AccScience Publishing / AC / Volume 2 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.36922/ac.2079
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Using multiple languages within an improvised fairytale during online arts-based collaborations

Steve Harvey1* Si Wang2 Connor Kelly3
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1 Creative Arts Therapy, New Plymouth, New Zealand
2 Dance-Movement Therapy, Sichuan, China
3 Dance-Movement Therapy, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Submitted: 21 October 2023 | Accepted: 28 December 2023 | Published: 23 April 2024
© 2024 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC-by the license) ( )

This article presents an illustration from an online creative arts project in which different languages were used by participants of a small group within fairytale-movement-music improvisation. The participants, consisting of creative arts therapists and students from different regions of the world, including Canada, New Zealand, and China, represented various world cultures and spoke different primary languages. A session was selected by the authors as it represented an example of a natural experiment that emerged from the global arts-based response to the COVID-19 pandemic, offering a unique case study of how art expression can contribute to communities during crisis events. The purpose of the article is to provide suggestions to guide future groups in the use of arts-based improvisation that might improve communication among participants who do not share a common primary language but have shared complex emotional experiences. In addition, the article includes a review of related education, dance, and drama projects that involve different languages and cultures as well as a drama therapy project that addresses the improvised dramatic communication of complex emotional experiences. Furthermore, the article offers a detailed review of one session from the project using an arts-based inquiry and suggests ways to apply multilingual imaginative storytelling within the communication of groups in community and educational cross-cultural settings.

Creative arts therapy
Creatives arts
Second language
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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Arts & Communication, Electronic ISSN: 2972-4090 Published by AccScience Publishing