My MA thesis is entitled Awareness Perception Presence : Inquiring into forming a body of work and is centred on a body of somatic movement work that I began developing in 2004 under the name Awareness Perception Presence – Somatic Movement Practice As “Invisible Technique” (APP). The decision to offer this course marked a significant shift for me as a teacher. Rather than simply teaching forms that I had been taught and making them increasingly my own through the act of teaching them, I felt like I was for the first time embarking on developing my own body of work….
In terms of sheer physical safety, following the form brings safety in itself – by taking time to centre and ground yourself first; then by tuning in to your partner; following the point of contact rather than pushing it; staying relaxed, open and aware; turning the momentum of falls into rolls; and never holding on to your partner. I’ve only heard of one serious injury and that was more about the choice of dance surface. With people working so closely in contact with each other, often total strangers, social safety is another important issue. The form itself confounds so many…
A funny thing happened recently that opened a whole new angle to my teaching – in fact it’s so distinctive that I decided to name it and offer it as a specific class in future – I’m calling it Dynamic Alignment and here’s how it came to be (apologies to anyone who’s already used the name or devised the approach – I’m well aware that I’ve reinvented the wheel … again) I was engaged to teach three-weeks of morning classes in a workshop-style format to the new intake of MA Dance Pedagogy students at TEAK in Helsinki – my brief…
The days when I feel most human are the days that I meet the world with a sense of wonder. And I’m always amazed watching my fellow humans. Why don’t we fall over? As a contact dancer, I study and teach the stand – the small dance – so it’s not such a big surprise. One reason I like contact is the state of being aware of myself as an animal, of being present with myself as a physical entity, of being “in my body” (a well-worn phrase) that I generate in preparation for dancing contact and which is fed by…
“Eighteen months on trapeze, and four or five Awareness Through Movement lessons later, I decided to conduct a simple experiment. Hang by my hands from a trapeze and observe what was going on in my body. I was shocked. The muscles I needed to hold me up were working. But, oh no, what about the rest of it? How could I have done this for so long with so much unnecessary muscle tension? And what could I do about it? Since then my whole approach to performing, playing, and training on trapeze has changed. Rather than straining to force my…
… and Reading
Below you’ll find lists of books that I’ve enjoyed and found useful. The accompanying texts are not mine but are mostly taken from the books’ publishers’ web sites, Google Books, Amazon or of the back cover of the book itself.
To make it easier to browse, I split the lists into the following categories: Somatics, Anatomy, Dance, Feldenkrais Method, Science and Philosophy and Other. Some books could have fit into two or more categories and some into new categories altogether. My categorisation is not meant to be definitive.
Sensing Feeling and Action
Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen
Pioneering movement educator Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen describes her innovative approach to embodiment, movement analysis, and movement reeducation through her collected articles and interviews from Contact Quarterly, 1980-2007. Thirty-two additional pages with articles on the cell, embryology, and the autonomic nervous system, as well as new photos and illustrations.
Ideokinesis: A Creative Approach to Human Movement and Body Alignment
Andre Bernard, Wolfgang Steinmuller and Ursula Stricker
Mabel Elsworth Todd pioneered ideokinesis in the 1920s. Her book, The Thinking Body, described new ways to use all the senses as well as inner feeling and imagination to retrain the body to move with ease and balance. The system became an invaluable tool for generations of dancers, actors, and performance artists, thanks largely to one of its most important teachers, André Bernard (1924-2003). This book presents an introduction to the practice as well as a lengthy interview with Bernard and two meticulously detailed workshop protocols illustrated with 52 photographs and line drawings.
Reclaiming Vitality and Presence: Sensory Awareness as a Practice for Life
Charles Brooks and Charlotte Selver
In a culture where we have grown accustomed to accumulating knowledge from teachers and experts, it is rare to find a book that actually invites us to trust our own senses again. It is the authors’ intent to give back to the reader authority over his or her own experience and learning processes. Much of the book focuses on reviving the senses in order to open the mind and body to direct learning. The book imitates an actual Sensory Awareness class, involving the reader as a student, guiding him or her along a journey with and through the senses to a way of living that is in accordance with the natural functioning of the human organism in its environment.
An established classic in its field, Bodymind presents a comprehensive study on the body and mind relationship. Articulating the complex relationship between body type, personality and experience, Dychtwald suggests methods for obtaining deeper self-knowledge and relates techniques for releasing repressed feelings, as well as self-healing and increased energy. He arrgues that our bodies reflect our life history, state of being, and growth potential, discusses the connection between mental and physical well-being, and explains how to follow an holistic plan for health.
The Wisdom of the Body Moving
Experienced BMC practitioner Linda Hartley demonstrates the basic philosophy and key elements of Body-Mind Centering. Drawing on animal and infant movements, she takes readers through the wondrous realms of Bainbridge Cohen’s pantheon—from the ‘minds’ of the skeletal and muscular systems to the quite different inner lives of digestive, lymphatic, urinary, respiratory, vocal, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive organs. Her choreography ultimately brings us into the states of consciousness of skins, cells, blood, fat, cerebrospinal fluid, nervous system, and brain. Hartley’s explorations of the images, feelings, sensations, and intuitions of the diverse organs and cells lead to exercises that gently guide students in ways of discovering and integrating their bodies’ multidimensional aspects.
Somatic Psychology: Body, Mind and Meaning
This book brings attention to the interface of psychotherapy and psychological theory with the somatic practices of bodywork and movement therapy. To offer a client only psychotherapy, or only bodywork may subtly or directly reinforce the body–mind split from which so many of us suffer; in some cases this will be a reinforcement of a dilemma central to the client?s problems. Hartley views body psychotherapy and transpersonal psychotherapy as building bridges between the once separated processes of psyche, soma, and spirit. Today the emerging field of somatic psychology is also contributing to the expanded field of psychology a subtle differentiation of bodymind process, developed through almost a century and a half of research and practice in somatic therapy and education.
Body: Recovering Our Sensual Wisdom
Don Hanlon Johnson
This book outlines a plan for reclaiming unity among our body movements, senses, and thought processes. Interweaving personal experiences, anatomical analyses, and the stories of men and women from various walks of life, it explores how the mind/body split, concretized in our social institutions, coaxes us to distrust what our own senses tell us. In marked contrast to the individualistic aura of books in a similar vein, this book argues that individual awareness alone is not enough to correct the social scars left by mind-body dualisms. Real change can only come about when we join together to alter the shapes of our social body: schools, churches, political organizations, businesses, and health-care practices. Throughout the book, there are practical yet sensitive exercises offered for bringing about a reunion of abstract ideas and flesh, a recovery of our forgotten genius embedded in the cells of our bodies.
Bone, Breath and Gesture: Practices of Embodiment
Don Hanlon Johnson
This book is a collection of writings on principles and techniques by the pioneers of bodywork and body awareness disciplines. Together, they represent a historical record of the field of somatics. Ranging from hands-on workers like Ida Rolf to phenomenologist Elizabeth Behnke, their lives span this century. In these lectures, writings, and interviews, editor Don Hanlon Johnson has sought to reveal the unbroken lineage, theoretical differences, and major similarities of these originators. Especially recommended for students as wanting to understand the historical context in which what has come to be known as somatics arose.
