Saturday, April 22, 2017
The Physics and Metaphysics of Touch
For Alexander trainees and teachers, as well as for other movement educators and somatic therapists who use their hands to help others.
To receive everything one must open one’s hands, and give.
Hands close and open, grasp, cling, clench, and release. Hands express. They welcome, warn and inform, and in our case, hands educe. Educative hands lead out that which lies within. Together we will increase our tactual palette, become more tactually literate, learn new ways of using our hands sensitively and effectively.
We understand well the paramount importance of personal use while teaching, and the direct impact our use has on our quality of touch. As important as good use is, my 55 years of experience using my hands to help people move well has taught me that additional knowledge into the hand’s inherent design can help us acquire hands that are, at once, soft and powerful, light and deep, stabilizing and mobilizing, quieting and energizing. As there are primary colors, so too there are primary touches: push, pull, slide, spin, and roll. In other words, physics.
We will also consider the metaphysics of touch. It’s a disservice to reduce a person to their body. I never touch a person’s body. I only touch a person. Our goal is to touch a person’s being through their body. But to touch a person’s being through their body we have first to be able to see a person’s being through their body, which means we have to be looking at more than a person’s use. There are ways of developing this way of seeing people.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Bringing the Work to Life and Life into the Work
For students, trainees, and teachers of Alexander’s work.
Become aware of your habits, because your habits will become your character.
Become aware of your character, because your character will become your destiny.
Have you noticed it’s relatively easy to make good use of Alexander’s work when we are doing well, but nearly impossible when confronted with something truly challenging or threatening? How can we practice sticking to principle under emotionally stressful circumstances, when relating to family members, when encountering problems at work, while coping with physical injury and pain, when overwhelmed by stressful thoughts and emotions?
Working Situationally is a procedure I developed, slowly, over the past 40 years. That is to say Working Situationally is a “way of proceeding,” to teach people how to employ Alexander’s work when under trying conditions and faced with harsh realities.
Being able to work with people this way has been enormously beneficial to me personally. It has brought the work to life for me, and into my life in ways that before were inaccessible.
I love sharing this way of working with other Alexander teachers. And ironically, it’s really fun.
Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23, 2017
Walking into the World
Our work on walking will be incorporated into both days of study and relevant to everyone.
It’s no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.
Francis of Assisi
Walking, when understood, is the Alexandrian procedure that most naturally integrates rotational and spiraling motions into our upright structure, motions that are conspicuously absent in Alexander’s other procedures, as wonderful as those procedures are. Walking, when taught dynamically, helps dissipate postural holdings, often resulting in a profound sense of freedom and power.
Once when I asked Erika Whittaker what she felt like after working with Alexander, she said, “When the lesson was over, I could have said thank you, and walked out the door, or I could have said thank you, and walked through the wall.”
We’ll spend time learning about the mechanics of walking, as well as how to use our hands to help our students walk naturally, freely, and powerfully.
About Bruce Fertman
In Bruce’s class you feel as if you are sitting by a deep, soft lake. His pace and patience, his quiet confidence allows people to unfold and open layer by layer. The superfluous falls away leaving only life’s inner vitality effortlessly expressing itself through you.
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.”
M. Tueshaus, Alexander Teacher / Tango Teacher/ Equestrian
For 55 years Bruce has been using his hands helping people to move well. For the past 30 years he has traveled annually throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States helping people understand and experience the interconnectedness between physical and spiritual life.
In 1982, Bruce co-founded the Alexander Alliance International, an intergenerational, multicultural community/school, the first Alexander teacher training program inspired by the work of Marjorie Barstow. Currently, director of training and senior teacher for the Alexander Alliance in Germany, Bruce also teaches annually for Alexander Alliance training programs in Japan, Korea, and America. He directs the Alexander Alliance Post Graduate Programs in Dorset, England and Zurich, Switzerland.
Bruce trained with five first generation Alexander teachers; Catherine Merrick Wielopolska, Marjorie L. Barstow, Richard M. Gummere Jr., Elisabeth Walker, and Erika Whittaker. He brings a lifetime of training as a movement artist to his work as an Alexander teacher having trained in Gymnastics, Modern Dance, Contact Improvisation, Tai Chi Chu’an, Aikido, Chanoyu, Argentine Tango, and Kyudo.
He has worked with members of the Berlin Philharmonic, Radio France, The National Symphony in Washington DC, the Honolulu Symphony, for the Curtis Institute of Music, and most recently for Jeong Ga Ak Hoe, a traditional Korean Music Ensemble. Bruce taught for the Five College Dance Program in Amherst, Massachusetts for 13 years, and for the Tango community in Buenos Aires. For 6 years, he taught movement for actors at Temple and Rutgers University. For ten years Bruce taught annually for the College of Physiotherapy in Gottingen, Germany.
Bruce’s heart centered approach as a teacher rests upon extensive study in psychology and theology, specifically, the work of Eric Berne, (Transactional Analysis), Carl Rogers, (Person Centered Therapy), Frederick Perls, (Gestalt Therapy), Albert Ellis, (Rational-Emotive Therapy), Carl Jung, (Analytical Psychology), and Byron Katie (Inquiry). Having also studied with Jewish, Christian, and Buddhist scholars, Bruce’s teaching not only transforms people physically; it creates a decided shift in people’s personal lives.
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.
A. Turner – Alexander Technique Teacher
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
The Walter Carrington Educational Trust
13, The Boulevard
London SW6 2UB
020 7727 7222
We are only three minutes walk from Imperial Wharf Station.
Imperial Wharf Station provides a direct link to Clapham Junction (4 minutes) in the South and Willesden Junction in the North. Change at West Brompton (5 minutes) for the District Line or at Shepherds Bush (9 minutes) for the Central Line.
April 20th and 21st private lessons, by appointment.
April 22nd and 23rd. Workshops.
1o:00 – 1:30 morning class.
1:30 – 3 lunch break
3:00 – 5:30 afternoon class
£200 for both days of study. £175 early registration.
£120 for each day of study. £100 early registration.
Half price for all Alexander teachers enrolled in the Alexander Alliance Post Graduate Training Program.
Early registration ends March 20th, 2017.
Note: I will be giving private lessons on April 20th and 21st. The teaching fee is £60 for a 45 minute lesson. If you or anyone you know is interested write to me, or have them write to me at: email@example.com
To Register Contact Ruth Davis at:
Phone: +44 (0) 7590 406267
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(Please reference your payment with your full name.) Sort Code: 40-47-59
Account No: 12037351
Acc Name R Davis
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7 McKinley Road
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write to me, firstname.lastname@example.org or to Ruth Davis, email@example.com. I look forward to meeting you and to working with you.