Dance as a tool against violence

Mexico – Burkina Faso – France – UK

‘We believe in empowering young people, giving them hope and creative tools to build a bright future’

This socio-educational project is an initiative by the international collaboration team formed by dance artists Marie Chabert (France/UK) and Paula Rechtman (Mexico) to promote contemporary dance amongst young people as a tool of expression and communication in different communities around the world. The objective is to enhance dance power to achieve self-confidence and help building stronger constructive relationships between people. This project arises from the collaborative experience that Marie and Paula had since 2011 while creating and performing the dance duet Planting Memories, a choreography dealing with the themes of communication, adaptation and identity; a dance piece where two personalities coming from different background meet, get to know each other, develop a relationship adapting to one another and finally build a common language that allow them to become a unique being functioning in a symbiotic relationship.

The proposal is to:

  • Offer a creative residency lasting two to three weeks in a hosting organization
  • Give out a dance creative workshop to students and young people during the residency, culminating in choreographing a dance performance in collaboration with the participants to be shown to the public.
  • Perform the dance piece result of the workshop alongside the duet Planting Memoriesmade by Marie and Paula

The aim during the residency is to:

Introduce dance and creativity as a tool against violence aiming to transform young people by:

  • Understanding we are all different and accepting these differences
  • Gaining physical and mental confidence but also the courage to be oneself and express oneself through creative movement
  • Building a stronger sense of identity or ‘belonging’ to a group of friends or a community
  • Giving hope, perspective and empowerment to young people
  • Giving value: making people feel they have an importance in the world and their actions have an impact (sense of responsibility and empowerment)
  • Cultivating one’s ability to act for the sake of a peaceful world
  • Encouraging dialogue and cooperation in order to break through erroneous views that make people more isolated
  • Breaking boundaries and preconceived ideas and recognize we are all human regardless of one’s religion, skin color, abilities or sexual orientation and we all have the abilities and chance to express oneself and be friend with one another

Workshop description

During the workshop, the two dance artists, Marie and Paula, will deliver dance technique and creative material aiming to trigger participation of the whole group in the final choreography, looking to enhance the group abilities in the areas of performance, movement and physicality, collaboration, critical analysis and self-reflection.

Each participant will get involved by actively participating in the creation of a dance performance and being part of the process including self-evaluation and self-reflection. Through learning dance routine but also devising movement in a fun and safe environment we want the group to:

  • Learn technical movement and self discipline through challenging and exiting physical exercises and stretches
  • Play team and exploration games
  • Devise material responding to the theme (we will use choreographic tasks we used in the process to make Planting Memories)
  • Work creatively in groups: cooperate, collaborate, make compromises and have dialogues, making decision, work on exercises based on trust where the focus is on achieving a task as a group rather than as an individual
  • Gain self-confidence and pride by showing the performance to an audience
  • Build a stronger sense of creative identity by creating material and making choices

Each daily session of the workshop will include:

  • A thorough warm up
  • Movement exploration
  • Learning material
  • Team building and trust exercises
  • Creative tasks and devising processes
  • A cool down, reflection and questions


  • Each workshop is designed for groups of maximum 25 young people.
  • Each session has duration of 4 to 5 hours.
  • We require a rehearsal space available during the whole duration of the workshop with adequate floor and sound system and a performance space, indoor or outdoor, with appropriate space to receive the audience