Breathe was a collaboration between myself and choreographer Mhairi Allan combining found poetry and found movement. Both of us work with process first and foremost and our aim was not to produce a finished dance piece but to engage participants in the exploration of meaning through the creativity of mind and body.
A series of three workshops used the twenty-three words in the garden as inspiration for a variety of writing exercises and an exploration of the pathway of the individual words through the body. Participants then created their own sequence of movements in response to a map of the words installed in The Barn.
This process of creating personal narratives through writing and movement enabled people to work at a deeper level more quickly than if they had come to a workshop using only one of these art forms. One participant commented:
“I overcame my shame about writing – by combining it with movement words flowed naturally.”
Participants embraced the challenges of these workshops with openness and curiosity which resulted in a very trusting environment. Their willingness to share their own interpretations with each other led to a deeply nourishing experience for all.