The Body in Psychotherapy: Inquiries in Somatic Psychology
Don Hanlon Johnson
The Body in Psychotherapy explores the life of the body as a basis of psychological understanding. Its chapters describe the use of movement, awareness exercises, and bodily imagination in work with various populations and life situations. It chronicles somatic work with childhood trauma, political torture, and life transitions such as aging, the loss of parents, and the emergence of a sense of self. The Body in Psychotherapy is the third in a groundbreaking series that provides a theoretical and practical context for the emerging field of Somatics. The first and second book of the series are Bone, Breath, and Gesture and Groundworks.
The Body of Life: Creating New Pathways for Sensory Awareness and Fluid Movement
In this classic book on bodywork education, Thomas Hanna builds on the theoories of Functional Integration, a method that applies gentle physical manipulation to fine-tune the nervous system and eliminate involuntary responses to tension, anxiety, and emotional pain. Through case histories, the author describes methods for improving bodily coordination, balance, and range of movement. With enhanced awareness, we gain a greater understanding of our internal states and our ability to affect them. He also surveys the pioneering work of Moshe Feldenkrais, who devised the system of Functional Integration, and many other somatic educators.
Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma – The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences
Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed. The reader is taken on a guided tour of the subtle, yet powerful impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events. To do this, it employs a series of exercises that help us focus on bodily sensations. Through heightened awareness of these sensations trauma can be healed.
Waking Up: The Work of Charlotte Selver
William C. Littlewood, Mary Alice Roche
Although the practice of Sensory Awareness, the rediscovery of experiencing, is nonverbal, its essence can be distilled from the tape-recorded words of its seminal teacher, Charlotte Selver, in response to her students’ actions and questions during her classes. This book is a lovingly selected and skillfully edited compilation of excerpts of more than two decades of Charlotte Selver’s profound teachings, colorful sayings, and rich insights, arranged topically. They represent the heart of her teaching. Using only her own words, the text of each experiment feels like Charlotte Selver herself speaking not only to her class but to the reader. The reader is invited to try out some of the suggested experiments.
A Kinesthetic Legacy: The Life and Works of Barbara Clark
An invaluable historical resource and practical text about Clark, a pioneering thinker in the somatics field. Clark was a studentof Mabel Todd who specialized in teaching children. She left Boston in 1949 and came to New York, where she taught privately. Sheassisted Sweigard, also a student of Todd’s, at New York University. Instead of writing a book on ideokinesis, Clark wrote several “manuals” as she called them. Clark moved to Urbana, Illinois, in 1972, where she died in 1982 at the age of ninety-five. This volume includes Clark’s previously published and unpublished manuals and teaching notes.
Heart of Listening: Visionary Approach to Craniosacral Work
Originally published as a single volume, The Heart of Listening has been re-issued as two separate volumes because of public demand for a more concise, portable edition. Milne, a third generation Scottish osteopath, begins by explaining the visionary approach to healing, and how it may be applied to the realm of craniosacral work. He explains the importance of meditation, centering, and the cultivation of heartfulness in the development of compassionate practice. Milne introduces the reader to the story of visionary work—its genesis, evolution, philosophy, and practice—and explains how a grounding in meditation, sensitive touch, and intuitive perception can lead to a remarkable unfoldment in skill development.
How Life Moves: Explorations in Meaning and Body Awareness
This comprehensive movement program uses the story of biological evolution as a tool to increase strength, flexibility, and body awareness. Readers learn to “unlearn” inherited bodily habits by embodying the many forms that life has expressed on Earth—from the single cell to the human being—and shifting their perception. Through this evolutionary movement, the body’s native intelligence is revived and new movements can be learned, enabling the body to overcome chronic musculoskeletal complaints such as lower back, shoulder, and neck pain, and to meet whatever challenges it is faced with.
Body and Earth: An Experiential Guide
Olsen’s book about the organic, perceptual and sensory connections of the human body and its earthy places draws successfully on a mix of somatic understanding, environmental studies and sciences, visual imagery in the form of photographs, diagrams and illustrations, and first-person narratives. An inspired synthesis of scientific detail and creative perception, it offers new insights into the relationship between body and earth, and addresses the interconnectedness of body and place through a mixture of reflections, information, exercises, and visual art. This beautifully illustrated book integrates environmental science, biology, meditation and creative expression. Part workbook and part exploratory guide, this book seeks to create a holistic understanding of person and place. By providing hard data, methods of reflection, exercise routines, and inspiration, Body and Earth offers a guide to responsible stewardship of both our planet and our persons.
The Art of Changing: Exploring the Alexander Technique and Its Relationship with the Human Energy Body
The Alexander Technique is a method by which we can allow change to take place in ourselves ‘against the habits of life’. It is recognized the world over as a subtle yet powerful method of dealing with physical and mental stress and of encouraging personal growth and transformation.
Rolfing: Re-establishing the Natural Alignment and Structural Integration of the Human Body for Vitality and Well-Being
This seminal work made its debut in 1977, and it has since remained the most important reference for Rolfers around the world. In this new edition, the late Dr. Rolf illustrates her theory and practice of Structural Integration, which brings the body into alignment and balance by manipulation of the connective tissue. Rolfing has helped thousands of people to stand taller, look better, move with greater ease, and have a greater sense of vitality and well-being. This is the original and classic text, with more than 600 illustrations and photographs An indispensible reference for the hundreds of Rolfers in this country, it will also appeal to other professional bodyworkers and the interested lay person.
Inside Motion: An Ideokinetic Basis for Movement Education
An in-depth and comprehensive study of anatomical imagery based on the Todd-Clark work, with a complete description of the skeletal system. Contains many very simple and elegantly drawn diagrams showing the flow of forces through the body together with concise explanations of how the physical forces act on the human body.
Centered and Connected: A Therapeutic Approach to Mind-Body Awareness
Centered and Connected presents body-based techniques that integrate practices of self-reflection and non-judgmental awareness in order to foster healing, build self-esteem, and develop a stronger connection to one’s body. Author Rytz explores the disconnection between the mind and body, which can create alienation, lack of self-acceptance, and more serious emotional problems. Some of the body areas explored include the head, heart, hands, feet, stomach, and pelvis, as well as body-related phenomena such as the breath, gravity, and the voice. Each topic is followed by four simple and enjoyable activities meant to improve the body-mind relationship. There are 128 activities in all. More than 250 photographs and illustrations help readers visualize and utilize the exercises described.
Amazing Babies: Essential Movement for Your Baby in the First Year
Amazing Babies is a “guide to parent-baby interactions and adult movement explorations.” The book “is designed to provide you with a dynamic developmental movement framework for relating to your amazing baby in new ways,” says Stokes, founder of the Center for Experiential Learning. “Using this framework, you will expand your observation skills to understand how babies move to learn, communicate, and interact in their environment.”
