Naming the Festival

Interesting story!  Question arose with regards to the use of Physical Theater in the title of the Festival.  One of the Co-Creators suggested checking in with the community about their thoughts.  WOW!  What a tremendous response!  We thought you might enjoy reading the poll, and how people responded. We did our best to digest and integrate the fabulous feedback.  Prize goes to Jean for the ADaPT suggestion! Since this was being used by another organization we added SB for Santa Barbara.
This is what we decided on.
Santa Barbara SB-ADaPT Festival

(A Dance and Physical Theater Festival)

Celebrating the Movement Arts


Emerging Genres!


This is what we started with.




What's your gut reaction to this title?  Would you want to...
A. buy a ticket to go see one of the events
B. explore applying as an artist to participate


Dance and Physical Theater Festival

(D & Ptr Festival)



If I had work to show I'd totally apply! (And buy tickets to see other works)


J. (NYC)


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Hi Misa,


I really like the whole word title of dance and physical intrigues me. I know on one hand I will see dance (which would be a must for me) but I am interested in the other movement that will be presented and I like it. I would want to buy tickets to the event! Good luck...sounds great!


The acronym is a nice idea but might be confusing for some?




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Honestly, I’d change it to Physical Theatre and Dance Festival, don’t know why, just my gut.

I love this idea, you could do a presentation to the SB Arts Collab??? Please…………


L. (Santa Barbara)

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Sounds fabulous! I'd wanna do both - see it and participate. Physical theater is a great term. The acronym would be confusing to me on its own.


S (Washington)


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my gut reaction is:
hmm there's something more than dance taking place.  "physical theater" makes me think that it is more about concept than performance.  Has a very performance art feel which would definitely fetch a more diverse audience as well as artist participation than the usual dance goers.  "Physical theater" is really fabulous!  "Festival"  has me thinking celebration which is very welcoming.  The text doesn't allow for a pinpoint on what to expect and I like that.  I bet a lot of folks who wouldn't normally go see dance will go just to find out what is "physical theater."   
It's quite catchy and so is the abbreviation. 
hope that helps :)
N (Santa Barbara)

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Hey Misa,

I'm not sure I understand. Are you providing three options or are the the three centered lines the entire proposed name of the festival?


I think that with either one line or three lines, it's still a little lacking in description for me to want to participate or buy a ticket - at least just from the title. Have you considered a subtitle or short descriptive paragraph? What type of dance is it? Will it be experimental or classical?



K. (NYC)


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Hi Misa, my first initial reaction was as an artist and that reaction was: wow this is more than just dance. That there's physical art involved and welcomed. I'm branching out into that with my company right now so it was very appealing to me. Also, we're incorporating theatre/acting with movement.


As a patron: I think it captures more than just a dance lover. It says that there's a little bit for everyone. Sometimes people just don't want to see "another dance show" and this puts a different spin on it.


Personally, I like it a lot!

hugs, N (L.A.)

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Hi Misa~ sorry to take a while to get back to you... my gut reaction is that "Dance and Physical Theater Festival" sounds a little sterile. I'm sure the font and graphics you would use in any printed material would liven it up. I hear what you're saying about bridging worlds and appealing to those who do what is classified as "physical theater" may necessitate using that term to reach out to them. What about the idea of using the word "movement" in some way?

Movement Arts Festival

Festival of Dance and Movement Arts

just a thought!
~j (Santa Barbara)


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like physical theater.......

A. (Los Angeles)


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had a very positive reation to this title.  I think the addition of Physical Theater is a good one.  Leaving it with only dance in the title could created a perception of limited scope.  With that perception, could come limited patronage and participation.  Adding Physical Theater opens it up and creates an accessiblity of interpertation that I think would be quite dynamic as a patron and performer.  




K (Seattle)


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Your paragraph sounds great- I am very excited about your idea- all ideas take time- and the excitement of the first step needs to sustain you....(you know this anyway)


I think the title is great. Frankly, I cannot say if I would buy and ticket or apply as an artist...but I do like what you are doing very much.  

I like this "challenging one's perspectives and thoughts about one's own practice as an artist"

acronyms- I do not think D & PTR Fest these acronyms are that catchie


You might mention Santa Barbara- that would draw people too


F. (Monterey)

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yeah, the acronym doesn't work too well. I don't really think you need an acronym. It's a nice short tight name. SonneBlauma Dance and Physical Theater Festival.


How about just "SonneBlaumaFest" for short?


DPT, incidentally, is the acronym for diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus, a vaccine given to wee bay-bees.

M. (Santa Barbara)

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Hey Misa,


I love the fact that you are all organizing this festival and would love to participate.  My thoughts on the title would be to lose the acronym and keep the rest. 




M. (Santa Barbara)


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It's fine, but after looking at it for several minutes, I decided that "movement" would be a better word than "physical".  I don't like the way it's shown in parentheses though.  Perhaps this could work... (D & PT Festival).  Hmmm...

Good luck!  Hugs, T (Santa Barbara)


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Do you need this?  (D & Ptr Festival)  I don't think so. 

What does SonneBlauma mean? 

