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Calming Down/Waking Up – A Workshop In The Alexander Technique With Bruce Fertman, Dorset, England, Sunday, October 15, 2017

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Navajo Woman – photo: B. Fertman

 The way up and the way down are one and the same.

Heraclitus

Forty-five years ago, when I first began studying both Tai Chi Chu’an and the Alexander Technique, my Tai Chi teachers would tell me how I needed to let my chi sink down. They revered the ground and spoke of the importance of the tant’ien, the belly. My Alexander teachers emphasized the importance of the neck and head, and of lengthening up through the spine. “Gravity just keeps your feet from floating off the ground.” one of my Alexander teachers declared. “Up but not held up. Down but not pulled down,” Tai Chi teacher Ben Lo instructed me. “Above but not raised up; below but not depressed,” wrote Hildegard von Bingen.

Needless to say, I was utterly confused. But now I am not. Slowly, I found the solution to this problem, the answer to this somatic riddle.

Join me for a day of study and self-discovery. Experience the interplay between upward and downward forces. As these forces become ‘one and the same,’ we experience what it is like to be calm and clear, soft and strong, light and substantial.

This workshop is for those brand new to the Alexander Technique and for current students of the Alexander Technique. The workshop is also for Alexander trainees and teachers who want to become effective in teaching the Alexander Technique in groups.

And when the slope feels gentle to the point that climbing up sheer rock is effortless as though you were gliding downstream in a boat, then you will have arrived where this path ends.

Dante

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Bruce Fertman and Sooyeon Kim

He is the embodiment of his work. His touch is like a butterfly settling down on the very turning point of your soul. And then you know, “That’s who I am, that is who I could be.”

Tueshaus, Alexander Teacher / Tango Teacher/ Equestrian

Bruce has been using his hands, helping people to move well, for fifty-five years. He trained with five first generation Alexander teachers: Catherine Merrick Wielopolska, Marjorie L. Barstow, Richard M. Gummere Jr., Elisabeth Walker, and Erika Whittaker. Bruce brings a lifetime of training as a movement artist and educator to his work as an Alexander teacher, having trained in Gymnastics, Modern Dance, Ballet, Contact Improvisation, Tai Chi Chu’an, Aikido, Chanoyu, Argentine Tango, and Kyudo. In 1982, Bruce co-founded the Alexander Alliance International, an intergenerational, multicultural community/school. Currently director of the Alexander Alliance Germany, Bruce also teaches annually for Alexander Alliance training programs in Japan, Korea, and America. He conducts post graduate training programs in Dorset and Zurich. Author of the forthcoming book, Teaching By Hand/Learning By Heart – Delving Into The Work Of F.M. Alexander,  soon be published by Mouritz Press.

Workshop Details:

When: Sunday, October 15, 2017, 10:00-17:00.

Fee: £120

Where: Gaunts House, Dorset

http://www.gauntshouse.com/

To register for the workshop contact Ruth Davis at: ruth.a.davis@me.com

Phone: +44 (0) 7590 406267

To Make Payment: 

BACS

(Please reference your payment with your full name.) Sort Code: 40-47-59

Account No: 12037351

Acc Name R Davis

International Transfers via:

IBAN: GB24MIDL40475912037351 BIC:MIDLGB2172

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write to me, bf@brucefertman.com or to Ruth Davis, ruth.a.davis@me.com.

Hope to see you at Gaunts House!

Bruce Fertman

 

Salmon Rising/Water Falling – Understanding Alexandrian Directionality – For Trainees and Teachers – Dorset, England – Saturday, October 14, 2017

 

Alexander’s sequence of verbal directions, let the neck be free, etc., I see as a shorthand that, when deeply understood, triggers a directional weave of inherent support that pervades and frees one’s entire body and being. Have you ever wondered what that weave would look like if you were able to see it?

In April at CTC in London, I began teaching what I call my Salmon Rising/Water Falling Patterns, the complimentary oppositional kinesthetic pathways that course their way through us and that, when awakened, integrate us, allowing our bodies and beings to become light and substantial, soft and strong, firm and flexible, calm and clear, articulate and unified.