Human Movement Potential: Its Ideokinetic Facilitation
Lulu E. Sweigard
How does movement proceed and how can it be performed with greater efficiency? This book focuses on the interdependence of postural alignment and the performance of movement. The author, whose method of teaching body balance and efficient movement has been the result of many years of research and teaching, offers a point of view and methodology at odds with the generally employed methods of teaching posture, fitness, sport, rehabilitation or any of the performing arts. Students of dance, drama, physical education, as well as practitioners in the health care field will find this a valuable learning tool.
The Thinking Body: Study of the Balancing Forces of Dynamic Man
Mabel Elsworth Todd
This classic in the study of human physiology and the effect of psychological and mental processes on human movement is a favorite of dancers, students of motor development, and all those concerned with questions of human fitness. An invaluable insight into the precise workings of the skeletal-muscular structure ot the human body and the influence of the mind on its function. Written in extremely accesaible language( to the lay reader), and complete with the original drawings that of beautifully illustrate the text in painstaking detail. Extremely easy reading, yet chock full of the most erudite knowledge on the subject. A virtual mechanics manual for the human muscular skeletal frame and the forces that drive it to bring it into balance.
Trail Guide to the Body: How to Locate Muscles, Bones, and More
Andrew R. Biel, Robin Dorn
This acclaimed book teaches readers to palpate the body’s structures with ease and precision. The beautifully illustrated, user-friendly guide to the muscular and skeletal systems makes learning the necessary bodywork skills interesting, memorable and easy. With 420 pages and 1,100 illustrations, this 3rd edition covers more than 125 muscles, 206 bones, 30 ligaments and 110 bony landmarks. It provides an invaluable map of the body.
Anatomy of Movement
Anatomy of Movement is a dynamic, integrated approach to the study of the physical structures of the musculoskeletal system and their functional relationship to the movements of the human body. The emphasis is on basic human anatomy as it relates to external body movement. In clear and concise text illustrated with more than a thousand graphic drawings, the author takes the reader on a lively tour of the muscles, bones, ligaments and joints of the arms, legs and trunk. The focus throughout the book is on anatomy not for its own sake, but in its functional relationship to the actual movements of the body in physical disciplines. Especially recommended for students looking for an inexpensive anatomy reference book.
Anatomy of Breathing
Everyone breathes, yet few of us understand how to consciously control breathing to improve our well-being and the quality of many daily activities. Anatomy of Breathing is a clear and helpful guide to both the theory and practice of breathing in its many variations. Hundreds of expert drawings along with easy-to-understand text help you explore just how breathing works. Anatomy of Breathing is a unique and wonderful resource for anyone who wishes to understand the science and art of breathing, and how to make their own breathing better and more life-enhancing.
Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery
Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery shows you how to use imaging techniques to improve posture and alignment and release excess tension. The book`s 195 illustrations will help you visualize the images and exercises and show you how to use them in a variety of contexts. You`ll explore the importance of posture and dynamic alignment and discover how to use imagery to affect body movement. You`ll learn how to use basic physics to create a strong yet fluid balance in your muscles and joints. You can select specific images to address individual needs or follow the sequence presented in the book. These exercises will help you establish a body image that facilitates dynamic alignment and releases excess tension.
The Body Moveable: Blueprints of the human musculoskeletal system : its structure, mechanics, locomotor and postural functions
For the student of motion, this volume is distinctly superior to all the traditional anatomy textbooks. The drawings and text are models of clarity for demonstrating the interrelationship of structure and function. This is a book for beginner or expert alike. Anatomy here is not forbidding; it is a joy to learn or review the wondrous facts of the construction of the moving human body. At last, here is an ideal anatomic atlas-text for the study of human movement.
Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork
Possibly the most famous and widely used resource in therapeutic bodywork, this beautifully written, detailed, and reader-friendly picture of how and why the body responds to touch is both scientifically reliable and inspiring. Furthering the presentation of recent research in biochemistry, cell biology, and energy medicine in the Second Edition, this new update includes advances in neurophysiology and physics, reconfiguring knowledge of mind and body, from “microgenesis” to “quantum consciousness.” A rare book that fits general reader as much as professional and student.
John Napier (Author), Russell H. Tuttle (Editor)
Intended for all readers – including magicians, detectives, musicians, orthopedic surgeons, and anthropologists – this book offers a thorough account of that most intriguing and most human of appendages: the hand. In this illustrated work, Napier explores a wide range of absorbing subjects such as fingerprints, handedness, gestures, fossil remains, and the making and using of tools.
Atlas of Human Anatomy
Frank H. Netter
Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy is the most loved and best selling anatomy atlas in the English language. In over 530 beautifully colored and easily understood illustrations, it teaches the complete human body with unsurpassed clarity and accuracy. This new edition features 45 revised, 290 relabeled and 17 wholly new plates, drawn fully in the tradition of Frank Netter, and includes more imaging and clinical images than ever before.
BodyStories: A Guide to Experiential Anatomy
BodyStories is a book that engages the general reader as well as the serious student of anatomy. Thirty-one days of learning sessions heighten awareness about each bone and body system and provide self-guided studies. The book draws on Olsen’s thirty years as a dancer and teacher of anatomy to show how our attitudes and approaches to our body affect us day to day. Amusing and insightful personal stories enliven the text and provide ways of working with the body for efficiency and for healing. BodyStories is used as a primary text in college dance departments, massage schools, and yoga training programs internationally. Especially recommended for students wanting an introduction to the approach of experiential anatomy.
Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5 Billion-Year History of the Human Body
Why do we look the way we do? Neil Shubin, the paleontologist and professor of anatomy who co-discovered Tiktaalik, the “fish with hands,” tells the story of our bodies as you’ve never heard it before. By examining fossils and DNA, he shows us that our hands actually resemble fish fins, our heads are organized like long-extinct jawless fish, and major parts of our genomes look and function like those of worms and bacteria. Your Inner Fish makes us look at ourselves and our world in an illuminating new light.
Frank R. Wilson
The Hand delineates the ways in which our hands have shaped our development – cognitive, emotional, linguistic, and psychological – in light of the most recent research being done in anthropology, neuroscience, linguistics, and psychology. How did structural changes in the hand prepare human ancestors for increased use of tools and for our own remarkable ability to design and manufacture them? Is human language rooted in speech, or are its deepest roots to be found in the gestures that made communal hunting and manufacture possible? Is early childhood experience in reaching and grasping the secret of the human brain’s unique capacity to redefine intelligence with each new generation in every culture and society? Frank Wilson’s inquiry incorporates the experiences and insights of jugglers, surgeons, musicians, puppeteers, and car mechanics. His book illuminates how our hands influence learning and how we, in turn, use our hands to leave our personal stamp on the world.
Terpsichore in Sneakers: Postmodern Dance
Ten choreographers receive chapter-length studies, nearly all of them with roots in Merce Cunningham, John Cage, and the 1960s Judson Dance Theater. Banes chronicles the oeuvre of each; describes the works; analyzes the themes and motifs involved, with reference to such as Heidegger and Robbe-Grillet; and quotes liberally from positive Village Voice reviews.
