January 17, 2023 (Housatonic, MA)— Berkshire Pulse, South County’s dynamic dance and performing arts education center located in the heart of Housatonic, is proud to announce the return of its Moving Life Stories program, with workshops in Great Barrington and Pittsfield.
Moving Life Stories (MLS) is a creative movement class created for and geared toward the Berkshire immigrant population and their allies. These workshops provide opportunities to share personal journeys, stories, and connections to places past and present through movement games, exercises, dancing, and community building.
Great Barrington sessions run Fridays 6-8pm from February 3 to March 24 at the Southern Berkshire Friends Meeting House. Pittsfield sessions take place on Tuesdays from 6-8pm from April 4 to May 23 at the Pittsfield YMCA.
“The Moving Life Stories program grew from our most essential belief at Pulse, which is that dance can provide people from different cultures, ages and walks of life with ways to express themselves, find community connections, and to celebrate what makes us unique as individuals in a shared experience of inclusivity and respect,” says Berkshire Pulse Artistic Director & Founder Bettina Montano.
In this series of workshops, participants will explore various ways to tell and embody their stories through play, creative movement, and the creation of dance. No prior movement experience is required, and the class is appropriate for all ages.
“I’ve spent the past three decades creating and teaching with a wide variety of people, from children to firefighters, and from people living with AIDS to older adults, and I have found working with the immigrant population of the Berkshires to be particularly sweet, important, and rewarding,” says Tom Truss, Moving Life Stories Lead Teaching Artist. “The depth that we go to and the joy that we find in each class is such a gift. I am so looking forward to being part of that community-making again, especially during such complicated and trying times. It’s a treat to have a few hours a week to play, share and move with delightful, generous, open people!”
A Spanish-speaking interpreter will be present, childcare is provided, and transportation can be arranged.
Moving Life Stories began as a partnership between Berkshire Pulse and Kimball Farms Life Care Facility. Designed by Pulse faculty Susan Quinn and Ian Spencer Bell, the initial program connected students from the Young Choreographer’s Program with seniors at Kimball Farms in a collaborative process combining writing and choreography.
Today, Moving Life Stories is still a program that partners with community organizations and integrates personal life stories and movement, only now it is rooted in the immigrant community of Berkshire County.
Since 2019, Moving Life Stories has been offered as a shorter workshop series in partnership with Volunteers in Medicine and as a more extensive series, ranging from 5 to 10 weeks long, in partnership with LitNet, and the Berkshire Immigrant Center and Latinas413 in Pittsfield, MA. Classes are free and open to immigrants and their allies. The goal of MLS is to create a safe place where participants can share their stories and life journeys through words and movement.
Watch a short film about this program: https://youtu.be/36hHGDbyDrs
Historias de Vida en Movimiento es una clase de movimiento creativo creado para la comunidad inmigrante en los Berkshire. La clase brinda la oportunidad de compartir experiencias personales e historias de y conexiones con lugares de su pasado y presente a través del movimiento, ejercicios, baile y construcción de comunidad.
En esta serie de talleres los participantes explorarán varios métodos para contar y expresar sus historias a través del juego, movimiento creativo, y la creación de baile. No se requiere experiencia previa y la clase es apta para todas las edades.
Un traductor de habla hispana estará presente y se puede organizar el transporte gratuito.
South County Series:
Fridays, Feb 3 – March 24
Location: South Berkshire Friends Meeting House in Great Barrington
280 State Rd, Great Barrington, MA 01230
Tuesdays, Apr 4 – May 23
Location: Pittsfield YMCA
292 North St, Pittsfield, MA 01201
Learn more about this program: https://berkshirepulse.org/classes-programs/special-programs/ To express interest or get in touch, please contact email@example.com or call 413-274-6624.
This program is made possible by the generosity of Mass Cultural Council, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Lee Bank, Greylock Federal Credit Union, and TD Bank Charitable Foundation, as well as Dalton Cultural Council, Mount Washington Cultural Council, New Marlborough Cultural Council, Otis Cultural Council, Sheffield Cultural Council, and Washington Cultural Council, local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
Thanks to the Pittsfield Education Enrichment Fund, Berkshire Pulse will be expanding Moving Life Stories in Pittsfield Public High Schools this year.
ABOUT BERKSHIRE PULSE:
Berkshire Pulse is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building and strengthening community life through diverse and accessible programming in performing, movement, and creative arts. By promoting participation in these educational and health-sustaining activities, we enrich the lives of families and individuals of all ages throughout the region. For more information, visit https://berkshirepulse.org/