Free the Body Workshops at Coachella Valley Art Center
Free the Body artists and community partners hosted two workshops at the Coachella Valley Art Center in September 2022.
The first workshop was on September 17, entitled "A Million Rainbow Suns: A Free the Body Kid's Peace Workshop" by sound designer and human rights educator Peter DiGennaro, who welcomed participants in a universal playdate to celebrate the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the internationally recognized United Nations covenant marking the standard for the health of children everywhere – notably, the right to safety, the right to an education, and the right to play. The event featured approachable, fun, lighthearted Human Rights and Peace Education activities. Special thanks to S.C.R.A.P. gallery for providing S.C.R.A.P. kits to participants!
On September 24, GROUND SERIES dance and social justice collective co-director Brittany Delany, Danza Azteca Citlaltonac co-directors Gabby and Claudia, and Wyld Womxn's leadership member Alex welcomed participants of all ages and backgrounds to join the 'Storytelling with Movement: A Free the Body Workshop'. The collaborative program was lively and creative, sparking new, fruitful connections.
GROUND SERIES co-director Brittany offered a group warm up and shared some movement research from Free the Body while sound designer Pete played live music. Next, Danza Azteca Citlaltonac co-founder and director Gabby discussed the meaning of a Mizquiztli dance as it pertains to various themes including liberation, sensations, life and death. Co-founder Claudia taught a portion of the dance, while Gabby played the drum. To conclude the workshop, participants shared their ideas and experiences, reflecting on the Free the Body project's questions: What does it mean to free the body within personal, social, cultural and political settings? How to free the body? Where does one find freedom in the body? What are the sensations and relations to free the body?
Among the offerings shared included childhood stories, connections to one's environment, dance and physical movement, travel, relationship to sound and silence, personal health and ritual. Special thanks to the California Arts Council for supporting Wyld Womxn programming!
Gabby, Peter, Lauren, Brittany and Claudia
About Danza Azteca Citlaltonac:
Danza Azteca Citlaltonac’s mission is to provide a safe, healing and sacred space through the introduction of the Mexica/Aztec culture and traditional ceremonial dance, songs, prayer and the healing power of communication provided by talking circles. www.circulocitlaltonac.com
About Wyld Womxn:
Wyld Womxn is an intersectional feminist creative collective based in the Coachella Valley, comprised of womxn artists in various art mediums that empowers all womxn through activism and the arts. They believe in fostering gender equality, critical dialogue, creative skill sharing, community building, wellness, community care, collaboration, and social & political change. Wyld Womxn provides safe and inclusive spaces for womxn and non-binary folx to express and be themselves, with accessible monthly intersectional feminist programming and events for feminist creatives including a Feminist Book Club, Creative Writing Group, Supper Club, Hiking & Nature Club, Wyld Womxn Singers, All Things Queer, and Sisters in Studio. www.wyldwomxn.com
'Storytelling with Movement' workshop photos by Brian Pescador Additional photos by Brittany Delany and Peter DiGennaro
Written by Brittany Delany, GROUND SERIES co-director, choreographer, dancer
Learn more: Free the Body