Five Layers Alive - In Dance

                                                                                                                     By Ani Rainauli

5 movements of the OA & 5 layers of neurosis

What if we could put our drive of life into 5 movements?

Or we could say -  fit our developmental energy into these movements?

Dance-like movements of the TV series “the OA” can be interpreted differently according to the frame and philosophy of life… But there is Gestalt and there is 5 layers of neurosis... We could just dive in:

When we observe these 5 movements in action, as at the climax of the show, it gives us goosebumps, brings emotions and excitement.  It’s like you stop breathing during these movements and then breathe out at the very end of it. It’s the moment of closure, moment of satisfaction and yes, of course - explosion!

At the last moment of this dance, I could clearly see the peace and balance that were achieved during this performance. Only after the previous four movements could I get the peace of mind and emotion – an authentic explosion. Which is beautifully represented

with the movements of hands that close eyes and reach the heart in the end – the 5th movement.

What is the drive that leads us to this beautiful closure and explosion?

It’s like the individual energy, finding its own place and shape, but only after taking the long journey into unexpected situations – like going through the first four movements.

Those movements are bizarre and sharp, with representations of voices and roars. I am on the battlefield, trying to figure out where exactly am I heading to. It’s like going through the layers of phony and phobic into the impasse and then implosion. It’s dizzy and fast, sharp and sweet at the same time. But it is softest at the end – the representation of explosion.

Could it be reliable to focus on the actual content of these movements from the show?

Why not! It gives us the actual perspective of the creators of that TV series. And the story too, what it tells us, what it would like to show us:

If the 5 people do these five movements together with full involvement, dedication, belief and feeling, the energy that they are producing and creating is healing. They heal first of all themselves and then others.

The life of a human being is full of healing processes. If I get a wound on my skin, I take care of it and let it heal. If I get soul scars, I let myself dive into it, figure it out and of course – heal! In order to get through tough or stressful times, I heal myself to get over it…

At any point of my moving life I get healing moments.

I am constantly in the process of something, in the middle of something, in my ever-changing environment and ever-changing self, like in these five movements, I let myself be fully in the moment, in these bizarre stages and let it heal me.

If I heal myself and get to the point of relief or acceptance, it is like closing my eyes, as in the fifth and final movement and letting myself be where are I am and who I am, in that very moment.

Is there any starting point of something new? A novelty that will produce new feelings, new era of perspectives?… Sure!

When I get to the moment of explosion, I am letting myself step into novelty. I kind of say –” yes” to new experiences, I kind of say - “I am ready.” I am ready to jump into the fertile void to start the same dance over again!

According to the concept of creators of the show, 5 movements are the door to another dimension.

What can be ‘another dimension’ for a human being, living in a reality without those movie-like supernatural forces?

After every closure of gestalt, there is always something that lets us jump into another, new dimension of our lives. 

Explosion is the end and the beginning of something simultaneously. Through the dance of layers, I get excited, energetic, sometimes feeling down and the heavy stuckness. With these ups and downs I become the creator of the door, my own door to novelty, Which I will open in the end, closing my eyes (5th movement) - and diving into explosion.

Even the small explosions in the process of 5 layers let us be somewhere new – giving us a driving force to go through all layers.

In this dance of OA, there are small explosion(s) inside it as well: Imitation of flying, after “seeing” heart/soul from outside (movement, where a hand moves away from chest to look, to observe, then it goes back on the chest and lets a dancer “fly”). But during these small explosions inside 5 movements, the dancer mostly looks up with his eyes wide open – not really concentrated on his own self, not looking inside, but only outside.

Finally, in the end, in the very last moment, he closes his eyes, “looks inside” and lets himself be.  That is the place of actual “healing forces,” getting to explosion to be healed.


Final Words:


If we take a broader look at this 5 movements performance and focus on the fact that there are 5 people involved, it gives us a feeling of unification, of wholeness. It’s the field that is created with the special involvement of each member, bringing in the unique self, which emerges on the edge of this contact field. If you watch the TV show from the beginning to the end, you will observe each of the 5 people going through the different processes by themselves, exploring and developing their special identities. And only after getting closer to their authentic selves do they manage to get it together and create the energy of unity and wholeness. It’s the same with 5 layers. We all go through these layers individually, but when we start to work as one group (our group is a perfect example), we mix up our unique, individual energies, exchange, share and reach something not only individually, but together. This is a type of explosion, reached through the created field of 2 or more people involved together.

Adventures in Being

Gestalt Therapy and Counselling for Growth in Edinburgh with Karen Nimmo