CQ/CI 25th Anniversary Sourcebook
Xeroxed articles, essays, drawings, photos, and quotes directly concerning Contact Improvisation, reprinted from Contact Quarterly, 1975 through 1992. Published to coincide with the 25th anniversary celebration of the existance of contact improvisation. Especially recommended for students wanting background reading on contact improvisation – the texts are many and varied, and cover many of the issues that you might face in learning the form.
CQ/CI Sourcebook Volume 2, 1992–2007
In celebration of Contact Improvisation’s 36th anniversary, we release this second volume—a multivoiced history of the dance form’s ongoing development, through articles, poems, exercises, writings, photos, and drawings about CI, printed in Contact Quarterly, 1992 through 2007. Especially recommended for students – start with volume one above and if that interested you then here’s more.
Steve Paxton: Material for the Spine (DVD-ROM)
produced by Contredanse, Brussels
This interactive DVD-ROM immerses us in Paxton´s world, to experience the logic and invention at the core of Material for the Spine, a technique evolved from his observation of the spine in the practice of Contact Improvisation. Original audiovisual essays, motion capture sequences, and extracts from lectures, classes, and performances give an overview, the details of the technique, and the exercises and forms that constitute it.
Taken by Surprise: A Dance Improvisation Reader
Ann Cooper Albright
This collection of classic and new writings on dance improvisation brings together 21 essays by prominent dancers, scholars and historians. Until now, discussion of improvisation in dance has focused mainly on the postmodern form known as contact improv. Taken by Surprise reflects the development of improvisation as a compositional and performance mode in a wide variety of dance contexts, including dance traditions from around the globe, such as Yoruban masked dance, Indian Bharatanatyam and flamenco.
Handbook in Motion
An account of an ongoing personal discourse and its manifestations in Dance. Simone Forti is a dancer who has always forged her own path. She arrived in New York in the early 60’s from California. She brought with her a series of pieces that proved to be of serious influence on the development of “post modern” dance and sculpture in years to come. Her “dance-constructions” were based on a concern with bodies in action, the movement not being stylized or presented for its visual line but rather as a physical fact. The artist traces the development of her work intuitively rather than chronologically, including narratives about a time of participation in the drug culture that sheds light on the changes in her dancing. The book includes drawings, “dance reports” (short descriptions of events whose movement made a deep impression on the author’s memory), and documentary materials such as scores, descriptions, and photographic records of performances.
Dances That Describe Themselves: The Improvised Choreography of Richard Bull
Susan Leigh Foster
During an improvised performance, both dancers and audience members reflect on how the dance is being made. They ask themselves: What will happen next? What choices will each dancer make? And how will these decisions contribute to the overall effect and significance of the performance? Trained as a jazz pianist, Richard Bull did not uphold the opposition often found in dance between improvisation and composition. Instead, he believed that dancers, like jazz musicians, could craft a piece spontaneously in performance. Analyzing performances by Bull and many of his contemporaries, Susan Foster argues that their diverse practices embody distinctive values representative of different artistic communities, yet they all share a capacity to reflect on their own making, in a sense, describing themselves.Especially recommended for students wanting to read more about the use of improvisation in performance in contemporary dance.
Knowledge in Motion: Perspectives of Artistic and Scientific Research in Dance
Sabine Gehm, Pirkko Husemann, Katharina Von Wilcke (Eds.)
In a globalised society, dance is gaining in importance as a means of conveying body knowledge: It is perceived as an art form in itself, is fostered and cultivated within the bounds of cultural and educational policy, and is increasingly becoming the subject of research. Dance is in motion all over the world, and with it the knowledge that it holds. But what does body knowledge in motion constitute, how is it produced, how can it be researched and conveyed? Renowned choreographers, dancers, theorists and pedagogues describe the unique potential of dance as an archive and medium as well as its significance at the interface between art and science. Contributors are, among others, Gabriele Brandstetter, Dieter Heitkamp, Royston Maldoom and Meg Stuart.
Return to Health: with Dance, Movement and Imagery
Returing to Health: with Dance, Movement & Imagery is a theoretical and practical approach to using movement and imagery as a modality for people challenging cancer and other life threatening illness. Anna Halprin describes her expressive movement work with terminally ill patients and documents a ten-week series with each class clearly described in ways that can be easily followed by others using dance, movement or imagery as healing arts. Examples of participants’ experiences, drawings, photographs and words, are interwoven with lesson plans, directions and summaries in a lively and balanced format, which never feels abstract or difficult to read. Halprin manages to describe movement processes succinctly and in ways you can easily visualize, understand and try out. The reader “breathes and moves” through this book as Halprin leads us into the healing room. Halprin offers the wisdom of her life experience as a dancer, teacher, cancer survivor, and facilitator for healing.
My Body, the Buddhist
Through a series of imaginative approaches to movement and performance, choreographer Deborah Hay presents a profound reflection on the ephemeral nature of the self and the body as the locus of artistic consciousness. Using the same uniquely playful poetics of her revolutionary choreography, she delivers one of the most revealing accounts of what art creation entails and the ways in which the body, the center of our aesthetic knowledge of the world, can be regarded as our most informed teacher. The book is composed of nineteen short chapters (“my body likes to rest,” “my body finds energy in surrender,” “my body is bored by answers”), each an example of what Susan Foster calls Hay’s “daily attentiveness to the body’s articulateness.”
Caught Falling: The Confluence of Contact Improvisation, Nancy Stark Smith, and Other Moving Ideas
David Koteen and Nancy Stark Smith
The inside-out of dancer/CQ editor Nancy Stark Smith’s life as seen through the kaleidoscope of the dance form Contact Improvisation. Includes Q&As between David and Nancy; photos of dancing & living; Talk Bubbles from friends, colleagues, and family; the Underscore; Nancy’s life stories; and more—fourteen years in the making.
Sharing the Dance: Contact Improvisation and American Culture
In Sharing the Dance, Cynthia Novack considers the development of contact improvisation within its web of historical, social, and cultural contexts. This book examines the ways contact improvisers (and their surrounding communities) encode sexuality, spontaneity, and gender roles, as well as concepts of the self and society in their dancing. While focusing on the changing practice of contact improvisation through two decades of social transformation, Novack’s work incorporates the history of rock dancing and disco, the modern and experimental dance movements of Merce Cunningham, Anna Halprin, and Judson Church, among others, and a variety of other physical activities, such as martial arts, aerobics, and wrestling.
