Moving Archetypes Type Logo

Dance for Connecting

Archetypes are mirrors of ourselves

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Moving Archetypes uses a mixture of Indian and contemporary western dance to connect with powerful archetypes such as Cleopatra, Kali, Shiva and Tara. Archetypes are mythical characters that symbolise complex life events and feelings. Connecting with them can help us understand that who we are and our life experiences are part of larger stories and patterns. We learn to use our body and mind to engage with the chosen archetype through dance set to music from all over the world, guided improvisation and reflection. The dance style combines specific techniques from Indian and western dance and includes:

  • dance theatre styles from India which have traditionally been used to embody archetypes
  • Laban Movement Analysis based movement from contemporary western dance
  • guided simple movement improvisation

Connecting with powerful archetypes through dance can help us find inner balance and discover strengths that empower us in our daily lives. Moving Archetypes celebrates your connection to the eternal stories of this world.

No previous experience of dance or knowledge of archetypes is necessary.

Free introductory workshops: Saturdays 13th and 20th May, 10-11 am.
Venue: Currie Crescent Community Centre, Kingston
RSVP essential for free workshops.


About Padma

Padma Menon has over 30 years of international experience as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and facilitator. She has performed in hundreds of venues all over the world and created numerous contemporary and traditional Indian dance productions for high profile festivals and venues internationally.

Padma enjoyed a successful career in India performing professionally as a soloist since the age of nine. In her early twenties she founded one of Australia’s first professional multicultural dance companies and established a national and international reputation for cross-cultural work. She has worked in Europe in the renowned Korzo Production House as house choreographer and her work has been showcased in international festivals such as Cadance and the Holland Dance Festival. The centre she founded in India in 2006 was part of the arts activism movement in India, working closely with human rights and social justice organisations to raise awareness of issues such as women’s rights.

Padma spent fifteen years studying and performing in three classical Indian dance theatre styles—Bharatha Natyam, Kuchipudi and Mohini Attam. Padma also holds post graduate qualifications in Choreography specialising in Laban Movement Analysis from the Netherlands. She has also studied contemporary western dance, yoga and the Indian martial art form of Kalaripayattu.



What does a typical class look like?

Every class has a basic structure which is:
Purvaranga: Making the space sacred
Dhyana: Preparing the body (warm-up with opening ritual)
Immersion: Learning the archetype physicality
Retelling: Finding your relationship to the archetype
Mastery: The take-away for daily practice Reflection and questions

What will I get out of these classes?

Through the classes you:

  • can connect with larger states of being that can provide a mirror to your own self and can link your personal story to larger patterns;
  • find a place for mindful movement practice that is empowering and integrating; and
  • find creative ways to understand archetypes from all over the world!

Why does Moving Archetypes use dance and movement?

Moving Archetypes uses dance because dance is the language of our bodies. Recent neuroscience research (please see Judith Hanna’s Dancing to learn: the brain’s cognition, emotion, and movement) affirms that dance functions in our brains as a language. But dance is more than simple verbal language because it can express complex feelings and emotions in symbolic and metaphorical ways. When compared to spoken language, dance is poetry.

Do I need to know dance to participate in the classes?

No. Padma will introduce you to bridging movement sections and also guide and facilitate more open, creative explorations of the archetype through movement. The classes are designed to encourage a non-judgemental approach to our self, our movement and to others.

How can I get an idea of the work before I sign up for a course?

Each term is preceded by free introductory classes which is an opportunity for people to find out more about the course. You can also call or email Padma for more information.


Individual sessions

Private lessons for clients are undertaken over 5 weekly sessions of 45 minutes each. The client chooses an archetype and works with Padma to create a movement expression of their response to this character. The aim is for the client to have a dance or movement meditation that they can use as a daily practice or, if they choose, share with family and friends as part of a family event.

Term 1 2017 (Completed)

The archetype of our times: Kali

Term 3 2017 (TBC)

The Warriors
Arjuna, Achilles, Cleopatra and Durga

Term 4 2017

Siva: the Ascetic Dancer

Examined Life Forums

Examined Life forums invite the community to share their thoughts in facilitated forums about specific themes related to living a self aware and reflective life. More information about these will be available in due course. If you wish to be on the mailing list for these forums, please contact us.

  • Padma has an amazing gift of helping you to find what you need, she steps back and guides you to find yourself and helps you to focus when you get stuck.  She offers a supportive, safe space to enable you to fully immerse yourself in this work.  Padma has a deep knowledge of archetypes and shares her knowledge freely.

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    • Australia
    • 2016
  • What I loved about the dancing was that I now have shapes or postures that embody certain aspects of the archetype that I want in my life. I can practice those poses when I need a reminder, and I found that I can also imagine the pose and feel it in my body for that added boost when I need it!

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    • Australia
    • 2016
  • My story is very different to the stories of the archetypes, but the emotions are the same. And I could express myself with the archetype’s story, without telling my own story. This started a process of personal healing. She (Padma) taught me how to let negativity go and embrace all that is positive.

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    • Netherlands
    • 2000 - 2006
  • My classes made me confident and happy with myself. I started to like myself for the first time in my life...It has helped bringing me back to life...Through the classes I have peeled off the accumulated layers and every day am a new person.

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    • India
    • 2006 - 2008
  • The movement process made me go deep into myself. Whether I was searching my body or mind I was not sure. But expressing what I felt was a liberation.

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    • India
    • 2006 - 2008
  • ...she (Padma) has surprised me by being completely in tune with my own thought process. ...deeply educative and empowering...Padma’s long years of experience...has gifted her with a rare insight and intelligence in working with dance.

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    • India
    • 2006 - 2008


For all individual sessions and group classes information and enrolments please call, email or use the below contact form.