A Physical Exploration of STORIES AND Memory

Stories in Motion pairs the art of storytelling with expressive dance and choreography. Our participants share their own stories and memories, with our resident artist, who transcribe and translate those stories into poetry. During the creation of these poems our dancers then develop theatrical movement phrases to accompany each piece. At the conclusion of each one hour workshop, the poems are spoken aloud with the assistance of a microphone and a ten minute dance piece is performed incorporating each participant’s story. We can facilitate workshops in either English or Spanish.

The goal of Stories in Motion is to explore pathways that link dance and memory through spoken word. In our workshops, the groups reflect on their lives, draw out emotions, and share untold stories and memories with their peers.

 Through the combination of spoken word, poetry and dance we create a unique interpretive and sensorial experience for our students. Each collaboration provides a catalyst for discussion, exploring language, imagery, emotional embodiment, and physical interpretation. Pairing the art of storytelling with dance motivates our participants to think of their own stories, embody their feelings and create their own movement to accompany their stories. While in their chairs, they also work on gestures to express their feelings and enhance those memories. With each session our students go deeper, pulling back layers to reveal stories from their childhood with tremendous detail. Everyone can participate regardless of their cognitive or physical ability. Stories in Motion builds community and friendships through story sharing and exposing common threads with others.

 “I do this because it’s downright inspirational. The particiapnts we work with are the gatekeepers of their neighborhoods, bearers of their rich history, we are blessed by every story they share- to learn more about the human struggle, and the context of living a full life. Where we combine movement and story we are achieving great connection, consistently finding ourselves in conversations we didn’t expect to be in, looking at the lofty questions of life that ruminate at any age, and then dancing about them. It is such insightful work we are doing in those various rooms, I am privileged to be a part of it.” Debbie Maciel, Stories in Motion resident artist