Tableaux 1

“Our world is in motion, everything is moving, the ground we’re standing on is shifting, our institutions are shifting, the way we think about so many things is changing.  If people had the skills that we had as choreographers, it could be amazing.” Liz Lerman


The group decides on a held or frozen position for each participant that creates a picture, like a photograph, but using their bodies.  Have them begin with creating three different tableaux, depicting the:

  • Beginning,
  • middle,
  • and end of a story. (e.g., “The best advice I’ve ever received, the worst advice I’ve ever received, and an experience that taught me an important life lesson…”)

Present the story to the rest of the group, instructing the group to close their eyes between each transition.  An easy way to do this is for a group member to shout out “Close” once they have held the image for a few moments, and then “Open” once the new image is created.


Suggestions for participants to consider: Make physical choices with the body to create an interesting visual picture, think about height and width and empty space.

Experiment with the ways that arms, legs, toes, hands and face contribute to communication.

Observe the different interpretations that others have for defined concepts.

Suggested Uses
  • Explore visual storytelling
  • Examine relationship between thought and movement
  • Stretch the imagination