The summit is over but you can still get access to all the talks through the Unlimited Digital Access.
Performance is a complete package with significant physical, emotional, and mental demands. Brain, body, and heart work together to translate expression from artist to audience. The experience is encompassing and can be demanding.
Somatic techniques and the Feldenkrais Method can evoke more from your performances through nuanced awareness. The same attention to details and focused awareness also hones in on areas of pain and strain to prevent injuries. You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” but that’s simply a marketing slogan. We know that pain actually prevents gain and is a sign of potential injury. Learn how to “Gain Without Pain” through the wisdom and inspiration provided by our guest experts.
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How to learn/How to teach
Injury: Prevention or Healing
The High Performing Artist
Impacting the World
Each day features a new topic and 4 sessions that help you work wiser so you can achieve new levels of expression and movement without pain, strain, and injury. You’ll find enrichment through creativity and movement, and most importantly, self-care. These sessions bring brain and body together in a synergistic fashion for all-encompassing growth. Each session features at least one master practitioner in their field and you have 48-hour access to the material. The material is released in the morning and then later that day there will be a live panel discussion regarding the information from that day’s sessions.
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Click on each day to reveal the speakers and talks.
Together let’s take time to engage in what the soma, the living body, brings to our creative process. Whether involved with artistic creation for personal pleasure and expression, or for performance, somatic awareness builds our capacity to attune more with untapped resources.
We will explore questions such as: How did some of our somatic greats like Anna Halprin, Irmgard Bartenieff and Charlotte Selver care for their bodies through the decades? What other topics are generated in your body-mind when you think of the arts and the somatic arts as a healing force? Personal or global anxiety, stress, and trauma? Environmental risk and disasters?
Through reflection and expert skill, Martha will bring her vast experience in somatics and the arts, and her personal and collaborative work – Dynamic Embodiment, BodyMind Dancing, Moving for Life for cancer survivors, and Global Water Dances for Safe CleanWater for All – to help us slow down, sense, and explore these important questions. Experience how we can locate our creative concerns and embody our own personal way of moving through them.
Read Martha’s impressive bio to entice you even further to explore with her.
When working with musicians, I approach using the Feldenkrais Method the same way that I approach creating music. It involves trusting my intuition, using my imagination, and relying on natural laws of physics (sense of gravity, speed of movement and timing). The creativity of the Feldenkrais Method resembles the same creative process that takes place when I create an intimate relationship between a composer, through his/her composition, and myself. My attention to the changes that I experience within myself while working on a musical composition resemble changes which I discover during ATMs or Fls. In my session, I plan to focus on the discovery of habitual patterns which are manifested in daily life and during musical communication. I plan to focus on the importance of attending to musicians’ musical intentions when using the Feldenkrais Method to help them grow as musicians and when helping them alleviate discomfort or pain.
Listen in as we explore the intersections of Miquel’s work as a choreographer, performer and teacher with the Feldenkrais Method. View inspiring clips from three of his recent works and get an inside view into his choreographic process. You might be surprised about some of his questions such as “What does this particular dancer want?” He also explores the Latinx experience as well as ways in which he has found the Feldenkrais approach to be valuable in starting where his dancers already are.
How the quality and variety of the player’s movements affect the quality and variety of the sounds imagined and produced.
Maintaining a healthy voice is not difficult if you know what to do and what not to do. While changes in voice quality are signs of vocal problems, they may have many causes. Some are benign, and some are more serious, requiring medical attention from an ENT (ear-nose-throat) specialist, preferably a Laryngologist (voice/throat specialist). Understanding the physiology of the vocal mechanism and its relationship to our whole body is critical. This presentation will provide an overview of how we produce sound, what can go wrong, and more importantly, how to prevent voice disorders.
Current neuroscience research into musicians’ injury shows a correlation between methods of pedagogy and practice and long-term changes in the brain that affect musicians’ health. This research suggests that certain characteristics of learning, including rote repetition, limited variation and exploration, and narrowing of focus, make us more prone to injury than the purely mechanical aspects of our technique.
My work uses Feldenkrais-derived strategies to teach musicians and educators how to maximize learning while developing neurologically sustainable playing habits. These tools help students, teachers, and performers begin to modify learning methodology and practice “routines” to include experimentation, awareness, variation, and adaptability.
Injury is every actor’s nightmare. In a tough industry, it can put you out of work, limit what work you can do or how well you can do it. The Feldenkrais Method is not medical and it is not a magic fix-all, but those who embark on this journey of self-learning can discover strategies that go beyond prevention or recovery into realms of improvement and new skill. So, how can Feldenkrais help you avoid injury or recover from injury better? And can that make you an even better actor too?
