My rambling thoughts on recent teachings…

Barbara Mahler MR 3-18-19 - 184546 - CREDIT DAVID GONSIER (2)photo: David Gonsier …Performance as part of the Movement Research Presenting Series 3/19/19 ..¨In Bundled Postures¨ loosely inspired by Eadweard Muybridge´s motiion photogaphy

I have been teaching quite a bit lately, as I have been for 30 years. I am always  learning a lot about the body, about connecting, about relating, about moving. Without teaching I myself would probably no longer be interested in moving /dancing, employing both subtle and powerful, expressive and abstract textures  because the journey then, as a solo artist, would be I feel, too deep and challenging a journey to go alone.

From some of my recent workshops this past year I have written about my experiences. Most are directly connected to and inspired by the particular group of people I was working with.

Here are some of my random thoughts….

A few of the hardest things to do in a short period of time, I feel,  is to change the way one thinks about how they should ¨look¨, what ¨good alignment is¨, what does it mean to ¨let go¨, how to integrate a huge amount of information, and to be confident in the process. How do we continue to practice without over-analyzing, and by using imagery, direction and patience to support daily work, regardless of the style, aesthetic, viewpoint, perspective, – it all takes practice that is thoughtful, and physically exploratory.

Align the bones, using thought, direction and gravity,  and the muscles, tissue, fascia etc will sort itself out over time, allowing a new structure to evolve. Change happens slowly, over time, and can happen so slowly that by the time we realize there has been a shift, it can seem all of a sudden,- sparked by one, minute, one hour, one movement, one class although in reality its slow , and non-linear.

Sensations – the small aches, pains, soreness , etc, are fleeting ephemeral experiences that come and go. The tend to be seductive, drawing our attention away from the simplicity and steadiness of our practice, the work at hand, –  the work we do with our body, our structure. The skeleton itself has no real sensation.

All too often our sensations and feelings, which are subjectively different than our ¨knowing” can  became the base upon which we place our attention.  These experiences are important, lending themselves to our interest and embodiment , keeping us excited and encouraging depth,  but they do not lend themselves to deep change, to a deep knowing of ourselves and the way we move in the world in our bodies .

Think of, imagine the movement. Refrain, as best you an, to fit everything you feel into a linear container of right and wrong, of black and white. Learning is a process, revealing itself over time with patience and practice. Sometimes change happens and cannot be simply explained, or intellectually understood but clearly, it has occurred.

Let the body learn. Use information to relax the mind, for the body cannot be directed by thoughts, but it can be directed through imagery, movement and breath.

Now more than 40 years ago, it is understood that the mind and body are not separate, and practiced imagery/direction creates change by helping to override the habitual movement patterns.

During this now 9 month pandemic time, teaching almost every day without touching, with two dimensional small views, with on occassion 100 (that was fun!!!) students, and international workshops moved to zoom….

more in the next post!!!




video from NDA Performance Mix 33 at University Settlement Speyer Hall by Jacob Hiss

About BarbaraMahler-Dances/Kleintechnique/Zerobalancing

Barbara Mahler is a long-standing and active member of the New York City dance community as a choreographer, performer and educator - a master teacher of and contributor to the out reach of Klein Technique™ ( first certified teacher, teaching at the school 1982-2004). She is a Zero Balancing Teacher and Practitioner, and through these mediums of touch, movement, performance - creating in all of these realms, involved in the extraordinary and intricate world of movement and the body: moving, sculpting, teaching, re-educating: always learning. As a Her choreographer, she draws upon the intricate and infinite possibilities of the textures of time, space and the (her) body, creating dances that are spare, articulate, emotional," and elegant" (NY Times). Her choreography is consistent with her teaching vision and bodywork: exploring the endless possibilities that the body can reveal. Barbara has been an on-going faculty member with Movement Research (NYC) since 2004 and was an ongoing guest faculty at the State Theater School in Copenhagen, Denmark 1994-2015. She has taught at many other studios, colleges, and dance festivals in the greater NY area as well as across the US. She travels abroad and across the United States, Canada and Europe creating, performing and teaching. Barbara is a senior teacher and practitioner of Zero Balancing, a hands on healing modality, maintaining a private practice in movement therapy, and body work.
This entry was posted in barbara mahler/klein technique, dance and performance, dance/performance, klein technique, klein/mahler, somatics, workshops. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s