source of original love.
“Everyone, for centuries, had heard about “love for our fellow man” as the purest truth of Christianity. The manifestation of human behaviour, however, had become increasingly dissociated and violent.
“Music was the universal language, the only thing everyone could understand in the Tower of Babel of the world.
“Dance was the ideal form capable of integrating body and soul. The dance experience offered all participants happiness, tenderness and strength.
“I also wanted to communicate this experience to a large number of people. From both these experiences and sensations, my desire to form small groups of people to dance, sing and meet within the music arose.
“So Biodanza became a way to share what was marvellous, together with others.”