Vigorous and Vibrant: A Whole Body Voice(c) Approach to Meet the Demands of the Rigorous Performer
Come explore fascinations and challenge assumptions about the “hows” of rigorous and exciting vocal practice: How does a vocal performer rise to the demand of a strenuous rehearsal and performance schedule, thus giving their highest quality performance for the complete duration of a rigorous production run? How can a whole body vocal practice promote skill, presence and fresh meaning each night, on stage? If we accept that high performance is a social act, then how is connecting with a desire to communicate invigorating for vocal practice?
Scott discusses his work as a professor at one of the top MFA actor training programs, embedding continuous thinking about awareness and integration into the tools used by high performing actors on stage, screen, and in new media. He’ll describe the exercise and techniques from his work developing Physical Actioning and how he uses those as a professor, professional director, and acting coach.
Everything You Do, Sounds: Honing the Physical to Enhance the Musical
Feldenkrais helps musical performers resolve injury, but its far greater value lies in its application to interpretation. Often what an interpreter imagines and what they produce do not correlate: bringing greater awareness to one’s physical state can resolve this disconnect. This workshop offers musicians quick, practical exercises to improve their physical relationship to their instrument, be it voice, fiddle, brass or keyboard, with special attention paid to the physical dimension of interpretive issues such as emotional expression, virtuosic touch and variety of tone.
Bonus day = Tribute day
Performance artists understand that there’s more to the self than meets the eye. To an audience, they appear to effortlessly translate emotion into movement and movement into inspiration. But beyond the audience’s eyes is a foundation of hard and, at times, tireless work and dedication. Tapping into more is possible and it can be even more joyful and easier to grasp than you realize.
Learning how to experience movement as a joyful expression isn’t just for artists, it’s for everyone. This summit will give every attendee an insight into how to move with purpose, joy, and grace. It’s an opportunity to begin loving your body in ways you never dreamed possible and translating that newfound passion for movement into inspiration for daily living.
At the Feldenkrais Awareness Summits, we value diversity, equity, and inclusion. All are welcome. We appreciate the experiences and wisdom of historically marginalized people, honoring all racial and ethnic identities, sexual orientations, gender identities, physical expressions, neuro-diversity, and capabilities. We want to know about the real, lived experience fostering a world where everyone can move better, feel better, and live better.
Erin Finkelstein is a guild certified Feldenkrais Practitioner with 14 years of experience. Erin is a professional clarinetist and a member of Urban Nocturnes in Phoenix, Arizona as well as the Carmel Bach Festival in California. She performs with the Phoenix Symphony and Arizona Opera. Her in-person Feldenkrais practice encompasses a wide range of students, from children with Cerebral Palsy to professional musicians and everyone in between. With her online practice, you can find access to classes and a learning library with over 100 ATM lessons at www.erinfinkelstein.com, or find her collaborations with MIGSE, the Musicians’ International Group for Somatic Education.
Dr. Martha Eddy is a passionate advocate for health and creative expression through somatic awareness and active embodiment, with a lifelong commitment to the art of dance. Her somatic system of dance, BodyMind Dancing, is 40 years old, educates people to become Registered Somatic Dance Educators and has been cited in Dance Magazine and the NY Times as a way to work through the pandemic’s stresses. During early studies with Irmgard Bartenieff and Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, she also visited Moshe Feldenkrais’ classes and recognized his brilliant contribution to the field of somatic education. After 10 years of teaching in the certification programs at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies and the School For Body-Mind Centering, she developed her own amalgam certification program, blending aspects of LMA and BMC(r), with a focus on one-to-one movement education, therapy and coaching, using creative processes and a social justice lens. She named it the Somatic Movement Therapy Training (SMTT) in 1991, and brought it to the Bay Area and Moving On Center, co-founded with Carol Swann in 1994. At the same time she began her 15-year tenure on the board of the somatic movement professional’s association, she advocated for the word somatic to be brought into its name – it is now ISMETA.org. She also served as president. Once the word somatic became more known, she rebranded her own work calling it Dynamic Embodiment- SMT. When back in NYC in 1999, she designed Moving For Life Dance Exercise for Health, with a focus on cancer recovery, and it has expanded to addressing the physiological needs of many older adults. She applied her knowledge as an Exercise Physiologist and Doctor of Movement Science, RSMT and dance educator. Moving For Life has been featured on public radio and almost all major news networks since 2011, and as of 2014, is a non-profit offering free classes for all NYers and those who take the class online from around the world. In 2017 she was named Outstanding Dance Educator by the National Dance Education Organization.
