Curriculum

Foundation Course in Somatic Practice and LMA 

This first intensive session can be taken as a stand alone module, providing a 90-hour course of study in Somatic Practice and a developmental entry into Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis (LMA).  The Foundation Course begins with deepening somatic processing, refining attunement, and entering LMA/BF through a developmental approach. It includes discerning individual perceptual biases, and strengthening access to less developed senses and areas of movement awareness.  Bartenieff Fundamentals and Body Mind Centering developmental practice expands and builds understanding and personal movement skills through in-depth work, introducing the participant to somatic hands-on repatterning and somatic approaches to facilitating others and teaching LMA material.  This Course brings somatic teaching and learning to the foreground, building awareness and articulation for the participant as experiential knowledge which can be facilitated in others as a teacher or somatic practitioner.

Module 1: BODY – Somatic Practice in Therapy and Education

Module One focuses on Bartenieff Fundamentals (BF) Practice, witnessing and cellular touch, and hands-on work with movement repatterning, developmental movement, and other approaches to somatic movement therapy/education practice. It deepens perceptual training as individual embodiment in Somatic education or therapy.  Module One includes developing attunement and observation skills for working as a Somatic Practitioner, including ISMETA standards of practice, ethical conduct and creating a safe psycho-physical space of discovery and integration. Bartenieff Fundamentals practice expands and builds understanding and personal movement development through in-depth work in the principles and practice of BF, and developmental work in Body-Mind Centering®, including hands-on training, and utilizing principles of Somatic theory. The goal of BF is to facilitate ease, efficiency, and integrated neuro-muscular patterning in function and expression; while developmental movement themes and theories of Somatic Psychology and Movement Therapy deepen movement processes in the psycho-physical domain.

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This practice includes building awareness and articulation within the LMA category of ‘Body’, through experience with dynamic connectivity, movement initiation, sequencing, body organization, breathing and breath support, grounding, and whole body integration. These principles can be applied to and integrated with somatic practices, dance technique, dance and theatre performance, martial arts, Yoga, NIA, Pilates, and any body/mind practice; as well as for profound enhancement of personal embodiment.

Module 2: SHAPE – Modes and Qualities of Relationship

The second module includes deepening and elaborating the use of Shape in BESS: in communication, movement expression and interaction in the Performing Arts and therapeutic work, and overall ‘body-forming’ in relationship to oneself and one’s environment. It includes the development of self-awareness in one’s expression of identity, intention, and qualitative involvement with others. This module cultivates a rich ground for refining personal movement patterns into larger social, performing, and other environmental contexts, as we discover Shape as an overall container for our relational expression and experience of movement with others. Through the Module’s unfolding, we become sensitive to our deeply ingrained patterns of Phrasing in Shape, as well as Qualities of Shape we respond to, inhibit or utilize.  Shape reveals our experience of ‘place’, and significant elements of our cognitive process, within the vast realm of nonverbal communication.  Included in this Module is Shape as understood in Laban Movement Analysis, the Kestenberg Movement Profile, and in Warren Lamb’s Movement Pattern Analysis (MPA).

Module 3: EFFORT – Colors of Embodied Expression

The third module includes an experiential and theoretical, in-depth focus on Laban’s concept of Effort as movement dynamics, and its qualitative coloring of all movement.

Picture1This module also includes aspects of Modes of Shape; the elastic continuum of Effort Factors and Elements, Rhythm and Phrasing, States and Drives, in  application to performance, presentation, and identifying patterns of individual expressive and communication styles. Work in this module will develop the participants’ range of dynamic expressive potential, as well as enhance the ability to recognise and respond to ‘feeling’ quality in movement. Laban’s Effort-based concepts have been drawn upon and elaborated for decades in theatre training, dance movement therapy practice and training, creative movement, dance education, clinical work, and for developing one’s ability to put inner states into outer expression.

Module 4: Choreutic SPACE – Integration and Final Research Application

This module requires successful completion of the Foundation Course and all three Modules, and includes in-depth study and practice in Laban’s sophisticated and illuminating theories of ‘Space Harmony’; while enhancing intentional use of space, supported through the integration of changing qualities and modes of Shape. Laban’s theories of Space as expressed in human movement patterns, draw on inner and outer unfolding spatial form and structure, repeating and balancing patterns of movement reflected in nature–specifically in the design of Plato’s five solid polyhedra. Exploration and practice in this module develops the awareness and greater capacity for moving in space with intentionality, fullness, and greater adaptability, cross-referencing elements of BESS in somatic work, and integrating Movement Analysis and Somatic Practice into personal and professional practice.

The final module requires successful completion of all previous modules, and culminates in the formal presentation of the participant’s chosen research and practice application project. This project is required for the award of Certification in Movement Analysis and Somatic Practice, conferred by LSSI. Application can involve somatic research into personal creative process and personal growth, a choreographic project, teaching or coaching, one-on-one somatic movement therapy work, applying LMA to other disciplines, utilizing LMA as a Somatic approach in education, or considering LMA and Somatic Practice in relation to another body/mind framework. Presentations are open to faculty and students, and by individual invitation.

Students will prepare formal presentations of their Research and Practice Application Project prior to and during this Module.  Class time will include theoretical and practical integration of all aspects of Somatic Practice and BESS; as well as provide opportunity for feedback and input on all participants’ final Application Presentations.

Note: Integration of Bartenieff Fundamentals Practice is included throughout all Four Modules.