Often times our audiences ask “How does Eth-Noh-Tec create their stories? Why do they appear so seamless? How do they make every word and movement seems so intentional…” This week Eth-Noh-Tec answered these questions by working with several storytellers from Stagebridge, a local multi-Arts, intergenerational performing arts non-profit. The workshop was titled “Tell it! Move it!”, and it explored the use of the entire body as a tool for storytelling.

“We’re projecting holograms”

Robert tells the workshop attendees “We are creating illusions using our words, imagery and gesture in a way so that the images are projected into the listeners’ imagination. One thing that helps evoke the realism of the imagery (and therefore the story) is the power of the tellers’ “focus”.

“Focus and concentration”

…is the first concept in this workshop. “As storytellers, we must be able to use every bit of energy, from head to toe. This will draw the listener into the clarity of the story’s illusion (or hologram)” says Nancy Wang, the choreographer for the tandem telling team. Shown here are the participants projecting their total body and mind’s awareness into a focused countenance, much like the light emitted from a search beam.

“Make a shape!

Bodies make shapes… shapes make pictures…and pictures help tell a story. Our approach to storytelling engages full body gestures. In taking participants through this process they begin to include “visual” approaches to storytelling. Once they are comfortable using their arms, legs, spines, elbows and chins to make shapes, we take it to the next stage: movement.

“Punching! Pressing! Slashing! Wringing!”

These phrases are inspired by the choreographers, Laban and Carpenter, in what they categorized as the “Eight Qualities of Movement”. Eth-Noh-Tec refers to this system to convey different ways to inspire movement, vocal textures for developing characters, and even psychological moods in their stories. Now the groups starts shaking things up! For three full hours we explored vocal improvisations, facial gesturing, group storytelling and finally, after putting all of this into their creative minds, the workshop culminated into a mini-storytelling demonstration.

Are you curious for more? Interested in the “Tell it! Move it!” Workshop?

These creative, kinetic and energetic approaches to performance can be applied to many artforms. Whether you are a storyteller, a dancer, poet, monologuist, and drama specialist or performing arts instructor contact Eth-Noh-Tec and ask them conduct a group workshop for your organization. We are also gathering names of individuals interested in forming a group storytelling class in the Fall-Winter period. For more information contact us and get your name on the “Yes, I’m interested” List.

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