Anna Halprin: Experience as Dance
Anna Halprin pioneered what became known as “postmodern dance,” creating work that was key to unlocking the door to experimentation in theater, music, Happenings, and performance art. This first comprehensive biography examines Halprin’s fascinating life in the context of American culture. Janice Ross describes in engrossing detail the artist’s roles as dancer, choreographer, performance theorist, community leader, cancer survivor, healer, wife, and mother. Halprin’s friends and acquaintances include a number of artists who charted the course of postmodern performance. Among her students were Trisha Brown, Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer, Meredith Monk, and Robert Morris. Ross brings to life the vital sense of experimentation during this period. She also illuminates the work of Anna Halprin’s husband, the important landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, in the context of his wife’s environmental dance work. Using Halprin’s dance practices and works as her focus, Ross explores the effects of danced stories on the bodies who perform them. The result is an innovative consideration of how experience becomes performance as well as a masterful account of an extraordinary life.
The Knowing Body: The Artist as Storyteller in Contemporary Performance
A close look at the creative process through interviews with artists, journal notes, and drawings. Theoretical discussions and commentary that will spark a student’s sense of possibility. Steinman’s book really stands alone among performance art books. While there are many that document what particular artists are doing, this one offers a way in for a person who wants to perform (or know more about how performance artists work). A must read for anyone interested in performance art, it will also be fascinating to those in theatre, playwriting, visual arts and performance of any sort. Especially recommended for students wanting an introduction to role of the body in performance.
Body Space Image
Miranda Tufnell, Chris Crickmay
A narrative of discovery. Generously illustrated with examples drawn from experimental performance, this stimulating book explores ways of working and thinking about performance. It is written to inspire rather than to instruct, to be used in small amounts to stimulate a working process, rather than to be read through from cover to cover. Especially recommended for students looking for inspiration to create material to teach in classes.
A Widening Field: Journeys in Body and Imagination
Miranda Tufnell, Chris Crickmay
This is a handbook for working in the creative arts, with an emphasis upon imagination and receptivity: to our bodies, to our surroundings, our materials, and to what we create. It puts particular emphasis upon the sensing, feeling, moving body as a basis for any imaginative activity. The book describes sources and strategies for working within and between various forms of expression, including: moving, making things with materials and writing. It stresses the importance of intuitive, instinctive ways of knowing, perceiving, and creating. The book will be a useful resource for people studying or teaching in the arts, or for anyone whose professional life involves them in working creatively with others: therapeutically, educationally, or in a community context. This book centres on the role of imagination in our lives and how this is awakened and nourished through attention to the present, feeling world of the body and to whatever appears as we make. In this way we enter into the poetics of our experience.
Yvonne Rainer: The Mind Is a Muscle
Rainer’s work has been linked strongly with minimalist sculpture: she compared the neutral, specific qualities of those objects to her own “work-like” or “task-like,” “ordinary” dance, and she collaborated early on with Robert Morris. But The Mind is a Muscle manifests an agitated and contradictory relationship to the idea of “work” in the context of an affluent, postwar America. Wood describes the way the choreography of The Mind is a Muscle proposed a new lexicon of movement that stripped away the gestural conventions of dance or theater narrative in an attempt to present the human subject on her own terms while at the same time manipulating the seductiveness of the image, increasingly being harnessed by capitalism.
Mindful Spontenaity: Lessons in the Feldenkrais Method
Ruthy Alon’s description of Feldenkrais work in Mindful Spontaneity is a favored text of a generation of Feldenkrais enthusiasts. Alon weaves experiential and theoretical information in a poetic yet pragmatic language. These simple and unexpected suggestions will help everyone who suffers from restricted movement or pain to find a new sense of freedom.
Embodied Wisdom: The Collected Papers of Moshe Feldenkrais
Elizabeth Beringer (ed.)
Using Moshe Feldenkrais’s own words, Embodied Wisdom clearly explains the basic principles underpinning his techniques, Awareness Through Movement (ATM) and Functional Integration (FI). These thoughtful articles and lively, sometimes humorous interviews explore a diverse range of subjects: the importance of bodily expression, the primacy of hearing, the mind- body connection, martial arts, sleep and consciousness, movement and its effect on the mind. Embodied Wisdom gives readers the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the scientific and spiritual principles behind the Method and offers sound strategies for incorporating it into their lives.
Judo: the art of defence and attack
Moshe Feldenkrais was active for many years 1925-1955, in Jujitsu, Judo, practical self defense, and also published books on those subjects. He met Prof. Jigoro Kano and had very close relationship with the great Judoka Gunji Koizumi, thefounder of the Budokwai.
Moshe Feldenkrais was one of the early European practitioners of the martial Art of Judo and he wrote a number of influential texts on the subject. This text includes a 6 page introduction where he explicates his early ideas about somatic learning maturation and the martial arts. It is a unique document for those interested in the connection between Martial Arts and Somatics.
Body and Mature Behaviour: A Study of Anxiety, Sex, Gravitation and Learning
A victim of debilitating injuries, Moshe Feldenkrais was intimately aware of the link between bodily suffering and mental health. Through healing himself, he made revolutionary discoveries, culminating in the development of the method that now bears his name. In an intellectually rich and eloquent style, Feldenkrais delves into neurology, prehistory, child development, gravity and anti-gravity, reflexive versus learned behavior, the effects of emotion, especially anxiety, on posture, and most importantly, the inseparability of body and mind.
Awareness Through Movement
This best selling book contains 12 easy-to-follow Awareness Through Movement exercises for improving posture flexibility breathing coordination etc. After an introduction emphasizing the importance of self-education and the primary relationship of movement to sensory thinking and emotional life Feldenkrais demonstrates his ideas through the ATM lessons. Especially recommended for students wanting to read something from Feldenkrais himself on his method.
This warm conversational book represents a summation of the theory and practice of both Functional Integration and Awareness Through Movement. Illuminated by anecdotes with the simple fundamental notions of our daily life that through habit become elusive and impossible to see.
The Potent Self: The Dynamics of the Body and the Mind
In The Potent Self, Feldenkrais delves deeply into the relationship between faulty posture, pain, and the underlying emotional mechanisms that lead to compulsive and dependent human behavior. He shares remarkable insights into resistance, motivation, habit formation, and the place of sex in full human potential. The Potent Self offers Feldenkrais’ vision of how to achieve physical and mental wellness through the development of authentic maturity. This edition includes and extensive Forward by Mark Reese, a longtime student of Feldenkrais, in which Reese discusses many of the important ideas in the book and places them in the context of Feldenkrais’ life and the intellectual and historical milieu of his time.
Body Awareness as Healing Therapy: The Case of Nora
Moshe Feldenkrais’ classic study of his work with Nora, a woman who has suffered a severe stroke and lost her neuromuscular coordination, including the ability to read and write. Feldenkrais uses rational and intuitive approaches to help his student relearn basic motor skills. One can observe here the groundwork of Feldenkrais’ extraordinary insights which became known as the Feldenkrais Method. We follow his detailed descriptions of the trial and error process which led him to see the ingredients that were needed to help Nora reshape her attention, perception, imagination and cognition.
The Master Moves
This book is an edited transcription of a workshop taught by Dr. Feldenkrais. The theoretical discussions and the movement experiences are interwoven throughout the book making the relationship between theory and practice in the Feldenkrais Method more and more evident. The book is designed so that the reader does the movement lessons as he or she progresses through the book. The movement’s directions are clear and the themes engaging.
