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The Beauty and Challenge of the Soft Approach; A Conversation with Dancer Bar Altshuler

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by Danielle Hill

I think it can shortcut a lot of the learning process that we are doing in the studio. Instead of repeating an exercise a hundred times, we just have to stop and do it slowly, with awareness – and very soon, it’s there. So, it needs to be complementary. Somatic work is entering the schools more and more, but there is still a way to go in order to understand how important it is.

b2ap3_thumbnail_10612733_10204869158754991_3761390984278847804_n.jpgDuring our conversation, held midway through the fifth segment of the MBS Foundation training, Bar laughs when asked what she does “between segments.” Traveling to Bad Toelz three times each year has a way of marking time, bringing into focus what has happened since the last seminar. As she answers, Bar speaks with a simplicity and a spaciousness that recalls the language of a group MBS class. Her words seem to be chosen deliberately, but with a lightness. “I live close to Brussels, in the countryside. And right now I teach contact improvisation regularly and I follow the dharma, the Buddhist teaching. This is it: very simple, quiet.”

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The sensation of being aware; A testimonial by Ana Bergamaschi

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I feel we are learning what is most essential in life: to listen. To be aware. To maintain our availability, humility and curiosity when facing the world. It brings such freshness to life – I mean, it brings life itself.


     When I first started practicing the Feldenkrais Method six years ago, I had no idea how much this practice would completely change my life. Until then, I thought I was sensitive and functional and that it was okay and enough as it was.

      With the practice of Feldenkrais and eventually Mind Body Studies, I quickly started discovering a whole new range of capacities. In the beginning, I sensed more possibilities of movements, such as new ways of walking, sitting, crawling and looking. Then I sensed all the different sensations that came together with those new ways of being in life: groundedness, stability, smoothness, fluidity, curiosity, playfulness, sensitivity and infinite new sensations!

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Meet MBS Trainer Chieko Omiya

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In Conversation with Chieko Omiya

MBS Trainer Chieko Omiya teaches ballet and offers MBS lessons to dancers in Sendai, Japan. She was first introduced to Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® classes in 1985 and graduated from the Japan Feldenkrais® Training in 2000, learning from Mia Segal as well as Eilat Almagor. From 2011 to 2014, she served as an Assistant Trainer throughout the MBS Foundation Training in Bad Toelz. As that training ends and the next one begins, Chieko reflects on how she found her way to the Feldenkrais Method® and how Mind Body Studes and the method applies to her work with dancers.


The Search for A Missing Piece

Chieko began teaching ballet in 1978, having trained in the 1970s under a graduate of the Beijing Dance Academy. As Chieko describes it, it impressed her from the start how “wonderfully logical” ballet was. Although her teacher would instruct the class with only a limited grasp of the Japanese language, Chieko recalls, it was possible to understand just what she wanted of her pupils. At the time, there were no other instructors offering ballet instruction with such a grasp of the theory and such a pure adherence to the ‘ballet education system’. “I was so fascinated to teach my own ballet pupils by that logic,” she explains.

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