Telling Our Stories through Movement

March 2021 Edition of Partnership News by the Peterborough Immigration Partnership

At the end of February, artists Mithila Ballal and Kate Story presented the “Finding Your Story Through Movement” workshop as part of the Common Threads Collective Land(ing) project. 

Mithila shares some reflections from the workshop here:

The workshop began with welcoming the group with music and using warm up as a way to connect socially. The group was asked to think of a story that changed their lives and where that emotion was present in their bodies. The participants were generous and open to moving and exploring the emotion. They continued to connect with one another as well as a group, mirroring and being able to express that emotion through their bodies. There were four participants who attended in person and one through zoom. The participants did not fail to include the participant who attended through zoom. 

The second part of the workshop was going back to thinking of a story that changed their lives and each participant had to create a movement sequence, making sure they would remember this sequence. When they completed the sequence, they shared their stories and the facilitators provided feedback on how to change and edit parts of the movement. After all the participants shared their movement sequences, the facilitators created a movement choir by combining all the movement sequences presented by each participant. 

The participants were open to being vulnerable when they shared their stories through movements and the movement choir was a powerful way of sharing a culmination of stories put together. 

The workshop gave us an opportunity to hear the stories through an expression of body movements. Although the stories were portrayed with a variety of movement sequences that were different, they were relatable and embodied by each of the participants which connected the group. It was a beautiful way to honour each participant’s story through movements.

Last but not the least, it was a wonderful connection between strangers. Even though we had wildly various origins, ages, and stories, in the end the sense of connection in the room was very powerful.

Check Public Energy’s Artists in Conversation video below featuring Kate Story & Mithila Ballal discussing their workshop.

Established in 2008, the Peterborough Immigration Partnership (PIP) is a community-based partnership of individuals & organisations (including the NCC) which envisions a community where the meaningful economic, social and cultural integration of newcomers ensures a prosperous and inclusive community for all.

Please contact us for more information and to become involved in this partnership.