I'm new to this...Would love some guidance

Vanessa (Brooklyn, New York)

Hi, I am not sure I can make this post, but hopefully I'll get some guidance either way.
My therapist has brought up the idea of Authentic Movement a few times and it scares me a great deal. I'm overweight and nervous about what I'll look like... I can feel my mind trying to make up movements before I try this, and I know it's not the point of the exercise. I would love some guidance and reassurance. Has anyone experienced the insecurity and anxiety I am talking about?
Thanks for any help!!


© 2008 Vanessa

Authentic Movement Research

by Eila Goldhahn (Germany)

Having completed a PhD thesis at University of Plymouth in collaboration with Dartington College of Arts, both UK, here is an abstract of my thesis and for those of you who are interested to find out more please visit my website

Shared Habitats: The MoverWitness Paradigm
This practice-led research thesis analyses and visualises central components of Authentic Movement, with particular reference to the work of Dr Janet Adler. By contextualising and comparing this improvisation method with modern, post-modern and contemporary movement practices the author describes the emergence of Authentic Movement and distinguishes it from other practices. A new and original viewpoint is adopted and the practice’s aesthetic, visual and empathetic characteristics are explored in relationship to and through visual art. The author, a learned Authentic Movement practitioner, critiques, deconstructs and reframes the practice from a visual arts- and performance-based, phenomenological perspective renaming it ‘the MoverWitness exchange’. Embedded aspects and skills of the MoverWitness exchange, usually only accessible to firsthand practitioners of the method, are made explicit through research processes of analysis, application and visualisation. Hereby the practice’s unique capacity to contain and express binary embodied experiences and concepts is exposed. Resulting insights are crystallised in a distinctive understanding of the MoverWitness exchange that emphasises its suitability as a new learning and/or research methodology for inter- and cross-disciplinary application. (© Goldhahn, 2007)

More Thoughts About Projection

Martha Lask (Philadelphia PA)

Recently, I have been thinking about “projection” as a gift we can give one another, in Authentic Movement, in our everyday lives together and in my role as consultant and “coach” in organization settings.

I can see “my projections” as a gift to another because to share my experience of another, as witness, (coach and consultant), and to own it as my experience emphasizes our differences as humans. Paradoxically, it also creates a powerful connection between us, because rich dialogue and connection becomes possible when people share their distinct perspective and experience of a particular event whether in movement or otherwise. Together we can construct meaning based on my projection and yours. We are not striving for truth and we are not interpreting. We are discussing the frames of reference that inform our assessments, examining our assumptions, and discovering how we make meaning of what we see. Through that we can learn about the different ways people see the world.

When someone shares his/her experience of me that is different then mine, another possibility may open for me. Another’s experience of my movement or story, carefully shared, is a gift. Been truly seen and attended to by another whether their experience resembles mine or not, creates a wonderful, satisfying connection.

But agreements must be in place for that connection to occur.
I. One is the notion that Aileen spoke about in her post: owning the different “parts of me”. I have been influenced by the work of John and Joyce Weir, pioneers in self development and self- differentiation, who taught what they called “percept” language: “Here is what is happening in me as I watch you…As I listen to you, I am reminded of the ….part of me. I have you be the xyz part of me”. So, in my view, in order to establish safety, we must have the agreement that we own our projections as our own experience, not an interpretation of the others’ actions.

II. Another agreement is that not everything needs to be spoken – that each of us will be mindful in speaking our experience and will choose carefully. As a listener, I must agree that what is said is said in good faith.

III. A third agreement is that we will check out responses with the other person after we speak. That is how we illuminate our differences and our commonalities. From there we make meaning together.

TEACHING THE "WITNESS STANCE IN ORGANIZATIONS" As a consultant and coach in organizations, I teach what I call the “Witness Stance” as the foundational skill within the context of team or peer coaching. First and foremost, the stance of witness is to create a compassionate non judging, non interpretive environment. But, how can we not form judgments? We constantly develop judgments to help us make sense of the world; it is the suspension of judgment of another as right or wrong, bad or good that is the gift of the witness stance. There are 2 quotes I use to help establish the environment:

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there."
Rumi 13th c Sufi

"The experience of being understood versus interpreted is so compelling you can charge admission."
B. Joseph Pine II
The Experience Economy
Quoted by Susan Scott in Fierce Conversations

I also use witnessing in my individual coaching work. I have felt tremendous freedom in allowing myself to have whatever experience I have when witnessing someone. Then, what I choose to offer depends first on my role vis a vis the person, and our agreements, (facilitator is different than therapist is different than peer). As a consultant, which parts of my experience would be helpful? What are the benefits of containing and not speaking? I, myself, have learned to be much more discerning; I contain much more. At the same time, I also venture more. I am more willing to speak from my heart about my experience, which is different than offering my impressions of the other person, or what we commonly think of as feedback.

I find this subject of projection continually interesting, as I debrief interactions in my personal and professional life.

© 2008 Martha I. Lask

Authentic Movement and Performance

Emma Meehan (Dublin, Ireland)

I am writing my PhD thesis at Trinity College, Dublin, about Irish performer Joan Davis who uses Authentic Movement and Body-Mind Centering to create her performances. The area of Authentic Movement and performance is a vast field. I want to create an overview of the use of Authentic Movement in dance, theatre or film. I wonder if this is possible? Are you a performer who uses AM for performance? Can you tell me about the way in which you use the form to create performance? Can you suggest some people or projects that use AM for performance? I'm looking forward to your help in this research, as I am very excited about what AM has to offer performance.

Emma Meehan

Thank you

I wanted to thank you (Elizabeth and blog (not green blob) people) for sending me the reminders that we have a blog. I would never look otherwise, and I am always so glad when i do. This way of living in the world, electronically, has some getting used to, I have to admit. With paper (AMJ) somehow the tactile always aroused this sense of relaxation and allowance to drop in long enough to be inspired. I haven't learned yet to live intentionally electronically, alas. it's also kind of antithethical to the form, i'm finding; so easy to peruse, so hard to sink in. how to reconcile.....

but it IS SO GOOOOOD we have this forum. For me, it just means adjusting, reaclimating, switching gears. I should be able to do this more naturally before long. I hope.

I did think of something to contribute. I actually wrote somethng for AMJ years ago about AM moving out of the studio into life. And I lately have been reinspired by my life work, and my time in a narrow kitchen and these awesome, divine moments of AM impact, where I am revealed in all my selfness. an absolutely divine connection graces me. whew. very powerful even if its not AM in its most classic form.

so let me get by this next life hurdle in front of me. and i will mull over what is this experience of living AM outside of a studio in the meantime. Looking forward to writing. and I so appreciate this is here as a forum for us all. I wish not to take it for granted.

And again, thank you for the reminders. The magnanimous, benevolent electronic parent to an errant resistant non-electronic child.

are archetypes always to follow us around? another thing to muse about.

warm wishes,

© 2008 Germaine (Fraser)