Women Empowering Women — part 1
Updated: Mar 28
Body, Mind & Voice proves itself an unqualified success in Vaulx-En-Velin, France!
Keri Chryst (voice) and Nicola Ayoub (dance) teamed up with
our colleagues at Arts Embassy International (AEI)
...to help the ladies of Vaulx-En-Velin learn to help themselves!
Body, Mind & Voice
Or, Corps, Voix, Esprit as it was translated en français.
Over 2 days, 35 women in total, ranging in ages from 17 to 70, participated in 2 and 1/2 hours of performance and workshops led by AEI's artists.
The ladies were led in an exploration of tools and techniques drawn from our artists' artistic practice — with the goal of demonstrating the powers inherent within our own selves (and spirits) which are there for the harnessing.
Learning by doing
Experience first — Analyze later
Like most of their colleagues at Arts Embassy International, Nicola and Keri are kindred advocates of the "let's just dive in" approach — starting off with a brief performance of material from their WomanHood project currently in development (by way of introduction to their artistry).
Once their collective expertise had been clearly established, the two artists quickly put the participants into action themselves!
Transitioning seamlessly between focus on Body, Mind, and Voice, respectively... given that the 3 elements are naturally so integrally connected.
Embodying clear emotional intent,
reversing negative thought patterns,
engaging the perineum,
articulating the tongue
... just a few of the subjects that were stealthily evoked through a series of fun, unassuming, and engaging activities*!
*Trade secrets, bien sûr!
Circle Song of Strength, Joy, and Affirmation
Each day's sessions culminated in a Bobby McFerrin style improvised "Circle Song" — allowing participants to channel everything they'd experienced throughout the morning and make a joyful noise together with Corps, Voix, Esprit!
AEI is mindful of getting to know its attendees so as to better meet their actual needs and monitor the real life effects of our collective efforts.
The anonymous surveys we've developed for this program help our artists to rapidly assess the base level of knowledge, awareness and assurance the participants
feel both coming in, and as they were leaving the sessions.
Coupled with a minimum of demographic data also collected, this invaluable information will ensure that we continue to tailor the program to serve our audiences as we all evolve together.
We're excited to return to Vaulx-en-Velin in the merry month of May to check in with our new found friends, assess their progress, and pass on a few extra nuggets of artistic practice that may help them on their journey to full personal actualisation and self agency!
With extra special thanks to Céline Delcroix (MJC) and Gaëlle Dakan (U.S. Consulate) for believing in this project and helping to make it happen! And to my dearest partner in radical artistic subversion, Nicola Ayoub, for making darned SURE it did!
p.s. Here's a sample of an empowerment Circle Song :-)
p.p.s. I love my job!