Authentic Movement

Authentic Movement is a process of allowing inner-directed movement. It is practiced by people both with and without dance experience and at all levels of physical ability, in groups or individually. Some use it for therapeutic purposes and some as a resource for choreographic and other creative processes, others as a form of mystical practice.

The basic form is simple – a mover with eyes closed, turns attention inwards and waits ‘to be moved’ by internal impulses in the present moment. She explores this inner impulse—whether it be image, memory, feeling or sensation—with curiosity and follows the subtle movements. A witness waits with clear attention to the mover and non-judgemental awareness of the moment. The witness also attends to the inner impulse of witnessing, noticing repetitions, images, habits, patterns, gestures and expressions that arise in the process of being present with the mover. This process of allowing space for the metaphors of the body moving to emerge and the corresponding associations that arise can provide a rich resource of stories from the body.

I offer workshops and individual sessions in Authentic Movement. These are informed by my work as a Jungian Analyst and my ongoing study with Janet Adler. In Authentic Movement we work to develop an embodied consciousness that allows time and space for the emergence of direct experience. This means we will remain with the processes that enhance the dyad—the mover/witness relationship—and on how to language the moving and witnessing experience. I use a range of techniques to enhance and deepen the moving experience, so, for example, I might begin the session with relaxation techniques, inner visualisations tasks, Alexander based techniques or focusing tasks to help the group to settle into their bodies and to provide a focus for the work. We will explore many ways to articulate what emerges from the body speaking, moving, drawing, writing, silence – in order to deepen and carry forward our moving experiences into our daily lives.

Authentic Movement developed from Mary Whitehouse's ‘movement-in-depth’ which was influenced by her Jungian analysis and Mary Wigman's notion of individual creativity. Her work was developed by Janet Adler, Joan Chodorow and others. It is founded on the premise that the body is central to psychological healing.

There are many ways to become a teacher or facilitator of Authentic Movement so please email me and we can discuss what is best for you. If you are interested in Janet Adler's programme:

  • The Discipline of Authentic Movement
  • Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices Special Issue 7.2

    Authentic Movement: A field of practices (2015)

    Issue Editor: Jane Bacon

    This issue of the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices includes contributions that explore, articulate and theorise their particular approach to and application of Authentic Movement (AM) with the aim of differentiating the many practices operating under the rubric of AM. FOR MORE INFORMATION mail to:jb@janebacon.net