Awareness Heals: The Feldenkrais Method for Dynamic Health
The Feldenkrais Method is a revolutionary approach to health and fitness. Using what Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais called “Awareness Through Movement,” people of any age or condition can learn to move more comfortably and effectively. In pleasant yet powerful ways, his method reawakens the natural process by which we as babies learned to crawl, walk, and talk. Awareness Heals is the first book to present the full benefits of the Feldenkrais Method in clear language. It details six basic lessons which help you to become more aware of how you breathe, sit, walk, and otherwise move. By sensing these natural actions, you grow more skillful and supple in all your movements. Through the Feldenkrais Method, you can learn to relieve pain, enhance flexibility, and recover from physical or emotional stress. Especially recommended for studentswanting a clear introduction to the Feldenkrais, both the man and his method.
Science and Philosophy
The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World
David Abram draws on sources as diverse as the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Balinese shamanism, Apache storytelling, and his own experience as an accomplished sleight-of-hand magician to reveal the subtle dependence of human cognition on the natural environment. He explores the character of perception and excavates the sensual foundations of language, which–even at its most abstract–echoes the calls and cries of the earth. On every page of this lyrical work, Abram weaves his arguments with passion and intellectual daring.
The Poetics of Space
The classic book on how we experience intimate spaces. “A magical book. . . . A prism through which all worlds from literary creation to housework to aesthetics to carpentry take on enhanced—and enchanted-significances. Every reader of it will never see ordinary spaces in ordinary ways. Instead the reader will see with the soul of the eye, the glint of Gaston Bachelard.”
For decades, the conventional wisdom of neuroscience held that the hardware of the brain is fixed – that we are stuck with what we were born with. But recent pioneering experiments in neuroplasticity reveal that the brain is capable not only of altering its structure but also of generating new neurons, even into old age. The brain can adapt, heal, renew itself after trauma and compensate for disability.In this groundbreaking book, highly respected science writer Sharon Begley documents how this fundamental paradigm shift is transforming both our understanding of the human mind and our approach to deep-seated emotional, cognitive and behavioural problems.These breakthroughs show that it is possible to reset our happiness meter, regain the use of limbs disabled by stroke, train the mind to break cycles of depression and OCD and reverse age-related changes in the brain.
The Brain’s Sense of Movement
Reviewing a wealth of research in neurophysiology and experimental psychology, Berthoz argues for a rethinking of the traditional separation between action and perception, and for the division of perception into five senses. In Berthoz’s view, perception and cognition are inherently predictive, functioning to allow us to anticipate the consequences of current or potential actions. The brain acts like a simulator that is constantly inventing models to project onto the changing world, models that are corrected by steady, minute feedback from the world. This interpretation of perception and action allows Berthoz, in The Brain’s Sense of Movement, to focus on psychological phenomena largely ignored in standard texts: proprioception and kinaesthesis, the mechanisms that maintain balance and coordinate actions, and basic perceptual and memory processes involved in navigation.
The Body Has a Mind of it’s Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Almost) Everything Better
Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee
In this compelling, cutting-edge book, two generations of science writers explore the exciting science of “body maps” in the brain–and how startling new discoveries about the mind-body connection can change and improve our lives. Why do you still feel fat after losing weight? What makes video games so addictive? How can “practicing” your favorite sport in your imagination improve your game? The answers can be found in body maps.
Creativity is fundamental to human experience. In On Creativity David Bohm, the world-renowned scientist, investigates the phenomenon from all sides: not only the creativity of invention and of imagination but also that of perception and of discovery. This is a remarkable and life-affirming book by one of the most far-sighted thinkers of modern times.
Never before has there been a greater need for deeper listening and more open communication to cope with the complex problems facing our organizations, businesses and societies. Renowned scientist David Bohm believed there was a better way for humanity to discover meaning and to achieve harmony. He identified creative dialogue, a sharing of assumptions and understanding, as a means by which the individual, and society as a whole, can learn more about themselves and others, and achieve a renewed sense of purpose.
Being There: Putting Brain, Body and World Together Again
Brain, body, and world are united in a complex dance of circular causation and extended computational activity. In Being There, Andy Clark weaves these several threads into a pleasing whole and goes on to address foundational questions concerning the new tools and techniques needed to make sense of the emerging sciences of the embodied mind. Clark brings together ideas and techniques from robotics, neuroscience, infant psychology, and artificial intelligence. He addresses a broad range of adaptive behaviors, from cockroach locomotion to the role of linguistic artifacts in higher-level thought.
The Feeling of What Happens: Body, Emotion and the Making of Consciousness
Antonio R. Damasio
Widely praised for his innovative scientific thinking and elegant writing, Antonio Damasio achieves a new understanding of consciousness by asking-and answering-profound questions: How is it that we know what we know? How is it that our conscious and private minds have a sense of self? A gifted medical clinician with decades of caring for patients with brain damage, a great scientific thinker, and an extraordinary writer, Damasio offers a new understanding of the biological roots of consciousness and its role in survival. Damasio’s work on feeling and emotion forever joins our minds and bodies, offering an arrestingly original way of understanding what it is to be human. After reading Damasio’s landmark, Descartes’ Error, Jonas Salk wrote, “You will never again look at yourself or another without wondering what goes on behind the eyes that so meet.” As to The Feeling of What Happens, the New York Times wrote, “Unlike any other book here, it will change your experience of yourself.”
This revolutionary book provides fresh answers to long-standing questions of human origins and consciousness. Drawing on his breakthrough research in comparative neuroscience, Terrence Deacon offers a wealth of insights into the significance of symbolic thinking: from the co-evolutionary exchange between language and brains over two million years of hominid evolution to the ethical repercussions that followed man’s newfound access to other people’s thoughts and emotions. Informing these insights is a new understanding of how Darwinian processes underlie the brain’s development and function as well as its evolution. In contrast to much contemporary neuroscience that treats the brain as no more or less than a computer, Deacon provides a new clarity of vision into the mechanism of mind. It injects a renewed sense of adventure into the experience of being human.
The Rise and Fall of the Third ChimpanzeeJared M. Diamond
More than 98 percent of human genes are shared with two species of chimpanzee. The ‘third’ chimpanzee is man. Jared Diamond surveys out life-cycle, culture, sexuality and destructive urges both towards ourselves and the planet to explore the ways in which we are uniquely human yet still influenced by our animal origins. This iis a wide-ranging book , which applies insights from biology, anthropology, and linguistics to questions such as why one species of big mammal (humans) came to dominate its closest relatives, such as chimpanzees, and why one group of humans (eurasians) came to dominate others (Indigenous peoples of the Americas).
The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science
A new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the old notion that the human brain is immutable. Psychoanalyst Doidge traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they’ve transformed–people whose mental limitations or brain damage were seen as unalterable. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, blind people who learn to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, stroke patients learning to speak, children with cerebral palsy learning to move with more grace, depression and anxiety disorders successfully treated, and lifelong character traits changed. Using these stories to probe mysteries of the body, emotion, love, sex, culture, and education, Dr. Doidge has written an inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.
