The Voice as a Limb

Sounding dance laboratory

The voice as a limb is a practice where the exploration of the phonatory possibilities of voice are combined with movement improvisation to create an extraordinary experience to enable awareness and discussion. This practice considers breath to be the bridge between voice and movement. The voice is understood here as the raw material for sound, as a lived embodied experience and as a concept. This is an open-ended process, a laboratory setting that explores the voice as an imaginary limb that grows from the depths of the torso and prolongs itself out through the mouth. Expanding as far as the voice can be heard, this sounding limb composes in the space while the body is moving in relation to oneself and others.

The sounding limb is encouraged to drift away from the use of the semantics of spoken language or music. By enhancing the embodied perception of the voice and welcoming it to the movement, this work aims to raise awareness about the relationship with one’s voice, give different input for the creation of movement and experiment with possibilities for a unity of expression that holds the body-breath-voice in what this practice calls: sonomovements. The connection for these can be found as a starting point in organic gestures such as yawns, sighs and sneezes. Sonomovements are developed by allowing one impulse, need or intention to manifest through the voicing and moving channels all at once.

The voice as a limb has been developed by Mercedes in the frame of the MA in Dance Pedagogy in the University of the Arts Helsinki and is a process that is evolving and in constant research. The first workshop was held in the Theatre Academy in Helsinki, followed by workshops at the University of the Arts in Guayaquil, Quito, and Machala in Ecuador. As part of her thesis research, this practice was taken to the Vocational Qualification in Dance students in the Vocational College Live in Helsinki. It has been shared with the Trojan Horse´s “Summer School” in Bengstar island. Currently, you can find Mini-Scores for Sonomovement online.

Photo: Janne Saukkonen


Mini-scores for Sonomovements is a series of videos based on The Voice as a Limb. In these videos, you will find short instructions to explore creatively the connection between voice and movement.