In this workshop we will review the Water Falling Pattern we learned in April and learn the Salmon Rising Pattern as well. It is truly beautiful to see and understand the interplay between them.

If possible, I strongly suggest attending the following days introductory workshop and learn how I use these patterns to introduce Alexander’s work to new students. I also invite you to stay over for one more day after the intro workshop and join our Dorset Graduate Training Program as we take a closer look at the structural components necessary for good group teaching.

The cost for the one day workshop is £120. You are welcome to take both workshops for £175. Staying over and spending a day with us inside of the Dorset Graduate Program is free. If you do spend three days studying the Salmon Rising/Water Falling Patterns you will leave  Dorset able to begin incorporating the patterns into yourself and your work.

 

Bruce Fertman

He is the embodiment of his work. His touch is like a butterfly settling down on the very turning point of your soul. And then you know, “That’s who I am, that is who I could be.”

Tueshaus, Alexander Teacher / Tango Teacher/ Equestrian

Bruce has been using his hands, helping people to move well, for fifty-five years. He trained with five first generation Alexander teachers: Catherine Merrick Wielopolska, Marjorie L. Barstow, Richard M. Gummere Jr., Elisabeth Walker, and Erika Whittaker. Bruce brings a lifetime of training as a movement artist and educator to his work as an Alexander teacher, having trained in Gymnastics, Modern Dance, Ballet, Contact Improvisation, Tai Chi Chu’an, Aikido, Chanoyu, Argentine Tango, and Kyudo. In 1982, Bruce co-founded the Alexander Alliance International, an intergenerational, multicultural community/school. Currently director of the Alexander Alliance Germany, Bruce also teaches annually for Alexander Alliance training programs in Japan, Korea, and America. He conducts post graduate training programs in Dorset and Zurich. Author of Teaching By Hand/Learning By Heart – Delving Into The Work Of F.M. Alexander, soon to be published by Mouritz Press.

Gone is the straight-lined striving, the stopping and oughting. Instead curiosity, inquisitiveness, and permission to experiment, to play, to open boxes and to climb out of them into a world of possibility – a world both soft and strong. And all this through a quiet power, an exquisite touch, a clarity of speech, and a wealth of wisdom. For me, Bruce’s work is more than exciting; it is important, both to the world and to anyone involved in any way with Alexander’s Technique.

Turner – Alexander Technique Teacher
Cornwall, England

One of the foremost representatives of Marjorie Barstow’s lineage, Bruce’s work is unique and innovative. Bruce is especially gifted when it comes to teaching in groups. He’s a philosopher, poet and writer who gives voice to what is wonderful about the Alexander Technique.

Michael Frederick – Founding Director of the International Congresses for the Alexander Technique

Workshop Details:

When: Saturday, October 14, 2017 – 13:00-18:00/19:30-21:00.

Where: Gaunts House, Dorset

http://www.gauntshouse.com/

Fee: £120. £175 for three days of study. Fee for AT trainees £100. £150 for three days of study.

Accommodation: There are a variety of accommodations available at Gaunts House, allocated on a first come first served basis. However their policy is that you must stay over for at least two nights. (If you should wish to stay over only one night there are bed and breakfast establishments close by.) Basic cost for a twin room at Gaunts House is from £80 per day. Costs include all meals, (vegetarian), breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as unlimited teas and coffee throughout the day. Please indicate your preference when registering and any dietary requirements.

To register for the workshop contact Ruth Davis at:

Email: ruth.a.davis@me.com

Phone: +44 (0) 7590 406267

To Make Payment: 

BACS

(Please reference your payment with your full name.) Sort Code: 40-47-59

Account No: 12037351

Acc Name R Davis

International Transfers via:

IBAN: GB24MIDL40475912037351 BIC:MIDLGB2172

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write to me, bf@brucefertman.com or to Ruth Davis, ruth.a.davis@me.com.

See you at Gaunts House!

Bruce Fertman

Request And Contest

photo: B. Fertman

Now that I’ve signed a contract and placed my book in the good and capable hands of Jean Fischer and Mouritz Publishers, my mind begins searching for fragments of future writings.

