ARBN 633105736

In this volume

2018 Vol. 15 Nos. 1-2

Reflections on The Body as Storyteller – led by Sara Boas

When you listen to your body, what does it say? When you witness the movement
of your therapy clients, coaches, or fellow artists, what stories do they seem to tell?

These questions were the basis of this two-day workshop, led by Sara (, an international presenter who seeks to embody and integrate her calling as a dancer, healer, researcher, and leadership coach. She is, as well, a registered dance movement psychotherapist and practising artist, who has performed in venues across Europe and in the United States.

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Vale – Suzie Graham Kuzmanovski 1961 – 2018

Our fellow dancer and dance therapist Suzie Graham Kuzmanovski passed away on the 11th of June 2018 right before a beautiful sunrise. Suzi was a free spirit, the life of any party and a healer. She lived and breathed dance therapy and with every relationship or encounter she would describe it as a type of dance. She used dance in her work with disability and wheel chair bound people and in the most limiting situations she could bring laughter and warmth. Suzie asked me to let the dance therapy community know of her passing, particularly her teachers, supervisors and co-students

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Panpapanpalya 2018, 2nd joint World Dance Congress

DTAA members Elizabeth Loughlin, Maeve Larkin and Tessa Hens all presented papers at the second joint congress of Dance and the Child international (daCi) and World Dance Alliance (WDA) Global Education and Training Network. Driven by the question of ‘How can dance help in transforming society?’ the joint congress was held in Adelaide, Australia, 8-13 July 2018. We are pleased to print Elizabeth’s Abstract and reflections of the event from Maeve. Then an Abstract from Tess and colleague, Samantha Smrekar Thompson’s presentation, followed by a further reflection from Tess.

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Journeying with Relationship – Book Review of Relational Being

Gergen, K. J. (2009). Relational Being: Beyond Self and community. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (originally printed in the
Psychotherapy and the Arts newsletter, (2010).

Timing is everything when it comes to book and ideas, and this book by Ken Gergen arrived just at the right moment for me in my intellectual and professional life. My work over many years with people with dementia had underlined the centrality of relationship, for as so often happens, people in extreme situations of need can point the way to what are the really important things for human beings. Through the people with dementia, I became aware that our society’s over-emphasis on the individual without regard to relationship and context can serve to pathologise individuals and rob people of their personhood. This added to my studies in person- centred practice and post -modern thought, made me more than ready to engage with Gergen’s ideas.

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Dance Movement Therapy and the Older Adult Client

Jan McConnell MAAT, DTAA (professional), PNZ (Physiotherapy New Zealand), PGDip Health Science (Expressive Therapies), is an Arts Therapist, Dance Movement Therapist and Physiotherapist based in Northland New Zealand. She holds a Masters of Arts Therapy specializing in integrative dance therapy. Areas of expertise include the fields of child development, disability, low vision, and care of the elderly/dementia/palliative care. Jan shares the role of DTAA representative for the New Zealand/Aotearoa chapter and is developing her practice integrating a Te Ao Maori worldview. She is interested in the development of dance movement therapy through an allied health lens and is involved with several projects in partnership with the Northland DHB, NZ Blind Foundation and TBI Healthcare providing dance movement therapy in multi-disciplinary settings. She continues her studies exploring the dance between arts, culture and health and the development of the dance therapy profession within this.

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Connecting globally, dancing locally

In January 2018, Marylee Hardenbergh directed Melbourne dancers who have a love of community performance in a site-specific summer outdoor choreography. Dancers and audience progressed to different sites around Abbotsford Convent, now a community arts space with cafés and picnic grounds. Abutting inner-city suburbs, the convent grounds are bordered by the Yarra River and walking paths.

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Exploring creative arts therapy and dance movement therapy approaches for women’s wellbeing in Timor- Leste

This article reports on a series of creative arts and dance movement therapy activities undertaken in Timor- Leste to promote women’s wellbeing. One weekend workshop and one full day multi-modal workshop were offered to women in regional areas to explore and promote the concept of wellbeing. Follow up focus group sessions were conducted to reflect on the creative arts therapy processes. Participants engaged actively and responded with much appreciation and enjoyment, and the different evaluation methods indicated that the activities contributed to participants’ knowledge and embodied experiences of healing and wellbeing. Focus group outcomes with one NGO indicated that Timorese facilitators could adapt the work, indicating the need for further resource development, training and on-going support.

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Investigating the Fairytale Score used in Physical Storytelling

This article describes the use of the Fairytale Score used within Physical Storytelling. Physical Storytelling is a practice drawn from dance movement therapy in which a small group of dancers present a dance improvisation in response to a verbal narrative. This narrative can be provided by a client in a therapy context, a supervisee’s account of a case within clinical supervision, or in arts-based research projects to answer a question a team wishes to pursue. The Fairytale is one of several ‘scores’, or ways the dance improvisation can be organized to better fit the initial verbal story. This score can be used to illustrate narrative material that is highly emotional, confused, or presented as a dream. During the Fairytale, a single dancer improvises an imaginative and/or poetic tale told verbally while watching a small group of dancers create an improvised piece of interactive movement. This article outlines how a Fairytale Score is arranged, when it can be helpful in highlighting themes that are difficult to verbalize and provides some examples of improvised performance of this dance movement form.

The content on this page is accessible to DTAA members by logging into the website.