Sunday, May 25, 2014

Corporal expression

“One’s dance is fed by one’s life.” 
Patricia Stokoe

 Corporal expression, also known as "free dance", is an art in which the body is the medium used to tell stories, express emotions and thoughts, and interact with the environment.
 It unleashes the creative forces that lie dormant inside the body.

Why can a writer be passionate about corporal expression? 
 Corporal expression is an art, just like music, painting, writing and many others. The different kinds of art are not separate entities. They are woven into a universal language; they feed on each other.
 Corporal expression is a transformational force. It releases tension stored in the body and uses this energy to mold something meaningful.
 It has three branches:
 Emotions may not be visible, but they are locked in your body. They can stifle your mind and  bridle your creative potential. Through  body movements, we can materialize these emotions, and let them flow into other creative activities.

  Take your hand, for example. Explore all the movements that you can make with it. Let your arm and hand explore the infinite spectrum of movements that you can create. Try different rhythms and choose the ones that suit you. You can use music if you want. 

 Now imagine that the source of your creativity is an imaginary object. Imagine a shape and a color for this object. Pretend you are holding this object with both hands. Rock it, sway it; let your body follow your hands. Discover the story that your hands and your body want to tell while they play with this imaginary object. Invite your body to follow your hands and dance to the music you selected.

 Now release the object and let your hands touch each other and draw something in the air. 

 Are you having fun already?

Here’s another secret: your creative body movements are a personal seal of your own life story; by the same token, a poem is the personal seal of a poet 
 Your body can create its own poem through a unique combination of movements. 
Don’t you think this is fascinating?

Who created corporal expression?
Patricia Stokoe is the person who has been officially recognized as the creator of this art. 
 Patricia Stokoe (1929-1996) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but her native language was English. When she was ten years old her parents sent her to London to visit her relatives. In England she studied classical dance in the Royal Academy of Dance. She also studied modern dance. Years later she studied many different kinds of dance. In 1950 she returned to Argentina.
      Patricia Stokoe developed methods that facilitated the search for movement and expression with personal meaning. She gave several lectures and conferences in the United States, Latin America, Spain, Japan and Israel.
  During her life she worked to incorporate corporal expression in schools and to make sure that everybody had access to this art.


  1. I had never heard of Corporeal Expression before now. What an interesting art form.

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth.
      I hope you will have the opportunity to try it out and experience it yourself. I think you will love it.

  2. Sounds valid and interesting. I bet it'd be great at any age.

    1. Yes, of course, Richard.
      Your dance will be unique, like nobody's dance.
      Explore and create.
      There are many benefits from doing corporal expression. It is a unique kind of art.

  3. I've not come across this before. I agree it could be as much an artistic expression as writing, painting or singing. Whatever our 'art' we're all exploring what our minds can come up with.


    1. It is hard to describe it. You need to experience it to understand it.
      Thanks for visiting, Patsy.

  4. Hi Julia! If you like corporal expression like I do, you should try contact improvisation next you will love it!
    Hugs, Ana

    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Ana. I went ahead and googled it.
      I would say that corporal expression encompasses contact improvisation.
      Thanks again, Ana!

  5. Hi Julia,

    Of course, with your very thoughtful information that you very kindly passed onto me, I have a further appreciation, further awareness of Corporal Expression. Indeed, a way of enhancing the writing process. Thus, I shall do some free-flow creativity. Although, waving my hands about would not be a good idea whilst typing.

    Seriously, thanks for this and I do relate to this, very much so.

    Be well, Julia.

    Gary :)

    1. Right, Gary. Not while typing.
      Play some of that lovely music that you choose to post on your blog and let your body move to its rhythm. . Maybe the happy dance? That's a start.
      Seriously, I 'm glad you appreciate this art.
      I will be writing more about it in the next few months.

  6. Hi Julia .. I hadn't heard of Corporal Expression either - but can quite see it ... especially via dancers ...

    Interesting to read this .. and to appreciate how it may have helped so many find their creative spirit ..

    Cheers Hilary

    1. Thank you, dear Hilary.
      Yes, art creates beauty.
      And it also has a therapeutic aspect that I would like to investigate further.
      Thanks again.

  7. Hi Julia,
    Beautiful article. I did corporal expression at least for four years when I was a girl .I had a classical dancer as a teacher .She was great.Our shows always were the best !! I almost entered to the Academy of Dance in my country,Argentina. That was a wonderful experience. It is a fantastic dance. Hopefully one day we will see this dance everywhere!!
    Have a nice weekend!!

    1. Thanks, MS.
      I think corporal expression is a buried treasure. We will work to promote it and to learn more about its benefits in terms of mental and physical health.

  8. I dropped by to say hello! I have been absent from blogging for a while, and I did miss your posts. It’s good to be back.

  9. I have not heard the word corporal expression before but it sounds exactly what I've said about dancing all my dancing years. Dancing is done with the body and one has to put the beat of the music "into" the body and let it come out in the expression of movement. But, I can see that a person can provide their own beat and that would be their expression. Very interesting thing about moving bodies.
    Are those pictures of your hands and the one of the back of the person.... is it you?

  10. Julia, I love the photo of you at the top engaged in corporal expression! Nice photo of your hands too (and that was a fun exercise). I didn’t know “free dance” was also referred to as “corporal expression.” Very interesting to learn about Patricia Stokoe. I love watching free dance. I agree that all the various kinds of art are “woven into a universal language.”

    I’ve learned a great deal more from your post than I ever knew about the medium of free dance. That a body can “create its own poem through a unique combination of movements” is really fascinating!

    1. Thanks Jersey! It is really fascinating.
      I love corporal expression. Each class is unique. It is a magical experience.
      I'm glad you enjoyed this post!


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