Dance Magazine: May 2012
Excerpted from: The Somatics Infusion
By Nancy Wozny
More teachers are blending awareness principles with technique.
Somatics is a fluid movement science. It’s in a constant state of growth and assimilation into the dance field, whether it’s used as fuel for improvisation or as principles of awareness in dance training. Integrating somatics into the technique class can take many forms, from a shift in language cues to using more novel routes to discovery.
A dance class needs to keep moving, so the somatics’ super-slow pace with frequent rests can be at odds with the structure of most classes. But there’s no need to get the mat out, since there are plenty of body/mind ideas that work well without inducing a soma coma.
Somatic practitioners specialize in asking questions. It’s a trial-and-error process to infuse dance class with the soma savvy it takes to keep dancers moving with their whole selves. Dance Magazine spoke with two Alexander Technique and three Feldenkrais Method practitioners, all of whom teach technique in addition to their regular Feldenkrais and Alexander classes…
Feldenkrais Doesn’t Have to Put You to Sleep
Barnard faculty member Tessa Chandler finds that working with the eyes has a huge impact on her students’ dancing. Moshe Feldenkrais created many powerful lessons dealing with how our eyes govern our movement. “Rolling down the spine as if you were looking down your front can elicit new movement in the spine,” says Chandler, formerly of Royal Danish Ballet and Dutch National Ballet. “Going across the floor while seeing into the distance completely changes how we cover space.”