Dance Therapy Association of Australia

In this volume


2012 Vol. 10 Nos. 1-2

Editorial

This issue of Moving On focuses on writings related to Laban Movement Analysis (LMA), including some from dance movement therapists (DMTs) who are also Certified Movement Analysts (CMAs) and/or CMA’s with backgrounds in other somatic movement practices.

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Laban Movement Analysis/Bartenieff Fundamentals

Keywords
movement patterns, qualitative description, therapeutic relationship, intersubjective, attunement, Labanotation

Certified Movement Analysist and Psychotherapist Sandra Lauffenburger overviews the Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) and Bartenieff Fundamentalstm, and references the thinkers who have developed these systems. LMA is integral to a DMT in providing a means of describing someone’s movement in qualitative terms; in providing a basis for recording observations and analysis and a working movement language that enables them to communicate a person’s profile or movement signature and/or record change. (pp 2-4)

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Laban – Space Harmony and Dance Movement Therapy

Keywords
effort, kinaesphere, communication, planes of movement, space harmony, crystalline forms

This article is developed from an assignment completed for Laban/Bartenieff and Somatic Studies International in 2008 (see www.labancan.org). The assignment asked the question of ‘what is harmonic about Space Harmony’. The answer requires discussion of Laban’s philosophy and some contextual aspects that support the development of his theories. There is a focus on an article by Bodmer (1974), because it was a recommended reference provided during Jane’s LMA Certification Training. Practical applications related to Space Harmony – as used in Jane’s work, are presented.
(pp 5-11)

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Being Educated in the Sense of Movement: A reflection on the legacy of Rudolph Laban

Keywords
educational creative dance, school-based dance, special needs education, spontaneous, improvised

A reflection of an unfolding understanding and adaptation of Laban’s Modern Educational Dance, within teaching roles for children in mainstream and special needs education settings. Gives a historical overview of Laban’s influence on the authors’ understanding of how to teach dance in schools, as well as acknowledging early supportive dance education literature in this context. (pp 12-14)

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Finding Common Threads: Autism and Laban Movement Analysis

Keywords
Autism spectrum disorders, group therapy, relationships, movement analysis, psychophysical methods, games

This article is drawn from the Project Andrea submitted for Andrea’s certification in Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis. She presents two full LMA profiles of the children in the group and brief profiles of the other children involved, and even the brief information acts as a useful program planning guide. Andrea describes two group therapy sessions that result from her planning guided by her movement analysis, the children’s personal goals and their developmental needs. She works together with the dance movement therapist at ‘Common Threads’ to plan and run the group therapy activities developmentally, incorporating  activities under headings of Breath, Core-Distal, Head-Tail, Upper-Lower, Body-Half and Cross-Lateral movements. (pp 15-23)

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Laban Movement Analysis of a Fundamental Movement in Hilal Dance – the Pendulum

Keywords
embodied wisdom, traditional dance, Arabic culture, centering, connectedness, groundedness, kinesphere

This analysis of the ‘pendulum’ using Laban Movement Analysis was written during Natalie’s time as a student at RMIT and revised for this issue of ‘Moving On’.

Hilal Dance is a contemporary dance form, crystallised through the research and practice of Egyptian born dancer, Suraya Hilal. The Pendulum is one of the fundamental movements of Hilal Dance and provides a foundation for a variety of movements and expressions. The pendulum is simply a homolateral walk, or a movement connecting the sides or body halves. The result is a swinging of the pelvis from side to side, like the pendulum on a clock, as the weight changes from one foot to the other. This paper will use the interconnected components Body, Shape, Space and Effort from Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) to dissect the basic pendulum. (pp 24-28)

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LMA as Training and Evaluation Tool in Nonverbal Communication

Keywords
dementia, person-centred, quality of life, non verbal communication

In 2010, dance/movement therapist Donna Newman-Bluestein piloted an embodied approach to training caregivers of people with dementia in relationship-centered nonverbal communication. Newman-Bluestein used Laban Movement Analysis, Mettler-based creative dance, and dance/movement therapy as a theoretical framework and as modes of transmitting experiential learning. (p. 29)

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Stemming from Laban Movement Analysis: Hand Movementgrams: A Connection between Verbal Concepts and Motor Learning

Keywords
Dr. Judith Kestenburg, sensory motor learning, movement repertoire, representational, pre-symbolic, mental symbolism

