My Story

The Dance of Exile

I come from a place that no longer exists.
A place that has changed shape,
Although,
I will always remember it as –
The place of my earliest dancing
With the worlds of beyond.

A dreamy and bountifully creative child
I was challenged and encouraged from the start.
Brought up for independence,
With goodness of heart
In mind.
My parents were strict yet kind,
War children!
Their struggles a secret
I hid with –
In plain sight.

Longing to see them happy
So I too could play,
In the valley of my growing-up tears,
The mountainous land,
Fiercely guarding me
In Brotherhood and Unity,
Neutral on the world stage,
Our idealism – my seriousness – expectations,
I repressed my joy,
Until –

Poised to leave at the perfect age,
My peace wasn’t cracked open!
Thus, bursting into million pieces,
An instant before the tsunami
Swept away my ground,
Yet another war!
Ripped apart my country, my people, my family
Body frozen in memory,
I let my spirit leap –
Into the unknown.

Stretching over the edges of my youth
Further than I could imagine,
Suspended,
In exile,
As I ceased to exist,
My ground became –
The questions,
The laws of uncertainty,
The Void,
The Eye Between the Worlds.

Unable to help or turn back the time
For those I loved the most,
I churned –
From adventure to desperation
Then back to adventure 
To exhaustion.
My energy a spiral
Renewing itself,
My passion lifting me till possession,
Then dropping me down into depression.

Many times I burnt
And I came out
Reinvented.
A child of Nature,
In shock and in awe,
Riding the waves of life,
Weaving the threads of myth
In an embodied reality
Strangely embraced by the Death Mother of society,
I danced.
Until –

I wasn’t cooked!
An artist,
Holding a both-and paradox,
An enormous tension.
A singular awareness pointing to unavoidable truths,
A bee immersed in the ocean of life,
I begun breathing in full –
Presence.
My survival became an ode to instinct, movement, love – to infinity,
My story a beacon of hope found in times of crises and temporality.

And in the process,
Trusting no-one but One
Mystery.
While accepting all,
I re-membered the million pieces
Heart again whole –
My poetic soul –
Born into bee-ing
I continue
Flow{er}ing..

OFFICIAL BIO:

I am a Serbian born internationally recognised artist, teacher, writer/director, shamanic and embodiment facilitator, with more than 25 years of experience. A dancer between worlds, I live and work in the UK since my birth country’s violent break-up in 1992.

Following the formal study of architecture and design, I began my career as a graphic designer. However, a deeply vocational call and an extensive training in Argentine tango, psycho-spiritual body-centred practices and performing arts took me onto a unique and culturally innovative path.

As one of the pioneers of the British Argentine tango scene I ignited many dance communities and co-founded historic tango venue in London called Zero Hour. With Islington Dance project and Thames & Hudson publishers I organised multi-media social events and concerts.

I worked for BBC and ITN TV programmes, as well as for Hollywood movie productions (the highlights of that being: Dancing Tips with Alexei Sayle, Halifax bank advertisement, tango ident, Tell Tale Signs documentary series, Strictly Dance Fever dance series, motion pictures Evita and Love and other Disasters). With my dance theatre group, I created site-specific and theatre shows and my piece La Milonga Interna – Tango a Fairytale was critically acclaimed at the Madeira Festival 2004. I toured the UK festivals with the Wired Areal Theatre and worked for Kneehigh and Wildworks theatre companies.

I created film and performance art works solo and in collaboration with other accomplished artists/filmmakers, and exhibited at the Exchange Gallery, Penzance. My film script Tightrope Tango has placed in the quarterfinals of the Raindance Film Festival ’21. 

Following an authentic spiritual path from an early age, my every-day and culturally defined perception has been expanded through my delving into many different disciplines. Insatiably curious and always learning I explored esoteric yoga, tantra and martial arts, sufism, western alchemy as well as shamanic practice, where I eventually dropped into nectars of awakened Self. I am an initiate in the ancient shamanic tradition of Lyceum, which weaves together Celtic and Slavic cultures. Following my initiation, I birthed Shamanic Tango as a place within which other people can sip from the fountain of inner knowing too. As embodied spirituality workshops they are informed by the contemporary approaches to resolving trauma, but rooted in the arcane technologies of the sacred, poetic relationship to nature and a creative way of seeing into the human potential.

After many years of leading a city life, I moved to rural Cornwall, where, becoming a boat-dweller I have found a sanctuary and a way of dropping into a simpler and more sustainable existence, as well as an intimate embrace of nature – from the inside out. 

Follow me and the community of other soul friends, cultural exiles, creative nomads, shape-shifters, change-makers, gypsies, mermaids, pirates, mystics and other dancers on the edges between the worlds by subscribing to my newsletter.

The Dance of Exile By Biljana Lipic
The Dance of Exile is an article I wrote for the Reinventing Home, online magazine
BBC Cornwall
BBC Radio Cornwall Interview
Cornwall Live
An article from Cornwall Live April 2022.