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The Body Keeps the Score: Dancing with Trauma and Recovery

“The Body Keeps the Score: Dancing with Trauma and Recovery” is a choreographer/composer collaboration that first premiered in 2018. Sarah Carlson, the Artistic Director of DanceLink, collaborates with composer Vernon J. Mobley to explore the universal spectrum of trauma in a program inspired by Bessel van der Kolk’s well-known text. DanceLink will present a 25-minute excerpt of this work in the 365 Foundation gallery on Friday, May 10th at 7pm.

The Body Keeps the Score uses movement, music, and text to unpack the idea that trauma must be addressed on an individual body level before greater communal (or “big body”) change can follow. The creative process invited cast members to draw from personal experience to fuel movement invention. In his text, Van Der Kolk explains that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can fragment a holistic sense of self connected to the here and now. Everyday sensory input can trigger flashbacks or emotional outbursts that disturb normal functioning and healthy relationships. As such, disassociation can be born out of simple survival techniques. Reclaiming an awareness of the breath and physical sensations can be powerful forms of healing. These dynamics will be explored onstage.

A post-show discussion will follow the gallery performance to discuss the major themes of the show and promote awareness of community resources.

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