Donna Blank, M.S., GCFP/T, WBFT, CMA, WholeBody Focusing Trainer, LMA,
is a Feldenkrais and WholeBody Focusing Trainer whose background is in the arts, education and consciousness studies. She works with performing artists as well as with all people curious how they can live more vibrant lives. In addition to her private practice utilizing the Feldenkrais Method and WholeBody Focusing, she trains practitioners. She has directed the dance department of the New Haven high school of the arts, co-founded the first Masters Degree in Movement program at Wesleyan University and was on its faculty. Donna has also taught the company class for Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, utilizing Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement, and has guest taught in universities, colleges, and classrooms throughout the US and Canada. Her paper, “Moving the Dance,” can be found in Feldenkrais Journal #3.
Ami Shulman is a Rehearsal Director at the GöteborgsOperans Danskompani. She has choreographed for the National Theatre of London, UK, the Shakespeare Theatre Company, for which she received a Helen Hayes Award for Choreography, and has creatively assisted works with the Cirque Du Soleil, the National Ballet of Canada and Ballet BC. Ami performed with Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Compagnie Flak and the DanceOn Ensemble, Berlin. She has taught throughout Europe, Canada and the USA and is an Artistic Associate of the Springboard Project. Ami co-authored the anthology, Back to the Dance Itself, and is a certified Feldenkrais Practitioner ®.
Chrish has been involved with theatre for most of her adult life, acting, directing and producing plays and musicals in Cairo, Rabat, Kathmandu, Accra and Washington, DC. As a director, she uses Feldenkrais in her rehearsals with actors, and teaches Awareness Through Movement classes for performers. She recently co-edited a book, The Feldenkrais Method, Learning Through Movement. Chrish sits on the Board of the British Players and has an active Feldenkrais practice from her studio in Washington, DC.
Aliza Stewart is a Feldenkrais Method Trainer. She has been practicing for 35 years and has trained teachers internationally. Previously, she was the Educational Director of the Boston Feldenkrais Training and is currently the Educational Director of the Baltimore Training. Aliza has presented classes, workshops, and lectures for many institutions and organizations that research alternative methods of rehabilitation for musicians.
Trained and performed widely as a concert pianist, Ms. Stewart specializes in helping musicians recover from playing related injuries and improve their overall sound. She has taught for many years at the Peabody Conservatory, the Mannes College of Music, the Marlboro Chamber Music School and Festival, and the Yellow Barn Music Festival.
Marina Gilman, M.M. (Voice), M.A. (Communication Disorders), Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner. She has taught voice at Cornell and Syracuse Universities, and the Theater School at DePaul University Chicago. She worked as a licensed speech pathologist at major medical voice centers in Chicago and was part of the interdisciplinary team at the Emory Voice Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She maintained a private practice in voice and Feldenkrais. She has published in medical and voice journals on the relationship between body posture (from the Feldenkrais perspective) and voice. She is the author of Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education, Plural Publishing.
Lisa Burrell is a violinist, string clinician, and GCFP. She is on the faculty of Lone Star College in Houston, Texas, and the American Festival for the Arts. She serves on the governing committee for the International Society for Music Education’s Musicians’ Health and Wellness SIG. Her work for 10+ years has brought Feldenkrais into public school classrooms, teacher in-services, workshops, and private practices to help musicians learn smarter and safer approaches to learning. She is a contributing author to two recent publications, The Feldenkrais Method in Creative Practice: Dance, Music, and Theatre (Bloomsbury, 2021), and The Feldenkrais Method: Learning Through Movement (Handspring, 2021).
Scott is an Assistant Arts Professor in New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program and a freelance director. He is the author of Exercise for Embodied Actors: Tools for Physical Actioning (Routledge, 2020) and a Fulbright grant recipient. He has taught at universities and schools across the U.S. and internationally.
Directing credits span Off-Broadway, regional, and international work in Europe, South America, and Asia. Focused on new work, his projects include collaborations with Lucas Hnath, Mona Mansour, Christina Anderson, Ken Urban, Stefanie Zadravec, Padraic Lillis, Keith Reddin, and Bill Bowers among others.
Canadian concert pianist, Feldenkrais practitioner and pedagogue, Alan Fraser is author of several books linking Feldenkrais to piano technique, most recently Pianimals, a children’s method based on Feldenkrais. He leads the Alan Fraser Institute of Piano Somatics in various North American and European cities and online. He lives in Belgrade, Serbia.
Robert Sholl teaches at The Royal Academy of Music and the University of West London. His has written extensively on twentieth-century music, including Messiaen Studies and James MacMillan Studies ed. with George Parsons (both Cambridge University Press, 2007 and 2021), Contemporary Music and Spirituality ed. with Sander van Maas (Routledge, 2017), and The Feldenkrais Method in Creative Practice (Bloomsbury, 2021). He has also written on musical improvisation to film and is the editor of Olivier Messiaen in Context (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). Robert studied in Melbourne, then in Paris (with Olivier Latry, and at the Sorbonne) and finally in London (at King’s College). In 2016-17 he played all of the works of Messiaen at Arundel Cathedral, and he has given recitals at the St John’s Smith Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, twice at the Madeleine and at Notre-Dame de Paris.
