Peter Pucci Founder, Director and Choreographer
Working in a DTM workshop provides a unifying, creative experience that helps teams achieve improved communication, smarter problem-solving, and a better appreciation of each team member’s unique talents and contribution.
Discovery Through Movement sessions can be scheduled for one day or as a series. DTM is effective with work teams, organizational groups, student groups, Boards of Directors, academic departments, – any group looking to enhance the collaborative creative skills of the group, to break out of established hierarchies, and to inject some fresh energy and ideas into the team dynamic.
“In the DTM session we did a lot without words, where I feel like in an office, we’re always having a meeting, we’re sitting at our desk and talking and talking. Here we were communicating with our bodies with less words. It helped me to step back and watch and learn from other people.”
I learned that everyone is a dancer in their own right, even if they don’t think they are, everyone has their own natural movements and personalities in their dances and no matter who we are or where we’re from we can all come together because of those different movements, that’s our common denominator
“It’s a wonderful environment led by Peter where everyone is working towards to a shared goal. All ego is left aside. DTM was really great, a lot of fun to do”
“By end of the workshop there’s an intrinsic trust that you’ve gained from other participants. It’s fun, you forget who people are and you naturally become part of the creative process. You shed the trappings of the office and you are present with the people you’re with.”
“What we did in the DTM workshop was collaborative and democratic. To do something in three dimensions with your own body—and then to direct other bodies—it is completely and entirely different, and it opens up your mind to other possibilities.”
The goal of Discovery Through Movement is to use natural movement to bond participants so that their shared movement experience becomes as productive, collaborative and creative as possible. The social interaction and sensitivity gained through DTM sessions allows individuals to feel safe expressing themselves creatively.
Using group movement collaborations as our medium along with small group dialogue, team members discover how to use the creative process to find unique solutions. This enhances teamwork and cooperation, and establishes a new level of mutual respect for participants in the groups that carries back in the workplace.
“My staff got to see each other in a different light. They got to laugh together, it was a level playing field and people enjoyed that and had fun together but in a way that was clearly related to the organization’s overarching goals of working in teams and project management. I really enjoyed working with Peter. He was extremely responsive to my goals for the experience.”
Former Executive Director
Jacob Burns Film Center
What Happens During a Discovery Through Movement Workshop
Relying on and supporting one another in the workshop helps encourage mutual appreciation.
Each Discovery Through Movement workshop is created to uniquely address the group with whom we are working and can be customized to incorporate specific needs. A typical DTM workshop begins with introductions and icebreaking activities so everyone gets to know one another within a level playing field. We work with natural movement that is appropriate and accessible for every person – no matter what past physical experience they enter the room with – so each person will feel comfortable and accomplished.
Next, each person has the opportunity to create their own personalized movement phrase. Entering the world of physical movement breaks down professional and social hierarchies to create a shared space where all participants work as equals.
We then break into groups of two to four people who have to rely on one another to accomplish goals using balance and supportive exercises These exercises are challenging but tackling them together becomes exhilarating and inspirational. This part of the DTM session is fun, inclusive and encouraging in a way that helps everyone feel comfortable just being themselves.
The groups are introduced to basic elements of choreography—such as tempo, direction, levels and repetition—that they will use together in the workshop. These shared elements serve as touchstones and creative tools for the groups as they problem-solve together.
Then we dive into what we think of as a creative mash up. Working with the basic choreographic elements taught earlier, each person takes a turn leading, as they collaborate on a group movement piece. Participants are up on their feet, thinking with their minds and bodies. There is no requisite skill level, natural movement is essential as the work is self-generated to ensure that everyone will be comfortable and secure.
To conclude, the groups share their movement studies. Afterwards, the participants are led through a discussion about their experiences, and discoveries, reflecting on the changes in group dynamics, the new ways they relate to their colleagues, and how to help problem solve as a team once they go back to the workplace.
“Peter is easily able to connect with all sorts of people – from those that have daily studied theater or dance to those that have never seen a live performance. His background as an athlete and a dancer always shines through in his approach. He creates environments where anyone can feel comfortable moving and learning.”
Sara Miller McCune
Founder and Executive Chair
SAGE Publications Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA.
Meet the Creator of Discovery Through Movement
Founder, Director and Choreographer Peter Pucci creates movement across many platforms. With extensive credits as a Choreographer and Movement Director in theater, ballet, modern dance, film and dance education, he has been tapped by companies as prestigious and diverse as the Jofferey Ballet in Chicago and the Batsheva Dance Company in Israel, the Tonight Show and the Broadway stage, the Baltimore Public Schools and Juilliard School of Drama. One of the most experienced choreographers working today, Peter has received a Drama Desk Award and a Lucille Lortel Award.
He has also worked with an eclectic mix of professional and non-professional movers, from an Olympic skater to clowns and acrobats in the Big Apple Circus, from the puppet bear in the Big Blue House to a group of CEOs with the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) of Greenwich, from singers at Jazz at Lincoln Center to basketball players for a halftime show at Madison Square Garden.
Peter refers to his way of working as “ability appropriate movement for any setting.” He works exceptionally well with all skill levels, across all generations – both those with movement experience and those with no movement training at all. He is able to capitalize on each person’s innate natural movement quality to achieve the task at hand.
A long-time teacher at over a dozen universities and colleges, including the Juilliard School of Drama and the Yale School of Drama Directing Program, Peter knows how to make physical movement fun and enriching, inviting all skill levels to contribute equally.
The Background on Discovery Through Movement
In my experiences as a choreographer and movement director on hundreds of productions in dance and theater, I noticed the most successful creative teams I have been a part of are those that are able to optimize communication within the group. It’s the old notion: innovation happens when you bring diverse people together to bounce ideas off one another.
When every team member is engaged and making contributions, these cross team ties help to break down creative silos and increase the production’s productivity and the group’s ability to innovate and solve problems, and the production is very likely to be successful.
I have also seen repeatedly that the most effective information exchanges happen in small group face-to-face dialogue. In this setting, all team members can more readily interpret intentions and get a sense of how decisions are unfolding.
After a work team participates in a DTM session, each individual feels more positive about belonging to the group. Being in a challenging but playful experience together, they develop greater trust with their colleagues and feel they are an equal part of the process.
To arrive at that bonding feeling, the best strategy is striking a balance between engaging with familiar practices and exploring fresh ideas. This is the essence of a DTM experience.
“I liked how Discovery Through Movement connected intellectually with some of the things I am working on with my students. It brought together people from different disciplines and from different parts of the world. It was amazing to me, especially to watch people who would never imagine themselves up on stage enjoying dance together.”
Benefits for your Group or Organization
A Discovery Through Movement (DTM) workshop can help you accomplish:
- Improved team collaboration
- Smarter problem-solving
- Increased appreciation of team members’ unique talents
- Better communication
- Stronger teams
- More cohesive workplace
We create a welcoming, non-judgmental space where creative breakthroughs and new collaborations are encouraged and supported. The DTM environment and carefully structured program builds a sense of interconnectedness that strengthens team relationships and communication.
Collaboration leads to better organizational synergies.
“Discovery Through Movement was so much fun, it was a lot more fun than I expected…the element of play was a really nice surprise. We had the freedom of creativity and inspiration to create something together… it was so nice to work with my colleagues in a different way”
Director of Operations
Jacob Burns Film Center
“Peter stands out as someone who could tailor his training to the project and individuals at hand. I knew that his movement work would benefit our students immensely and serve as a foundation for all of their movement work in the first year and beyond.”
Former Director of the Drama Division,
The Juilliard School, NYC
Founding Artistic Director,
Signature Theatre Company, NYC