Mabel Elsworth Todd pioneered ideokinesis in the 1920s. Her book, The Thinking Body, described new ways to use all the senses as well as inner feeling and imagination to retrain the body to move with ease and balance. The system became an invaluable tool for generations of dancers, actors, and performance artists, thanks largely to one of its most important teachers, Andre Bernard (1924-2003). This book presents an introduction to the practice as well as a lengthy interview with Bernard and two meticulously detailed workshop protocols illustrated with 52 photographs and line drawings.
Andre Bernard was raised in Columbia, South Carolina. He graduated at age nineteen from the University of South Carolina with a chemistry and math major and a theater minor. His professional acting career included over a hundred performances both On and Off Broadway and appearances on television. Bernard was a student of Barbara Clark, who further developed ideokinesis after she studied with the founder, Mabel Elsworth Todd. From 1966 until 2001, Bernard taught ideokinesis at the New York University and elsewhere. He died in May 2003 in New York City.Wolfgang Steinmuller studied medicine in Freiburg/Brsg, Germany, and trained in the Feldenkrais method with Mia Segal from 1986 to 1989. His important teachers in the field of movement have included Andre Bernard and Amos Hetz of Israel. He works as a physician in private practice. He is the anatomy teacher and medical director of the Soma-Institut, which offers continuing education for bodyworkers.Ursula Stricker has been dancing and drawing ever since she could. She lives and works as visual and movement artist and teacher for placement and creative dance in Oberdiessbach and Bern, Switzerland.
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