David Daniel Bowes, performer and teacher, has devoted his career to the study of how to play without injury or pain, and how to eliminate stage fright. His career focus has been largely in the area of Baroque performance practice. David is a Guild-certified Feldenkrais Practitioner. In college, he fell in love with the voice of the viola, and used his keyboard skills as an accompanist. When a young boy, he said “I want to be the sound of the orchestra”. There you have it.
Joyce Lu, PhD connects arts practice, healing, and education with the motive of cultivating full individual expression in community with other individuals and the environment. She has been a certified Feldenkrais Method Practitioner since 2012. She is also the founder and director of LAPlayback Theatre Company, does Playback Theatre for Dailey Innovations, Inc. diversity and equity trainings, and works as an equity consultant with Be The Change Consulting. Joyce is a former member of Body Weather Laboratory Los Angeles and is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Pomona College.
Thomas Kampe has worked as a performing artist, researcher and somatic educator across the globe. He works as Professor of Somatic Performance & Education at Bath Spa University (UK) where he co-directs the Creative Corporealities Research Group. Thomas’ research focuses on critical somatic legacies. He co-edited JDSP Vol. 9 “Bodily undoing: Somatics as practices of critique” (2017), and most recently, the book Beyond Forgetting: persecution/exile/memory – transdisciplinary perspectives on education in design and performance (2021). Thomas is a Feldenkrais practitioner and guest-editor of the IFF research Journal Vol. 6 “Practices of Freedom: The Feldenkrais Method & Creativity” (2019).
Sharon Costianes, GCFP has uniquely combined her talents and love of pedagogy with the Feldenkrais Method at Flight Performing Arts in Ithaca, NY. Flight’s mission is to empower every voice through holistic performing arts education. This is achieved by seeking out each person’s unique gift and implementing creative experiences that encourage the individual to learn, take risks, be themselves, find joy and beauty in the world around them, and express this in artistry. In addition to Flight and her Feldenkrais Practice, Body Song, Sharon has served on the faculty at Ithaca College, the Community School of Music and Arts, and as a guest lecturer at Cornell University. She has taught classes and workshops for organizations throughout NY state.
Emma has been a qualified Feldenkrais teacher since 2015. She has over two decades experience of professional performance at a world class level, along with a pedagogical practice, teaching violin, viola and Feldenkrais to both children and adults. Emma has specialised in working with musicians, and is the in-house Feldenkrais teacher for the Musicians Union, where she has been giving regular classes/workshops for over three years. She has been a guest lecturer for the Royal College of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and even the British Army!
Antonio Ramos, born and raised in Puerto Rico, received a BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase. Antonio began his career performing with Ballet Theatre of Puerto Rico, Ballet Hispánico of New York, Ballet Concierto and Ballet Municipal (Puerto Rico). More recently, Antonio has performed with choreographers such as Mark Dendy, Neil Greenberg, Stephen Petronio, Merián Soto and Donna Uchizono, among others. Antonio was an Artist-in-Residence at El Museo del Barrio 2011-12. He was a 2011-12 National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Award Recipient, and is currently a 2014 Movement Research Artist-in-Residence. Antonio is also a Licensed Massage Therapist, Zero Balancing Practitioner, Watsu Practitioner, and a professional teacher of Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration from The Feldenkrais Method®.
Rainy Demerson is a contemporary dance artist and scholar invested in anticolonial intersectional feminism and radical art making. Her Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies examined the Indigenous techniques of Black women in South African contemporary dance as projects of decolonization. She taught Dance and Yoga to youth in public schools for several years before teaching at several universities in Missouri, Texas and California. She is currently a Lecturer in Dance at University of the West Indies Cave Hill. Her article “Awareness through Movement as Critical Pedagogy in Ballet” is published in the journal Research in Dance and Physical Education.
A native of Harlem with roots in the Caribbean, Frederick Schjang is a nationally recognized fitness educator and innovator who specializes in the Feldenkrais Method. Schjang’s online Feldenkrais Method membership program features not only himself, but also popular teachers from around the world. His semi-annual LGBTQA Feldenkrais Festival has become a must-attend event for fitness and wellness enthusiasts and, since moving to Zoom in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, attracts thousands globally.
Arlyn Zones (MA Theatre Arts) graduated from Dr. Feldenkrais last training program in 1983 and later helped to train students in more than 100 Feldenkrais Professional Training Programs worldwide.
As a young practitioner, she was invited to bring the Feldenkrais Method® into a special school for children with learning differences. She has taught workshops for pediatric therapists as well as Feldenkrais® practitioners on the application of the Method to the work with children and infants. She has also maintained an ongoing private practice working with infants, children and adults for the past several decades.