The hand is in many ways a microcosm of human movement potential.  This project explores the expressive potential of the human hand.  It attempts to tap the embodied pre-symbolic motional substrate of words. All Laban effort and shape components can be seen in, as well as be demonstrated by, the hand. A discussion of the project includes an outline of individual hand gesture responses to keywords, which led to the creation and exploration of the term: “hand movementgrams”. Some applications to practice and further research possibilities are also presented. (pp 30-31)

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Not All in the Mind

Keywords
hand gesture, spatial visualisation, spatial problem solving, mind-body-feeling, intentional, language

This article creates connections where years ago none would have been recognised – between movement/gesture and language, and movement and thinking. Promising research studies that draw links between the connection of hand gestures; to improved thinking and spatial problem-solving are cited, and new teaching practices that enhance learning a language are over viewed. (pp 34-35)

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When a Gesture Was Expected: Restoring a Powerful Theatre Craft

Keywords
performance, theatre, Helga Hill, Arts guild of Victoria, classical, body language

A discussion is presented, on the historical roots of the art of gesture and it’s evolving significance – through to the contemporary place that gesture powerfully plays in performance. Painting the scene, conveying the passions and empowering chosen words are three important aims of Gesture. And finally, from time to time, gestural poses provide glimpses of classical beauty that seem to come straight from ancient statues. (pp 36-38)

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Creativity, Resilience, and Chaos Theory

Keywords
transform, complexity, entropy, unconscious power, artists, pain, emotions

Human resilience is always a creative act, chosen in response to challenges and adversity in life whilst compared to the entropy that results when systems deteriorate. It is discussed with reference to famous artists’ creative responses to: illness, disability, pain and psychological struggles. The author proposes that both making and looking at art stimulate a resilience that is within us all the time. (pp 39-41)

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Reflections on Resilience in the Arts

Keywords
dementia, person-centre care, children with disabilties, psychiatric, coherance, flow, flexibility

This article is a reprint from: Psychotherapy and the Arts Newsletter, March 2010.

Drawing connection with Tobi Zausner’s article: “Creativity, Resilience, and Chaos Theory”, Heather contributes her perspectives on resilience through her DMT work with people with dementia and with adults and children with mental health issues or disabilities. Concepts of resilience are drawn from theorists and discussed, along with the embodied potentials to concretise resilience in an embodied way, with illustrative examples from DMT sessions. (pp 42-44)

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A Reflection: Amber Gray in Australia 2011. Returning Home – Continuum for the Uninitiated

Keywords
Emilie Conrad, bio-intelligent, breath, cellular, fluid movement, trauma, supervision

Reflecting on attendance at Amber Gray’s workshop: Deep Roots: An Immersion in Continuum Movement in Melbourne, Elise touches on profound experiences for her in the workshop and discovers new knowings and resources for her personal and professional life. Exploring the initiation of an awakening communion with her cells, Elise describes the workshop focus on the use of breath and sounds. Continuum was founded by Emilie Conrad – her teachings are woven in to this reflection and have also been adapted by Amber Gray into her global DMT work in war-torn, disaster ravaged countries. (pp 56-59)

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Authentic Movement Retreat in Taranaki

Keywords
Mary Whitehouse, witness, kinaesthetic attunement, empathy, Long Circle, countertransferance

A descriptive piece about the authors’ engagement in an authentic movement retreat in Taranaki, New Zealand. Phases of moving, witnessing, responding verbally and journalling with keywords are shared – to expand upon and express aspects of this Jungian inspired psychotherapeutic process. (pp 59-62)

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2012 Vol. 10 Nos. 3-4

Artistic Intersubjective Technologies: Developments for Group-Work

Keywords
arts-based-research, intersubjectivity, reflexive-analysis, poststructuralist-theory

The study explored the merits of employing a multidisciplinary approach to group work in a Psychiatric Disability Rehabilitation and Support (PDRS) day-program. The main question guiding the study was: What are the practical and research implications of combining arts-based and narrative therapy approaches for group work in a Psychiatric Disability Rehabilitation and Support day-program? The methodology drew on poststructural theories of the knowledge-power relation, subjectivity, intersubjectivity and reflexivity. Analysis indicated changes in the group members‟ subjectivity noted as changes in how they perceived themselves and their positions within their community. Emergent issues discussed with the group and explored through the artistic processes were isolation, anxiety, self-consciousness, paranoia, companionship, confidence, motivation, emotions and change. The pantomime project enabled members to gain a sense of acceptance, understanding and belonging from other members of the day-program community. The reflexive analysis highlighted the suitability and significance of the artistic approaches to group work for people living with psychiatric illnesses and the various dimensions of the project assisted in addressing some of the group members‟ issues. Some aspects of the methodology and the process of involving audience members in the study could be applied to dance therapy research. (pp 2-8)

