Judith Leibowitz (1920–1990), US teacher of the Alexander Technique.
Judith Leibowitz was 14 when she was paralysed from the waist down with polio. After many months of immobilization she undertook an intensive regime of physical therapy and could then walk again with braces and crutches. She graduated from Brooklyn College with a major in biology. She started having lessons first with Alma Frank and later with Lulie Westfeldt. She then trained as a teacher with Lulie Westfeldt and qualified in 1949. She began teaching in 1952. In the early 1950s she went to London and had six weeks of daily lessons with F. M. Alexander; she returned two years later for another course of lessons.
In 1964 Leibowitz co-founded the American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT) with Debborah Caplan, Frank Ottiwell, Joyce Ringdohl and Babara Callen. They started a teachers training programme of which Leibowitz was Director until 1981.
Leibowitz started teaching the Alexander Technique at the drama department of the Julliard School in 1968 and continued this work until a few weeks before her death in 1990. She also taught the Alexander Technique at other theatre schools, including The American Conservatory Theatre, Arena Stage, and the Guthrie Theatre.
- With Bill Conable she co-authored an introduction book to the Alexander Technique in 1990.
- A collection of transcripts, notes, and articles of Leibowitz’s teaching were published as Dare to be Wrong in 2007.
- An introductory paper, ‘The Alexander Technique’, was published in 2013.
- A previous unpublished paper from 1985, ‘The Alexander Technique and its application to stress’, was published in 2013.
- ‘Interview – Judy Leibowitz’ interviewed by David Alexander.
- A presentation on the legacy of Judith Leibowitz was given by Eleanor Rosenthal in 1991, in Switzerland, and in New York.
An outline of by Judith Leibowitz’s curriculum for actors at the Juilliard was written up by Amy Kitahata-Sporn and published in 2013.
An audio recording, ‘Alexander Technique Self-Lesson’, is an edited version of transcripts of recordings of Judith Leibowitz teaching ‘self-lesson’.
Obituaries and remembrances
- ‘Judith Leibowitz’.
- ‘A tribute to Judith Leibowitz’ by Bill Connington.
- ‘Remembering Judith Leibowitz and her work’ by Barbara Kent.
Judith Leibowitz *7 October 1920 – †28 December 1990.