Is it Dance and Physical Theater?  Or Physical Dance Theater?  There is something appealing about being very specific and trying to target a specific group.  Not only could that be rewarding for the community, but the diversity in like minds that could arrive to teach and perform.  Targeting Physical Dance Theatre could be interesting.

Are there any other physical dance theater festivals in the country, CA or the world?  I don't know.  Being one of kind or a leader in an area can be advantageous. 

Hope this helps.

The flowers love their new home.  Thank you again. They look lovely!!!

P. (Ojai)


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love the idea!  What a fabulous 'shot in the arm' for the local dance, etc community! Finally something that's open - not controlled by one person or one like-minded group. I see a lot of interface between dance and physical theater. Film might work as a part of it as well.

Not so sure about the D & Ptr part. Maybe there"s a better way to 'brand' it. Icon? It's not my area, so put that on the side...
Go, go, go!

S. (Santa Barbara)

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Misa, et. al.


From an audience/general public perspective, I think the word ‘movement’ is better than ‘physical’, which can sound clinical or dry.  Artists would interrupt the words similarly, which keeps the artistic options wide open.  So, my suggestion would be:



Dance & Movement Theatre Festival

(DMT Festival)


S. (Santa Barbara)


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I really like the term physical theater. It excites me. It's something I want to be a part of. Personally, I don't love acronyms. Why make it less clear? But a dance and physical theater festival in SB is something I want to take part in. Sign me up!


E. (Santa Barbara)


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Hey lady!

I'm not 100% clear about what's classified as "Physical Theatre".  I mean, I think I can figure it out as an artist, but if you're wanting to attract more "regular people", maybe think of a different term.  I mean, I think sometimes you have to think of really making it simple for people to understand.  Unless you want this to be a festival for artist only, as a networking artists exchange or something, then that's fine and should be understandable enough.  My "reg person" brain thinks of Physical Therapy or P.E. from high school when I read/hear that word.  


I dunno, I could be weird.  Is the word "Theater" or "Performance Art" to general?

Don't laugh at my thought process, or do, if it makes you feel good!  hahaha!



A. (Los Angeles)


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I like it a lot. Really opens up the idea of pushing the envelope between dance, movement and theater...

Thumbs up. I'd do A and B.


       M.     (Santa Barbara)

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My answer is 






hyphenate Physical-Theater. I think it binds and strengthens the over all reading of the title.


Dance-Theater Festival reads easier still as does Dance-Theater Fest.

Theater Dance Festival...Theatrical Dance Festival...


Theatrical Dance Fest. really works for me. Informal yet informative.


Good luck my fair sister.


B. (Santa Barbara)

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Hi Misa,

I love your bountiful energy!  From time to time I get invites from different workshops in Europe, doing Physical Theatre Labs, or workshops.  What they support seem to be mostly actor oriented workshops with innovative techniques.  The server's are not responding now, probably because the events are over, but you might look up Physical Theatre Laboratories/ International, to see if the sort of thing they represent is akin to what you want for your concept.  Otherwise you might want to punch up the "Dance" aspect of it.  Not sure how,
Can I come too?  We could do a smudges workshop session with demos with you Sam plus.

A. (Santa Barbara)

"could definitely present some interesting opportunities and ideas! good twist!"


P.  (Santa Barbara)

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Of course that's the title. It makes sense to me!!!!

I believe you had a meeting last night.....I had several engagements and I couldn't attend. How'd it go?
R. (Santa Ynez)

(her vote was for the title with Dance and Physical Theater in it)


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So I rolled the term Physical Theater around in my mouth and thoughts for about a minute, and honestly, it left a bad taste.  I feel like I am being the nay sayer, but you wanted gut reaction.  It feels like a fancy nonsensical term to me.  What theater isn't physical?  Is there such a thing as nonphysical theater?  Where is the border between dance and physical theater?  Is there a board that determines what is dance and what is physical theater.  Perhaps I am very ignorant, but I don't get it.  Perhaps I need to be enlightened.


B.  (Pasadena)


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Hi Misa,

I think it is great that you are putting on a festival.  I
d like to hear more of the details of how you see it going and what all the festival will include.  I think using acronyms is a terrible idea.  People wont know what they mean.  I think they will be confusing.  I think I need to know more about who you are trying to attract and what you are offering before I really can really make a comment on the title.

have a good night,
S. (Grass Valley)


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"Physical Theater" makes no sense to me. Maybe I've been out of the art world for too long but I always think of what I think you are trying to say as being called "performance art".  I also don't understand the abbreviations "D & Ptr". I took me like 10 min to realize you meant dance and physical theater there.


Those are my thoughts.  Besides that I would absolutely LOVE to come to see the events or participate in this festival.  Please keep me posted!  :)

Hope all is well,

M. (San Francisco)


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Hi Misa,


I opened your email…noted my gut reaction…then took the dog out for a short walk in the crisp morning air.  It is beautiful here in Spokane today, and there is enough spring left to color my world pink and yellow this morning.  Good thinking time!


Here is what I think: You should include physical theater in the title if it extends an invitation to a group of artists who see themselves differently than dancers.

How to include it?  Now this is tricky..the word “physical” communicates “doctor’s office” to me which is never pleasant…OUCH.