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Dancing with the Candelabra

Keywords
Feldenkrais, trauma, sexual abuse, healing, spirituality, private practice

This paper describes long-term dance therapy with a client with a history of trauma. The description is taken from two perspectives. That is, My Story – which is the perspective of the therapist and Her Story which is the perspective of the client. Through the two papers the dance therapist describes her experience of working for approximately 7 years with a woman who has a history of childhood and adult trauma. The client, a psychiatrist, in her paper, writes of the integration of mind, body and spiritual experience through dance therapy and how it enriched her life, work, teaching and spiritual journey. (pp 9-13)

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The Writings of Naomi Audette – Part 1

Keywords
research, Energy Field, quantum experiences, dyadic process, circle/spiral symbolism, ritual, ancient culture

The Writings of Naomi Audette (1970-2011) encompasses two parts, published across two editions of the DTAA’s Moving ON Journal. Part 1 of Naomi’s profuse writings on dance movement therapy, has been carefully and lovingly gathered together and edited by her colleague and friend, Alexandra Jordan, with the assistance of Monique Buggy. Part 2 follows in Volume 11, No’s 3 & 4. In Part 1, the writings comprise an introduction to Naomi and a reflection on her personal and professional journey by Alexandra. Following are the first two pieces of her work, ‘Dancing the Energy Field; Towards an integrated model of healing’, and ‘Symbolic meaning of the Spiral and Circle’. Addressing two areas of priority for Naomi, the first reveals something of her journey of discovery into the quantum realm, and the second, her research into the themes of ritual. The articles demonstrate her comprehensive understanding of esoteric literature, ancient history, myth and psychology, which she also maps to the physical realm and DMT process. (pp 14-29)

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Holding Space for Imaginative Play and Growth in Special Developmental Schools

Keywords
developmental stages framework, Laban Movement Analysis, Maslow, disabilities, Tripartite model, body-self, group work

This is an excerpt from the content:

This article is developed from an assignment Angela completed for her dance movement therapy training. It stemmed from her responses to a question that asked her to describe the movement characteristics and life challenges faced by a chosen client group. And also to discuss the special contribution that dance therapy can make to the client group together with methods that can be used, and theoretical framework(s) that support the ideas. (pp 30-34)

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Families Dancing Together

Keywords
disabilities, abilities, group work, community support, respite, relationships

This brief article includes a short introduction the article ‘Dance family matters’ , which was reprinted with kind permission of the Bayswater Buzz – Bayswater community newspaper published by Interchange Outer East, in  Melbourne. Describing a community dance therapy initiative led by DMT Heather Hill, to provide a weekly creative dance movement space for children with experience of disabilities to share dance and ‘magic moments’ with their families, it touches on the intentions and activities of the program. (pp 35-36)

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“The Treasure Hunt” – an early intervention DMT program

Keywords
disabilities, special needs, early intervention, group work, attunement, Bartenieff Fundamentalism, families

Emerging from experiences teaching dance to children and offering creative dance to adults with disabilities, came the idea to create a DMT program focussed on early intervention for children experiencing disabilities to share a therapeutic group space with their parents. Focussing on the concepts of attunement in the parent-child bonds, the therapist hopes to create a ‘therapeutic living environment’ for the child, rather than just a one hour per week experience with her. Her activities in the program are discussed as offering experiences intending to; support integration of body movements, social interactions and relational patterns with their parents, raise self-awareness and to develop a healthy relational bonds and emotional boundaries. (pp 37-38)

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Reflections: Birds of a Feather Two Day Summit

Keywords
professional development, creative arts therapy, dance movement therapy, drama therapy, experiential workshops, collaboration

This is an excerpt from the content:

