From Posture to Acture

Developing Awareness in Movement and Performer Training in UK Higher Education using the Feldenkrais Method®

  • Kene Igweonu PhD; Deputy Dean (Research & Knowledge Exchange), Faculty of Arts & Creative Industries, Middlesex University, London
Keywords: Feldenkrais Method, awareness, movement, performer training, higher education, somatic, reflexive practitioners

Abstract

The last three decades has seen the Feldenkrais Method continuing to gain acceptance within UK Higher Education as a pedagogical tool which offers dynamic approaches to performer training that complements, and often challenges, established modes of learning and teaching that are body-centred and somatic. This article draws on a longitudinal study that I started in 2010, and which has been sustained through my teaching and practice research work. It discusses the growing practice of incorporating the Feldenkrais Method in movement and performance training within the UK Higher Education context and explores some of the strategies and approaches adopted by practitioners of the Feldenkrais Method in their work with performing arts students. The article emphasises that this growing interest in the use of the Feldenkrais Method in movement and performer training programmes have meant that practitioners often adapt their approaches to teaching the Feldenkrais Method in its ‘pure form’ and instead introduce a range of ‘scaffolding’ techniques in order to cultivate and sustain students’ engagement with the learning process. Furthermore, it contends that the Feldenkrais Method does not function as a performer training technique in itself, but as a viable foundation for underpinning the learning and teaching of technique. The article concludes by iterating the case for foregrounding the Feldenkrais Method in movement and performer training within UK Higher Education due to its effectiveness for facilitating experiential learning, heightened psycho-physical awareness and efficient self-use among performing arts students.

Author Biography

Kene Igweonu, PhD; Deputy Dean (Research & Knowledge Exchange), Faculty of Arts & Creative Industries, Middlesex University, London

Dr Kene Igweonu is Deputy Dean (Research and Knowledge Exchange) for the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries at Middlesex University London. His research and publication interests are in actor and performance training, directing, black British theatre, theatre and performance in Africa and its Diasporas, as well as the Feldenkrais Method in health, wellbeing and performance training.

Published
2019-05-09
How to Cite
Igweonu, K. (2019). From Posture to Acture. Feldenkrais Research Journal, 6. Retrieved from https://feldenkraisresearchjournal.org/index.php/journal/article/view/17