what goes on in class anyway? #1

As I wrote in my previous post, I will begin to add quotes, statements, etc from my tstudents as to how they experience class, how they feel after, what they learned, why they come, all matter of experiences; and and it through experience in the body that we process non-liner learnings, work that is of this depth.

When i began to study, sooooo long ago, there wasnt’really anything like this, kleintechniqe/stretch and placement, and by ¨like this,¨I mean ideas, movements, theory, practices, converstions, practice and more practice,( smile!) somatic, or felt experiences, postures, etc that i felt I could use to help my fit into my ¨dancer self¨, that would help me understand how not to hurt myself, that would help open me up to other possibilities for being a dancer. help me understand how to be in my body, to manifest the way, i wanted to move, and to be strong. How could I weave my own story out of what I was learning? With a strong history of various techniques and trainings, my process, beginning in 1977 or so, was as it needed to be -slow, and then more slow. Rushing to change, I learned, was not beneficial to me, not helpful and sometimes harming. These important things I came to in myself and from myself. And lastly, for the moment, no one can possibly know how the individual, except peIrhaps the individual, will feel; how a series of movements will come together in feeling, experience, thoughts, and transfer to other modalities. Yes, a different time now, with multitudes of movement experiences to be had, and very experienced and strong teachers. Everyone finds their way. Here are some thoughts:

Skeletal alignment is stressed, with particular attention to the lumbar spine, sacroiliiac joints, pelvis, hip joints and all of their relationships to each other, is key to finding, and using the floor. The postions of the individual parts are less important than the communictations between them all, An individual learns to utilize the information that is both in the mind and the body, (theory and practice). How the body moves, how an individual learns how to handle themselves while moving; fully embracing their individuality, strength and weaknesses, is a key component. Remembering a ¨feeling¨ will not help the next time the movement, excerise is done because all is different, and the present moment is where the seed of change lies. Practice the movements, understand the relationships between the parts. So here are a few bits of the personal experiences of quite experienced as well as novice ¨dancers¨. This includes short and or long writings from many different individuals.

Ruping Wang writes- Klein technique w Barbara redefines the idea of moving. Moving is constant, and so is learning. With Barbara´s teaching experience and eagle eyes she leads class with substantial and pracitcal anatomical knowledge, applying it to the needs of each each and every individual.

From a class this week.. upon working with movment of the spine, arms, fingers, shoulder blades – – free in the chest, shoulder blades are light,

Working on the relationships of the hand/ head/neck helped release my hip flexors, and made me aware of how much i use my stomach muscles when not necessary, which I learned in turn, tightens my hip flexors.

Feeling articulate and connectied, both heavy and light at the same time. The connections are supple.

change happens even without being aware of it – we need to stay out of our own way?

Feeling more upright, on top of my legs without stress and holding.

photo – Fernando Maneca

I am a new student of the work, I appreciate the imagery, skeletal parts and props she uses to help me visualize what is going on in the body while I am going through the excercises. I am amazed to find more openness and space between ribs and lumbar spine, surrounding muscles, and sacrum! The practice seems to help me unwind my tightness due to scoliosis, (student of 3 or 4 classes, mature dancer), My body likes the process and I love when Barbara asks us to walk around and asks us how we are feeling! eye opening!!!! and pleasurable.

¨Fransisco Cuervo- Berlin writes: I have been studying Klein with Barbara Mahler for quite some years, taking classes and workshops with Barbara have taken me to explore the principles of this work from a different and new perspectives. Her playful way of teaching has supported my deep understanding of the connectivity of my unique anatomy, my own body,- to me, to others and to the World!¨

Marcus – Vienna- Thank you for all the time you spent in front of your computer this past year, allowing me/us in your apartment to teach us (how) to connect. Iḿ pretty sure lockdown, without your expertise-and your jokes- would have been much more disturbing to me. (smile).I always felt a particular strength and drive after your classes or was finally able to relax. In general, I observe a substantial difference, especially with the state of my lower back and my knee injury!! In this sense, the pandemic had a postive side effect for me . (However it might be uncanny to say that regarding the trauma it has caused so many). But only because of this and the internet I had a chance to practice that often and over a long period.

Wu-Kang Chen, Horse dance theater, Taipai..We have invited Barbara to teach Klein Teachnique 5 yrs in a row, 2020 was via Zoom. She always leads us into the work further. Through Kleintechniqe we felt grounded, Spiritual, self confidence, light when we walk. Balanced for a little while until the next time we get to take her class. Of course, sometimes (the work) remains (in our body) more permanently, which is then how we think about our self.- a self that could be grounded, Spiritual, self-confident.

more thoughts , ramblings to come!

About Barbara Mahler Dances

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.
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