‘Birds of a Feather’ was the thematic image containing the collaboration between various creative arts therapies organizations and training institutes at the ‘Summit’ held in Melbourne. The organizing committee included members from ANZATA (Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association), ACATA (Australian Creative Arts Therapy Association), DTAA (Dance Therapy Association Australia) and MIECAT (Melbourne Institute Experiential Creative Arts Therapies). Held in Fitzroy Melbourne, at MIECAT on July 13 -14, 2012, the programme structure followed a MIECAT method of inquiry with the first workshops on the theme of Discovery, the second Dream and the final workshops, Design. The author describes her experiences at each of the sessions she attended and closes with insightful questions that arose for her post the summit. (pp 41-44)

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Giving and receiving dmt supervision: a dance-movement therapy project in Timor-Leste

Keywords
professional development, trauma, wellbeing, young people, disabilities, political unrest

Kim describes initiating a dance movement therapy pilot study in Timor-Leste (East Timor) by collaborating with fellow Australian DMTs Alexandra Jordan and Meredith Elton, to design and deliver a series of workshops offered to a range of groups during a fortnight in 2011. The historical and cultural context of Timor-Leste is briefly overviewed along with the professional pathways that led Kim to propose the project. Responding to political unrest at the time of their visit, discussions overview how the DMTs adapted their workshops to the anxiety and tension present at that time, with their focus mainly on professional development, as well as activities for young people, children with disabilities, and almost a whole village. The article concludes with Kim’s reflection on her own practice as well as the relational learning gained from offering the workshops and from supervision with Alex and Meredith. (pp 45-47)

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A journey toward professional membership: Timor-Leste and beyond

Keywords
professional development, professional relationships, on-site supervision, cross-cultural DMT, post conflict context

Meredith briefly describes the significance of her 2 week intensive trip collaborating with DMTs Kim Dunphy and Alexandra Jordan to offer DMT to diverse groups, during a time of unexpected political unrest. The emergent nature of the work as well as the opportunity to work with a range of groups and populations, supported the skill development and confidence for Meredith, in applying DMT to her community upon return, including people with a disability. The opportunities for professional growth are expanded upon in the article, as the collaborative work has grown beyond the initial in-county pilot project. (p. 48)

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Reflections on a Trip to East Timor

Keywords
professional development, on-site supervision, cross-cultural DMT, torture, trauma, refugees, asylum seekers

Alex overviews a meaningful trip to Timor-Leste, along with DMTs Kim Dunphy and Meredith Elton, to offer DMT activities across a range of group settings over a 2 week period. Gaining much more than the 30 hours of supervised practice towards her Professional Member registration with the DTAA, Alex writes about the connections with her work in Darwin working cross-culturally, and with people who have experienced torture and trauma through her role as a counsellor, with refugee and asylum seeker children and their families. The collaborative opportunities and beneficial outcomes are touched upon, with scope for exploring further applications of this work and encouragement for others to seek similar learning adventures. (pp 49-50)

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Becoming an Embodied Therapist: Accessing the Language of the Body in the Treatment of Eating Disorders

Keywords

This includes excerpts from the content:

This pre-conference workshop was a part of the ADTA 46th Annual Conference, “Collaborations, Different Identities, Mutual Paths‟ held in October 20 – 23, 2011 in Minneapolis. Jane reflects on her attendance at the workshop ‘Becoming an Embodied Therapist: Accessing the Language of the Body in the Treatment of Eating Disorders’, led by Susan Kleinman, who specialises in the treatment of eating disorders. The workshop focussed on using dance movement therapy principles as a basis for body/mind exercises to “integrate a more embodied approach into traditional psychotherapy theory and practice”. The article outlines Susan’s approach and framework with key concepts imperative to her practice including embodying ways of being that are more connected with one’s selves. Other resources such as ‘focused journaling’ are discussed and a reading list is provided for delving more deeply into this material. (pp 51-52)

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Seduced by the blossoms in a Dance Therapist’s garden

Keywords
Penny Best, professional development, therapeutic relationship, trauma, PTSD, wellbeing

Transpersonal Art Therapist Liz, attended Penny Best‟s workshop titled, “Balancing differentiation and linkage: a wellbeing frame for clients and therapists” to explore dance movement further. The three day workshop included content to increase awareness of the skin, its intelligence and the sensations evoked as skin touches the air, the fabric of being human, being in relationship, in relational spaces alongside others and being in therapeutic and supervisory spaces. Experiential self-exploration, and in dyads, triads and the group dynamic are expanded upon and conceptualised through embodied practices, with reference to client issues as trauma. (pp 60-62)

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