Sculpting Narrative

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou

I am fascinated by stories. As a writer, and narrative coach I understand the quote above in many different ways.

There’s the frustration of having a story erupt inside your mind, vibrant characters in a bright new world; yet you stand frozen, unable to share it with those around you.

There’s the pain of being victimised by a story. Someone spreading rumours, or perhaps you yourself telling half-truths about yourself. The pain intensifies when we do this to ourselves; be careful how you speak about yourself, it has a habit of becoming true.

We play the role society deems us fit for. You might feel trapped as Cinderella waiting for a prince to rescue you. Or perhaps you are the Wicked Witch, victimised by those around you for speaking your truth, living by your rules. There are the men forced to man up, and the girls expected to dumb down.

There are so many ways our stories control us. Who has ever wished to be more, to be less, to look like him, to act like her? These little stories are particularly dangerous, quietly whispering ‘you’re not good enough’ in frequent yet fleeting moments.

Who writes these narratives? Who traps us inside these characters that dictate what we are capable of, or comfortable doing? 

Stories can be tyrants.

In Creative Dance London’s new series we are sculpting our own narratives. 

To me this evokes images of Michelangelo chiselling David out of marble, sweating over his work in the Italian sun. Our dance sessions won't require such physical effort, but we hope they may instigate our own works of art to be discovered.

If we were to imagine ourselves as blocks of marble, how have we been shaped?

For some of us, it is the winds of chance, where we are born, the colour of our skin, the opportunities available to us. Others will be eroded by the tides of social pressures, worn away by constant comparisons and the judgement of others. Some of us will have worked hard to grow and consciously shape a work of art. For that is what we are all capable of.

If we were to take a moment every week, hold a chisel in our hands and begin to chip away at our marble, what would we find?

Join us at 10 am every Monday and Wednesday to find out. Book here:

Written by Laura Pick, CDL Company Manager.


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