Developing Through Relationships: Origins of Communication, Self, and Culture
Fogel explores the origins of communication, personal identity, and cultural participation and argues that from birth communication, self, and culture are inseparable. He shows that the ability to participate as a human being in the world does not come about only with the acquisition of language, as many scholars have thought, but begins during an infant’s earliest nonverbal period. According to Fogel, the human mind and sense of self start to develop at birth through communication and relationships between individuals.
Mindfield: How Brain Science is Changing Our World
Our world is about to be revolutionized. The way we see economics, health, and law enforcement will change. Our perception of happiness, advertising, and even morality will be turned upside down. Reporting from the front lines, award-winning writer Lone Frank tracks down the world’s top researchers in brain science and bravely volunteers herself in the name of discovery. As she enrolls in a globe-spanning experiment on the moral nature of humanity, endures brain scans to learn the secrets of empathy, and dons a God Helmet to probe the neurological nature of religious experience, her adventures open the door to a plethora of shocking, mind-bending, and frequently comical revelations. An insider’s guide to the outermost boundaries of brain science, “Mindfield” offers an uplifting vision of what it means to be human in the new age of the brain.
How the Body Shapes the Mind
How the Body Shapes the Mind is an interdisciplinary work that addresses philosophical questions by appealing to evidence found in experimental psychology, neuroscience, studies of pathologies, and developmental psychology. There is a growing consensus across these disciplines that the contribution of embodiment to cognition is inescapable. Because this insight has been developed across a variety of disciplines, however, there is still a need to develop a common vocabulary that is capable of integrating discussions of brain mechanisms in neuroscience, behavioral expressions in psychology, design concerns in artificial intelligence and robotics, and debates about embodied experience in the phenomenology and philosophy of mind. Shaun Gallagher’s book aims to contribute to the formulation of that common vocabulary and to develop a conceptual framework that will avoid both the overly reductionistic approaches that explain everything in terms of bottom-up neuronal mechanisms, and inflationistic approaches that explain everything in terms of Cartesian, top-down cognitive states.
The Phenomenological Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive ScienceShaun Gallagher
The Phenomenological Mind is the first book to properly introduce fundamental questions about the mind from the perspective of phenomenology. Key questions and topics covered include: What is phenomenology? naturalizing phenomenology and the empirical cognitive sciences phenomenology and consciousness consciousness and self-consciousness, including perception and action time and consciousness, including William James, Edmund Husserl and temporal disorders in psychopathology intentionality the embodied mind action knowledge of other minds situated and extended minds phenomenology and personal identity. Interesting and important examples are used throughout, including phantom limb syndrome, blindsight and self-disorders in schizophrenia, making the Phenomenological Mind an ideal introduction to key concepts in phenomenology, cognitive science and philosophyof mind.
Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ
Emotional Intelligence Does IQ define our destiny? Daniel Goleman argues that our view of human intelligence is far too narrow, and that our emotions play a major role in thought, decision making and individual success. Self-awareness, impulse control, persistence, motivation, empathy and social deftness are all qualities that mark people who excel: whose relationships flourish, who are stars in the workplace. With new insights into the brain architecture underlying emotion and rationality, Goleman shows precisely how emotional intelligence can be nurtured and strengthened in all of us. Working with Emotional Intelligence Do you want to be more successful at work? Do you want to improve your chances of promotion? Do you want to get on better with your colleagues? Daniel Goleman draws on unparalleled access to business leaders around the world and the thorough research that is his trademark. He demonstrates that emotional intelligence at work matters twice as much as cognitive abilities such as IQ or technical expertise in this inspiring sequel.
Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All in Your Head
Neurophysiologist and educator Dr. Carla Hannaford brings the latest insights from scientific research to questions that affect learners of all ages. Examining the body’s role in learning, from infancy through adulthood she presents the mounting scientific evidence that movement is crucial to learning. Dr. Hannaford offers clear alternatives and remedies that people can put into practice right away to make a real difference in their ability to learn. She advocates more enlightened educational practices for homes and schools including: a more holistic view of each learner; less emphasis on rote learning; more experiential, active instruction; less labeling of learning disabilities; more physical movement; more personal expression through arts, sports and music; less prescribing of Ritalin and other drugs whose long term effects are not even known.
Your Body: The Fish That Evolved
Dr. Keith Harrison
We know more about our bodies than ever before, but why are there so unanswered questions? Why do our elbows and knees bend in opposite directions? Why do men and women walk differently? Why do men have nipples? Why is childbirth so painful? Why do we sleepwalk? Why do so many of us suffer from back pain and dental problems? This book sets out to answer these questions and many others as it traces our evolution, not from apes, but from our more distant ancestors – the fish. Accessible and endlessly fascinating, “Your Body” reveals which features we have inherited from our fish, amphibian, reptile, four-legged mammal and primate ancestors and explores how the human body is likely to evolve in the future.
Proust Was a Neuroscientist
As Jonah Lehrer argues in this sparkling debut, science is not the only path to knowledge. In fact, when it comes to understanding the brain, art got there first. Taking a group of artists – a painter, a poet, a chef, a composer, and a handful of novelists – Lehrer shows how each one discovered an essential truth about the mind that science is only now rediscovering. We learn, for example, how Proust first revealed the fallibility of memory; how George Eliot discovered the brain’s malleability; how the French chef Escoffier discovered umami (the fifth taste); how Cézanne worked out the subtleties of vision; and how Gertrude Stein exposed the deep structure of language — a full half-century before the work of Noam Chomsky and other linguists. It’s the ultimate tale of art trumping science.
Action in Perception – Representation & Mind
“Perception is not something that happens to us, or in us,” writes Alva Noe. “It is something we do.” In Action in Perception, Noe argues that perception and perceptual consciousness depend on capacities for action and thought—that perception is a kind of thoughtful activity. Touch, not vision, should be our model for perception. Perception is not a process in the brain, but a kind of skillful activity of the body as a whole. We enact our perceptual experience.
Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness
Alva Noë restates and reexamines the problem of consciousness, and then proposes a startling solution: Do away with the two hundred-year-old paradigm that places consciousness within the confines of the brain. It’s widely believed that consciousness itself, that Holy Grail of science and philosophy, will soon be given a neural explanation. And yet, after decades of research, only one proposition about how the brain makes us conscious—how it gives rise to sensation, feeling, and subjectivity—has emerged unchallenged: We don’t have a clue. In this inventive work, Noë suggests that rather than being something that happens inside us, consciousness is something we do. Out of Our Heads is a fresh attempt at understanding our minds and how we interact with the world around us.
The Mindful Brain in Human Development: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-being
From the author of the internationally-acclaimed best-selling text The DevelopingMind , and esteemed leader and educator in the field of mental health,comes the first book ever to integrate neuroscience research with the ancientart of mindfulness. The result is a groundbreaking approach to not simply mentalhealth, but life in general, which shows readers how personal awarenessand attunement can actually stimulate emotional circuits in the brain, leadingto a host of physiological benefits, including greater well-being, resilience, emotionalbalance, and improved cardiac and immune function. For clinicians andlaypeople alike, Siegel’s illuminating discussions of the power of the focusedmind provide a wealth of ideas that can transform our lives and deepen ourconnections with others, and with ourselves.
