The Village

This activity is a central method in the Social Presencing Theater approach. It is both simple and profound at the same time. The Village invites a group of people to be together in an open but defined space – “The central square of the village of this group of people”. For twenty minutes the group convenes without a task or an aim, but with a reduced “vocabulary” of actions; standing, sitting, lying, walking, turning, all without speaking. The overall aim is to bring embodied presence to a group, in discovery through the body, of aspects of the invisible, sensorial field in between them.


One very clear benefit is the potential to shed light on a group dynamic. Patterns of interaction, modes of contributing, dynamics of initiating and following, aspects of inclusion and exclusion and many other constellations can become visible and demonstrated.


In a five-day training of trainers on teamwork, we included a village exercise daily. Firstly, it became evident to the group how the changing dynamic between them reflected back through the variety of each village from day to day. Secondly, on individual as well as group level, it was a great source for our learning and awareness in set patterns of contributions, fixed concepts of how a team shows up, action and observing, or the sensing quality of center and periphery.
We warmed up before each village with an exercise supporting people with getting into their bodies – we used the Dance with the Unknown coming from the same approach. We always ended with a differing form of reflection in the questions we posed and in the group size.


Reduced time

It is possible to reduce the duration of The Village to fifteen or 10 minutes (not less).

Theme of the village

If it fits into your context you can give a theme to the Village and perhaps even include an object that represents the theme in the village.


It is possible to include the element of “Greeting” into the vocabulary of the village – in the special form of traditional “Japanese” style (looking into the eyes, bowing, looking again into eyes). Better not to include it in the first village.

Possible traps

People unfamiliar or even uncomfortable with embodiment based activities might be bewildered or confused by this activity - therefore the introduction and simple warming up body exercises at the beginning are essential.

There is intelligence in the body.

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Inner Pathways
Innovative approaches in learning for Sustainability
Pandora Association Hungary, Budapest, Sasvár utca 99/c.

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