Body Stories

Researching and Performing the Embodied Experience of Oppression

Body Stories is a multi-faceted research project that explores the effects of oppression on how we live in our bodies and how we navigate power differences with others. Written, directed, and performed largely by graduate students, Body Stories is a type of performed ethnography in which the script is based on research interviews. 

Performances have been held as part of Naropa University’s Somatic Arts Concert, as the keynote address for the American Dance Therapy Association’s (Rocky Mountain Chapter) annual conference, and as part of an Experience Pacifica event at Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Learn more about the study and its methodology in this documentary video that chronicles the development of a team-based Body Stories performance with a special emphasis on articulating the innovative methodology used for the research. Interviews with team members, audience members, and the project directors bring to life the structure and process of implementing this somatic, narrative, performance-based research method.

The Body Stories approach is also outlined in a chapter in this anthology on embodied research methods.