Teaching Feldenkrais in Vocational Drama Schools

This was my (uncut!) talk at the ‘(Re)storing Performance’ seminar on Feldenkrais for Performance, organised by Thomas Kampe at Bath Spa University back in June. Obviously I didn’t get to say all this in the time so here it is uncut. I have many more thoughts to share about Feldenkrais for actors and acting in the book I am writing (due out in the spring): this is a little piece and is specifically about teaching in drama schools. The audience consisted mostly of teachers of either Feldenkrais, dance or performance, some professors, some performers and even the odd student! Its quite long for a blog post and has no pictures, so its really for the hard core! Continue reading “Teaching Feldenkrais in Vocational Drama Schools”

Getting Closer to Moshe Feldenkrais

A wonderful resource. Many very well known practitioners of the Feldenkrais Method in this video, some of whom talk about Moshe and their experiences of him on a celebratory tour of the places he lived and worked in Tel Aviv. Very touching little film and a way of feeling a little closer to the man for those of us who sadly didn’t meet him. I discovered the method in 1984 – the year he died. thanks to the makers of this for making it available to us all. click on title below:

A Journey through Tel Aviv

All About Difference

I know. I haven’t written a blog in ages. But I have a very good reason. Nick Hern publishers have commissioned me to write a book on Feldenkrais for actors and as I have to write it in between my public Feldenkrais practice, drama school teaching, running and karate training and attempting to be a half decent mother/spouse/sibling/friend to various different people, the book takes up all other available corners in my life.

So this will be short. Continue reading “All About Difference”

Karate Brown Belt: ‘Self-image’ and Strength

Brown belt grading  for me on monday evening. It feels significant. As Sensei Kevin says: from here you can smell the black belt. But that depends if I get through. I don’t think I ever imagined I would get this far. Now I can’t see myself giving up until I am just clearly too old. Not that I am looking forward to the actual grading: two hours of incredibly hard work which I am just hoping I manage without losing my wits, being overcome with exhaustion or my arms getting too battered to continue. Hopefully I will get through. If I do it will feel fantastic.

I haven’t written for a while. Partly because all my writing time is going into a book I have been commissioned to write on Feldenkrais for actors (very exciting) and partly because I still can’t write about martial arts in anything other than a personal journey kind of way as I am just not remotely an ‘authority’ and I didn’t have any more to say about it for a while. But recently Sensei Kevin asked me something about what I had learnt from Karate and how it was affecting my Feldenkrais work with clients and my Feldenkrais Trainer, Garet Newell, was curious about aspects of it too and as I think I am the only Feldenkrais Practitioner who does Karate (as opposed to other martial arts) I thought this grading was an interesting time to re-collect my thoughts around those good questions. Continue reading “Karate Brown Belt: ‘Self-image’ and Strength”

Moving A-Head (workshop: Sat 8 Feb 2014)

Terrible name for workshop. So sorry. Time pressure.

But I have been working a lot both myself and with many, many people who come to see me for one- to-one (F.I) with this issue of the freedom of the head in order to be able to look around (obviously) but also balance better, move from one position to another better (lying to sitting to standing etc) or one point of balance to another  (one leg to the other), be able to use the arms for pushing, pulling, reaching, typing, playing an instrument – even punching. It can be so difficult to do these kinds of things without fixing the head by hanging on somewhere in the neck or right at the junction of neck /torso or neck/shoulders and so limiting possibilities and disrupting the very activity we wish to improve. And then of course there is tension and pain etc that can go along with it. Continue reading “Moving A-Head (workshop: Sat 8 Feb 2014)”

To Stretch or Not to Stretch

It often surprises people that ‘stretching’ is not a word that is often used in the Feldenkrais Method  (in my experience). However there is a rather different – and very valuable – approach to enabling muscles to find their length in the Method. So I put up an article from the New York Times called ‘Reasons Not to Stretch’ (April 2013)  about research into static (usually passive) stretching before exercise on my Facebook page a short while ago, because I felt it represented a piece of scientific understanding that is potentially going in our direction. (The link to it is currently broken everywhere so will have to refind the original research or find another way to get the article to post it!)

However,  it caused a little bit of a stir, Continue reading “To Stretch or Not to Stretch”

Anxiety and Stress Patterns and the Feldenkrais Method

I just found this article on Anxiety and Stress which I wrote a few years ago for the newsletter of the health centre I work at. Trauma and anxiety have been cropping up as a theme in one-to-ones lately and I thought this article still read quite well – though it is a little more formal than my usual ‘blog’ style’ – so here it is: Continue reading “Anxiety and Stress Patterns and the Feldenkrais Method”

Karate? No. Surely not? Not You, Vic!

Karate? No. Surely not? Not You, Vic! Is often the response I get, when I finally tell someone I am a student of Go Ju Ryu Karate.  If I had said I was doing T’ai Chi or Chi Gung or even Aikido or Judo there would be less surprise. Sometimes the surprise is because I weigh less than 50kg, am built like a bird and am known for being rather the opposite of confrontational. Continue reading “Karate? No. Surely not? Not You, Vic!”