My request.

If you are moved to help me and perhaps our Alexander community at large, send me your favorite quotes, poems, paragraphs, articles, essays, stories and images you feel capture the essence of Alexandrian Inhibition; physically, psychologically, philosophically, scientifically, spiritually, or esthetically. Feel free to tell me why. Include your sources if possible, i.e., author, book, page number, etc.

The Contest.

Those who send me what I deem to be the top five entries, ones I do not have, and that will likely be used in a future book on the subject, (and credited), will receive a free first edition, hard back copy of my new book, Teaching By Hand/Learning By Heart: Delving Into The Work Of F.M. Alexander, which will be available in early 2018.

I am mostly interested in writings on the subject written by thinkers and artists other than F.M. Alexander, though I am also interested in your favorite quotes on Alexandrian Inhibition written by Alexander as well.

Send your entries to: bf@brucefertman.com

Thank you for your help.

Yours,

Bruce

 

On A Good Day

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Joanna Macy, a Buddhist scholar and deep ecologist, and I were teaching at Omega Institute on the same week. Unbeknownst to me she peeked into one of my classes.

Just before the end of our time there Joanna came up to me and told me she had watched one of my classes. She said, “I watched how, under your hands, one person after another stood up like a standing wave. If I were to give you your Native American name, I’d call you Standing Wave,” she said, her lucid, loving light blue eyes, shining like sunlight upon the ocean.

She went on her way. I never saw her again.

These images by Ray Collins are how people feel under my hands, that is, on a good day. On a good day there is nothing I have to do. The ocean within people does it for me, and for them.

What we speak of as ‘direction’ in the Alexander Technique, I now experience in myself and others, not as geometric in nature, but rather as hydrodynamic.

Feast on these moving images.

The Infinite Now – The Cinemagraphs of Ray Collins from Ray Collins on Vimeo.

A Birthday Present To Myself

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Photo: B. Fertman

Though not completely finished, I decided to get my reconstructed blog back up and running. My apologies for anyone who tried to enter and couldn’t get in. I have yet to organize my videos within logical categories and to fill in my new Alexander Alliance calendar.

If you’d like to give me a birthday present, take a moment to look at my new structure for the Alexander Alliance International and tell me if you like it better. Does it allow you better to find what interests you. Let me know about the look of it. Which photos work for you? Which ones don’t. Weird captions sometimes appear, and I still have to change most of them. I think it is really cool how you can click on one photo in the mosaic of photos and enjoy each full size photo, one at a time. And there is an amazing random feature I am using. Every time you refresh the page the mosaic is on, the photos rearrange themselves, often much more artistically than I can do manually. And of course sometimes not. If you have any suggestions for how I might improve the blog, let me know that too. I am also wondering what would be best to post on my revolving images at the top of the blog. Suggestions welcomed.

Living our work is privilege and a delight. Documenting it and making it available has always also been enjoyable for me. Finding the words and metaphors that ring true and deep. Capturing the moments when both teacher and student are unveiled and their natural beauty visible for all to see.

Thank you for all the kind birthday wishes.

Yours,

Bruce

Archives

 

There’s a good bit of writing I’ve shared here with my readers over the last few years, some of it dating back 30 years, some of it written last week. The best way to read my writings is to look to the right of the page and click on Categories.

A long list will appear. Simply click on something that interests you: anatomy, beauty, touch, breathing, walking, teaching, aging, the alexander technique, etc.

Or type in a word like inhibition or direction, or a person like Marjorie Barstow or Erika Whittaker and see what comes up. If you’d like to stay abreast of my current writings, choose to follow my blog. That’s what 2400 people are doing, which never ceases to amaze me.

Just click on Sign Up. It’s really easy.

 

 

UPDATING BLOG OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS!!!

Dear Blog Followers,

Bear with me as I improve my blog for you.

If you’d like to contact me for any reason you can do so at bf@brucefertman.com or via facebook.

Should resurface soon,

Yours,

Bruce