A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action
Esther Thelen, Linda B. Smith
A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action presents a comprehensive and detailed theory of early human development based on the principles of dynamic systems theory. Beginning with their own research in motor, perceptual, and cognitive development, Thelen and Smith raise fundamental questions about prevailing assumptions in the field. They propose a new theory of the development of cognition and action, unifying recent advances in dynamic systems theory with current research in neuroscience and neural development. In particular, they show how by processes of exploration and selection, multimodal experiences form the bases for self-organizing perception-action categories.
The Importance of Livingby Lin Yutang
Just to give an idea of how great this book is here is a quote from it that is on the wall above my desk at work: ’Miserable indeed is a world in which we have knowledge without understanding, critisism without appreciation, beauty without love, truth without passion, righteousness without mercy, and courtesy without a warm heart.’ Enough said.
A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theatre
A fascinating and thought-provoking examination of the challenges of making theatre. In it, Anne Bogart speaks candidly and with immense wisdom of the courage required to create “art with great presence.” Each chapter tackles one of the seven major areas Bogart has identified as both potential partner and potential obstacle to art-making. They are Violence; Memory; Terror; Eroticism; Stereotype; Embarrassment; and Resistance. Each one can be used to generate extraordinary creative energy, if we know how to use it. “A Director Prepares” offers every practitioner an extraordinary insight into the creative process. It is a handbook, Bible and manifesto, all in one. No other book on the art of theatre comes even close to offering this much understanding, experience and inspiration.
Complete System of Self Healing: Internal Exercises
Stephen T. Chang
Tao of Revitalization is seen as a system of many mental and physical movements, called internal exercises which heal and energize the internal organs – the keys to youth, immunity against disease and true health, The techniques in this book aim to be true Taoist teachings (such as the principle of mind and body unification), to be scientific, proven to possess great healing value, to be natural, safe and free from time or space limitations and to fulfill the two basic physical needs to maintain, nourish, revitalize and prolong life – consumption (eating, drinking etc) and movement – of mind and body. Stephen Thomas Chang has been trained in both Chinese and Western medicine and in addition to his medical doctor degree, he holds doctor degrees in law, philosophy and theology
The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body and Design
Cranz takes a look at the history of chairs, their place establishing hierarchical relationships among people, and the various design attempts artists and architects have made at creating chairs. Cranz makes clear in her book that in chair design often the “emphasis is on materials-plastic, metal, and wood in varied applications-rather than on the effect of the chair and its structure upon the body and its structure.” The chair becomes an object, an everyday sculpture, that often disregards the fact that it is being used in particular ways for particular purposes, with substantial impact on the individual who sits in the chair.
The Art of Looking Sideways
Describing himself as a ‘visual jackdaw’, master designer Alan Fletcher has spent a lifetime collecting images, ideas, quotations, anecdotes, jokes, memories, reflections and scraps of useless information that take his fancy. In The Art of Looking Sideways, all this stuff is distilled into a quirky and highly entertaining feast for the eye and the mind. Loosely arranged in 72 ‘chapters’, this book explores the workings of the eye, the hand, the brain and the imagination in a wonderfully inventive sequence of pages that are themselves masterly demonstrations of the art of design. The Art of Looking Sideways is the ultimate guide to visual awareness, a magical compilation that will entertain and inspire all those who enjoy the interplay of word and image, who relish the odd and the unexpected, and who don’t like to take the visual world — or themselves — too seriously.
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
Wherein we discover that many of the “rules” for good writing and good sex are the same: Keep your hand moving, lose control and don’t think. Goldberg brings a touch of both Zen and well… *eroticism* to her writing practice, the latter in exercises and anecdotes designed to ease you into your body, your whole spirit, while you create, the former in being where you are, working with what you have, and writing from the moment.
Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life
Goldberg’s excercises will introduce a beginner to structured writing practice, and stimulate the jaded or professional writer out of any blocks they may have. Each chapter gives an insight into the writer’s problems, routines, habits, and is ended with a practical excercise designed to challenge our imaginations and abilities. Goldberg’s practice of Zen Budhism is woven through her text, and used to illustrate ways we can tame our distracted ‘monkey minds’ and get down to the daily practice that is necessary to produce work of any standard.
Elements of Design
Gail Greet Hannah
Elements of Design is a tribute to an exceptional teacher and a study of the abstract visual relationships that were her lifelong pursuit. Rowena Reed Kiostellow taught industrial design at Pratt Institute for more than fifty years and the designers she trained-and the designers they’re training today-have changed the face of American design. This succinct, instructive, invaluable book reconstructs the series of exercises that led Kostellow’s students from the manipulation of simple forms to the creation of complex solutions to difficult design problems. It includes her exercises and commentary along with selected student solutions, and concludes with examples of work from former students who became leaders in the field.
Freeing the Natural Voice
This is one of the best-known ‘voice’ books in the world, by a doyenne of the RSC and the New York theatre – now published in Britain in a revised and expanded edition. Freeing the Natural Voice offers a logical progression of exercises designed for professional and student actors, teachers of acting and voice, and everyone interested in vocal expression. The emphasis is on the removal of the physical and psychological blocks that inhibit the human voice; its objective is that the voice is brought into direct contact with the emotions, shaped by the intellect but not restricted by it. The whole book is dedicated to ‘freeing’ the voice we were naturally born with.
Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition
This health manual merges modern nutrition with insight from ancient Asian traditions. There are life-enhancing guidelines to renewal and rejuvenation, allowing the reader to develop an optimal diet to fit his or her constitutional type. This revised edition includes many updates, including new research, resources, information on GMOs, an expansion of the whole food section, and new guidelines for making the information more accessible.
Dogs That Know When Their Owners are Coming Home
Dogs that know when their owners are returning. Cats that answer the telephone when a person they are attached to is calling. Horses that can find their way home over unfamiliar terrain. Animals that anticipate earthquakes. Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world’s most innovative scientists, explores ways in which our own family pets can teach us to quesion the boundaries of conventional scientific thought. Much that seems paranormal at present looks normal when we expand our ideas of normality. This is a book of recognition – a recognition that animals have abilities we have lost. Once part of ourselves has forgotten this; another part has known it all along.
Wanderlust: A History of Walking
In this first general history of walking, Rebecca Solnit draws together many histories to create a range of possibilities for this most basic act. Arguing that walking as history means walking for pleasure and for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit homes in on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from the peripatetic philosophers of ancient Greece to the poets of the Romantic Age, from the perambulations of the Surrealists to the ascents of mountaineers. With profiles of some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction – from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Rousseau to Argentina’s Mother of the Plaza de Mayo, from Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton’s Nadja – “Wanderlust” offers a provocative and profound examination of the interplay between the body, the imagination, and the world around the walker.