So, my thought is to change the focus, length and pacing of words in the title so that your first line is catchy, and the second and third are informative.  Change in font/caps can help with emphasis, too, once you settle on the words.   What would you think of something like…




SonneBlauma Celebrates!

A Festival

In Dance and Physical Theater








A Dance and Physical Theater Festival

G. (Seattle)


Gut reaction... I like it! Maybe not the stuff in the ().


Had a great show tonight. So wish you could see it, 2 more to go.


xoxoxo D. (San Francisco)


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I'm all over it...wanna be a part of it

S. (San Diego)


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Probably the most important one! We were in the same Dance Festival and connecting with other artists wasn’t built into the experience.  My primary goal in co-creating this is to create an environment where artists go away from the experience deeply moved resulting in establishing deep connections where any email received from a festival contact would be received with much delight.



Please remove me from your email list.

Thank you,


L.  (NYC)

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Hi Misa,

  D&Ptr doesn't work for me, but the full title does.  If it's to be shortened I'd cut and full words, and the &.  Perhaps Dptrfest?  Truly, I'd stick with the full title.


M. (Wichita)


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seems to me the labeling should match the content.  if you have enough material that can plausibly and helpfully called physical theater -  as opposed to dance - then i see no reason not to call it that.


R.  (Connecticut)


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I didn't understand what the title was? 


M. (NYC)


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I think I'd go with the first title just because it includes physical  theatre as well. But I also like the simplicity of Sonneblauma Dance Festival. 


Miss you mujer,




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Hi Misa,

I don't understand. Is this an American festival? If so, why a German name? Besides that I like the name, it has a nice sound, and I like the idea of physical theater meets dance.

However, being realistic, artists these days go to three types of festivals - 1. where they can show and be seen. 2. where they can network with like minded artists and 3. where they are paid to perform.

Never mind the name, if you create good content, invite some special guests teachers, and special guest performers, and show that this festival gives an opportuity to artists on 1 or all of the 3 levels I specified above, you will attract a professional crowd.

In any case, good luck, and come see our Premiere next week at Joyce SoHo.

E. (NYC)


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I would go with title involving physical theater.  i'm also very interested in bridging worlds and I've done some work in the theater world, so that title would engage me more.


B. (NYC)


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Titles are all about visuals and rhythm, for me:


a picture in words that POPS!


and a way it's said that has lilt and KaPOW. 


How about


SonnaBlauma's Summer Festival

  of Physical Theater and Dance

           Date here, 2011


And then make it pop lilt and kapow

with color, font, bolding, etc, too.



When I read that I first think

"Wow. What's SonnaBlauma?"


Then I think "Mm. Summer Festival. Yum."


Then I like the sound of Physical Theater and Dance. 

It flows as one cadence, ending on Dance, with a punctuated BOOM.

Like a strong, unquestioning statement. 


My 2¢, for what it's worth. 

Thanks for asking!




D (home base – Darmasal, India)


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Probably the most important one..


Please remove me from your email list.

Thank you,


We were in the same Dance Festival and connecting with other artists wasn’t built into the experience.  My primary goal in co-creating this is to create an environment where artists go away from the experience deeply moved having established deep connections.


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like it... but the first thing I read was "Dance and Physical Therapy Festival"... hmmmm... shows you what my dance experience was all about!!! Right?
Cheers to you all!!!


K. (Los Angeles)


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Can you come up with a really cool word that encompasses these elements; this title seems generic... To me most Festivals are branded by a unique title that really stands for the general theme of the Festival. Just a few initial thoughts.

how exciting!!!!


D. (Santa Barbara)


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Polling people at my bread & butter gig and the next door neighbor

Her vote was sonneblauma dance and physical theater festival.  She was REALLY excited about it and had a GREAT idea about how to lay it out so it reads well and acronym suggestions.  She is a framer and has a great idea for presentation.


Dance & Physical Theater Festival

(D & PTtr Festival)


B. Actress
She said the SonneBlauma Dance & Physical Theater Festival really resonated with her.
S.  attorney - liked the dance and physical theater festival title
M.  bookeeper -
liked the dance and physical theater festival title
B.  paralegal - 
liked the dance and physical theater festival title
L.  paralegal - the dance festival title


WHY  SONNEBLAUMA? – several asked this

My dance company is hosting it, I wanted something to tie it in, but didn’t want to name it the SonneBlauma Danscz Theatre Dance Festival.  The name stems from a cathartic and profound experience I had while at Scuola Dimitri in Switzerland. I had an epiphany that the greatest work of art of all is creation itself (for my personal journey at least.)  That it is a thing of great integrity and honesty.  I realized I needed more of that in my life if I wanted my art to resonate with the beauty of the world about me because I am intricately woven into it.   The name SonneBlauma is a Swiss German derivative of the word for sunflower...and the sunflower is an emblem for peace.  Peace in that the arts can be rather good at processing Jungian shadow energy (initially quite pertinent to my own process).  The arts can shamanically/cathartically/playfully transform shadow play into something profound, riveting, inspiration & universal that poetically contributes to the process of making this world a more balanced and harmonic place to be.