ARBN 633105736

Steve Harvey

An investigation into the Shadow Dance used in Physical Storytelling

Edition: 2019 Vol. 16 Nos. 1-2

A review of the background development and use of the Shadow Dance score from Physical Storytelling is presented in this article. Physical Storytelling is a practice that has evolved from contemporary dance improvisation as well as dance and drama therapy practices which incorporate the separation of a verbal narrative and an improvised performance of that narrative so that a teller and audience can observe and develop an expanded understanding of material using the process of witnessing dance generated metaphor. This process has been used in therapy, clinical supervision, arts-based inquiries, and to integrate learning experiences from training, workshops and professional conferences using an embodied format. Several improvisational scores or general guidelines have emerged that facilitate the joining of dance and narrative. The Shadow Dance is one of these scores. A review of how Physical Storytelling emerged from experimental dance and drama practices such as Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement, and Dynamic Family Play as well as how the Shadow Dance can be used, will be presented.

Key Words: Dance movement therapy; drama therapy; creative arts therapy; Physical Storytelling; arts- based inquiry; modern ritual

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Investigating the Fairytale Score used in Physical Storytelling

Edition: 2018 Vol. 15 Nos. 1-2

This article describes the use of the Fairytale Score used within Physical Storytelling. Physical Storytelling is a practice drawn from dance movement therapy in which a small group of dancers present a dance improvisation in response to a verbal narrative. This narrative can be provided by a client in a therapy context, a supervisee’s account of a case within clinical supervision, or in arts-based research projects to answer a question a team wishes to pursue. The Fairytale is one of several ‘scores’, or ways the dance improvisation can be organized to better fit the initial verbal story. This score can be used to illustrate narrative material that is highly emotional, confused, or presented as a dream. During the Fairytale, a single dancer improvises an imaginative and/or poetic tale told verbally while watching a small group of dancers create an improvised piece of interactive movement. This article outlines how a Fairytale Score is arranged, when it can be helpful in highlighting themes that are difficult to verbalize and provides some examples of improvised performance of this dance movement form.

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A look at the Journey Score in Physical Storytelling

Edition: 2017 Vol. 14 Nos. 1-2

Physical Storytelling (Harvey & Kelly, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2016 & Kelly 2006) is a form of dance movement therapy in which a narrative is presented as an episode of improvised dance intended to extend the emotional and creative aspects of the metaphor that has been presented in verbal story. These danced versions are understood as presenting a physical metaphor or ‘story under or within’ the verbal narrative. This form of dance movement therapy has been used in clinical intervention, supervision, as an arts-based research method, and as performance. Basic structures called scores are used to help organize movement interactions to connect the movement with the structures that are present in the narrative content. This article will investigate how the score of the ‘journey’ is developed effectively to present verbal stories of change, psychological challenge and transformation. A main goal of this article is to review how physical storytelling integrates narrative material with movement improvisation to explore the emotional, and often unconscious, elements of a narrative. A main assumption of using this form is that the use of physical metaphors and symbols can help to explore and often enhance the complex meaning within verbal stories. Future projects that use the ‘Journey Score’ to review change are suggested.

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Arts Based Enquiry: Integrating Narrative within Movement

Edition: 2016 Vol. 13 Nos. 3-4

This paper addresses the use of Physical Storytelling (Harvey and Kelly, 1991, 1992, 1993, and Kelly, 2006) as a practice to investigate scenes from life, clinical practice, and research with a goal of introducing a way to make use of dance as an Arts Based Inquiry (McNiff, 1998). Physical Storytelling is a creative improvisational practice with roots in contact improvisation, authentic movement, dance improvisation, and Playback Theatre. The form incorporates improvised movement episodes in response to verbal narratives presented by clients, families, within supervision groups, and in response to research questions. In Physical Storytelling, the therapist functions as a conductor who helps to facilitate verbal reports of emotionally relevant material in a story for mat. The therapist sets up improvised movement episodes with the intention of creating dances that can provide a more meaningful perspective for the storyteller and the participants/audience through the use of performed improvisational dance interactions. This form is useful in providing expression to situations that are complex, conflicted, and hard to present in more traditional ways. The resulting performances offer an opportunity for the dance therapist to use improvised movement as a method that is closely related to their practice to investigate important questions related to their work. In this way, the dance therapist can use Physical Storytelling to create dance as a reflective process about dance therapy either as a separate process or in addition to other more verbal or quantitate approaches.

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Integrating play and dance movement therapy

Edition: Dance Therapy Collections 4

Keywords: play, dance movement therapy, relationships, communication, creativity

Page #: 43

Often play and dance/movement therapy are viewed as separate ways of working with children, with play therapy using verbal metaphors that emerge from improvised play expression and dance therapy proceeding in a more physical mode. However, both play and dance have certain common therapeutic ingredients such as the experience of fun; pleasure; the element of developing relationships through emotional attunement; communication; and the facilitation of spontaneous creativity as curative factors. This paper will introduce a theoretical understanding of how these child related disciplines can be used together as well as provide several dance therapy skills related to the use of physical play in the therapy action within a variety of treatment contexts.



The Application of Attachment and Attunement to Dance Therapy

Edition: Dance Therapy Collections 3

dance therapy, dance/movement therapy, attunement, attachment, child psychology, family therapy

Page #: 158

Interventions with very young children focus on addressing and improving the relationship between the parent and child. This style of intervention is important when children have experienced significant losses and other psychological trauma such as in the case of abuse and neglect. Dance therapy can contribute to such mental health work by helping to identify and change the nonverbal communication, especially during physically oriented joint play with parent-child dyads. This style of intervention draws on the literature from attachment and attunement. A case study is used to present these ideas in application.


Using Physical Storytelling to Investigate Youth Suicide in New Zealand

Edition: 2014 Vol. 12 Nos. 1-2

youth suicide, dance improvisation, physical storytelling, arts-based inquiry, qualitative approach, metaphors

This article explores how an arts-based approach involving Physical Storytelling has been used by researchers in New Zealand as an intervention within the area of youth suicide. Harvey, Ndengeya and Kelly introduce the concepts behind Physical Storytelling and discuss how imagery, metaphor, improvisation and dance lead to creative connections which helps cultivate a safe space for strong emotions to be explored. The authors provide case studies to highlight how Physical Storytelling provides a framework for investigating themes arising out of the work such as Journey, Tragedy and Fairytale. Dramatic themes, often difficult to put into words, were identified by the authors as being important responses which were physically embodied through improvisation. This article gently explores the extreme vulnerability of suicidality and calls for professionals to enter into the “communicative aspect” of crisis intervention which involves moving beyond a mental health perspective. (pp. 2-10)

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