Body Origin Story

Body Origin Story is inspired by auto-biographical theatre devising exercises and the power of gesture work in psycho-physical theatre. This exercise allows us to reflect upon our interconnected histories and shared cultures by tracing our family lineages and personal journeys. 

Looking beyond our nuclear family, we discover lesser-known connections with our global family. By paying attention to our intimate histories and transforming them into symbolic gestures, can we begin to see other cultures and beings with more openness and understanding? 

Prompts for Reflection:

What is your origin story? 

Who am I?

Where did I come from? Who were our parents?

What were you like when you were in your mother’s womb? How were we carried?

Where am I now?

Where am I going?

Begin with breathwork.

Trace the journey of your family’s history. Bring in specific memories of hospitalities from your culture.

What were some of the journeys of care that took place before us?

Where did we travel to and from?

What were some of the gestures of care that your family practised within these family structures?

Physical gestures can be expressed as everyday gestures or stylised gestures.

Focus on upper body, eyes and hands

Create three moving images using physical gestures.

Notice the different temperatures and geography of your motions.  

You may use the sound track provided at the bottom of the page during this exercise.

Gesture Explorations

Prompt for Alecia: River, soil and toil (farming)

Prompt for Celine: Passage, Ash

Prompt for Sharda: Crossroads

You may combine Body Origin Story with another complimentary exercise, Walking Feet.

Tentative square
Tentative feet
Stepping out into the Unknown (circles)
Skip-hop (circle)
A punctuation of ending
Standing Cradle
Walking Cradle
Heart Reach (longing heart)
Abhaya Mudra
Resting on the horizon (30 sec)
Circling hands
Sisyphus (moving forward, moving back)
Exhaustive Shields
Punctuation of an ending
Starfish (Stationary instead of open vulnerability/close safety)
Foetus Position (Comfort/Womb)
Reclining (breastfeeding)
Submission (prostration)
Traveller’s stop
Hello/goodbye (beginning and endings of relationship)