Moving Grief - Moving Loss is a program of unusual depth and boldness.
MOVING GRIEF - MOVING LOSS
Performed at Northlight Gallery at Arizona State University (featured imagery by Tomiko Jones).
Moving Grief – Moving Loss is a vibrant program that helps people process loss in a supportive, creative and healthy way. It connects participants to resilience, community and joy.
Moving Grief – Moving Loss invites the intense energy of loss to take expressive form through gesture, shape and voice. Using techniques from Somatic Experiencing ™, dance, theater, improvisation and ritual, this work re-invigorates what we have instinctively understood for a long time; namely that physical expression within community offers health and healing outcomes no pill or talk therapy alone can provide.
Moving Grief – Moving Loss brings people home to their bodies through creative expression where:
story is embedded in gesture
feelings are explored through shape
line drawings visually map the course of loss
ritual brings community together
The Moving Grief – Moving Loss program is needed now more than ever.
WHO EXPERIENCES GRIEF & LOSS?
It is known that many struggled during this pandemic. It was isolating and painful. Many faced loss and trauma, and for some, this continues. Others wrestled with mental health. Additionally, there were charged issues around race and gender that continue to have influence. Loss and trauma have become a lingering by-product of the pandemic. For many, this has been overwhelming.
“Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness.”
- Peter A. Levine
How Moving Grief – Moving Loss Got Started
I was abruptly widowed and left with a very young child. Everything felt surreal. I was being called daily by the mortuary asking what was to be done with the body. Friends were asking what they could do to help. I had no idea how to deal with any of it. I was totally broke. Family was far away. The nature of the death was controversial bringing an added layer of drama. I was in shock.
"I remember sitting in a grief support circle in a generic room with yards of fluorescent lights overhead. I was not at all comfortable. I didn’t speak." - Dr. Susan Bendix
But when I went to pick up my daughter in the children’s grief group, they were moving around, drawing, writing, gluing this and that. I remember feeling so much better in that room with wounded grieving children than in my own group of wounded grieving adults.
This was basically the springboard for Moving Grief – Moving Loss. I’ve had a professional career as a dancer, choreographer and improvisational artist. The world of creative expression has profound power as a way to explore difficult feelings. Grief groups and talking can be tremendously valuable. But as a movement artist, processing grief from an embodied expressive perspective made much more sense. Movement is my language.
I developed my program over several years. It incorporates dance, theater, improvisation and ritual. Though Moving Grief – Moving Loss is innovative and progressive, it is not new. The therapeutic nature of movement, voice and ritual have been instinctively understood for a very long time. Physical expression within community offers health and healing outcomes no pill or talk therapy alone can provide.
While developing Moving Grief – Moving Loss, I became a certified Somatic Experience ™ Practitioner – which is a psycho-therapeutic approach to trauma as it is experienced in the body. This knowledge greatly enhanced my work.
The wound is the place where light enters you. - Rumi
I’ve presented this workshop to adolescents and adults. People are hungry for this expressive approach to this very universal experience of loss. There is so much loss right now – a seemingly endless supply. Moving Grief – Moving Loss is powerful in helping people through the difficult journey of loss. It offers healing within a supportive community.
For dance artists and choreographers, it offers a new way to generate choreographic material. For theater artists it offers a way to develop embodied monologues and scenes. For non-dance and non-theater people, it offers an exploration into creative expression and way to be more fully human!