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The Congress Papers: 125 Years On

4th International Congress, Sydney 1994
Edited by David Garlick.
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AT Focus: 
Alexander Technique
210 x 148 mm.
ISBN 0646285750
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Mouritz Bibliography
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Short Description: 
33 papers and presentations from the 1994 International Congress.
Mouritz description: 
33 papers and presentations from the 1994 International Congress. Contains: Marjory Barlow: ‘Recollections of my Uncle F.M. Alexander’, Walter & Dilys Carrington: ‘Text of Video-taped Message’, Jeremy Chance: ‘The Enneagram of Change’, Michael Dale: ‘'Lost Tradition' of Bel Canto’, Dr. Pam Davies: ‘Neural Control of Vocalisation and Speech’, Doris Dietschy: ‘The Meaning of Change’, Michael Frederick: ‘Alexander Congresses and the Alexander Community’, Dr. Brian Freeman: ‘The Embryo’s Use of Its Self’, Dr. David Garlick: ‘Recent Physiological Research into the Alexander Technique’, Tony Greeves: ‘Dance Injuries: The Process of Learning in Dance’, Deborah de Graaf: ‘Relevance of Alexander for Musicians under Stress’, Peter Grunwald: ‘Eyesight, Vision and the Alexander Technique’, Jane Heirich: ‘Monkeying Around with Your Voice’, Eva Karczag: ‘Moving the Moving’, Catherine Kettrick: ‘Alexander Technique: 2094’, Yehuda Kuperman: ‘The Kangaroo and the Alexander Technique’, Professor Eugene Lumbers: ‘Welcoming Address’, Vivien Mackie: ‘Surprises in the Music Class’, Don Mixon: ‘The Mind Body Paradox’, Rosslyn McLeod: ‘Alexander: Historial Overview’, Linda Murrow: ‘Reflections on the Psychological Dimension of the Alexander Technique’, Assistant Professor, Graham Pont: ‘Body and Mind in the Thought of FM Alexander and John Anderson’, Chris Raff: ‘Business Aspects of an Alexander Teacher’s Practice’, Razia Ross: ‘Ruminations on the Mind/Body Continuum’, Eugene Schlusser: ‘Alexander & TV/Video Media’, Assistant Professor, David Tracey: ‘Welcoming Address’, Ken Thompson: ‘Unreliable Sensory Appreciation’, Lucia Walker: ‘Contact Improvisation’, Elizabeth Waterhouse: ‘Alexander & the Musician’, Professor Ian Webster: ‘Alexander & Health’, Duncan Woodcock: ‘Balancing Body & Psyche’, Maggie Young: ‘Alexander the Play, The Off-Broadway Production’.


With The Congress Papers for the 2nd (Brighton) Congress and 3rd (Engelberg) Congress already available, Direction publishing has again done the Alexander world a valuable service by compiling the talks and summaries of work presentations given at the 4th Congress in Sydney. As the editor says in the Preface, “The Alexander Technique is essentially practical, the transmission from one person to another of sensorimotor mechanisms contributing to an improved psycho-physical integration of an individual” (ix) but for anyone, such as myself who was unable to attend, this collection of articles provides important information that will enrich our own understanding of the work. The sub-title of the Congress, “Meaning of Change” was introduced by Doris Dietchy as an invitation to leave our own “positional box” from which we tend to judge other ways of teaching and training and to “explore how the Technique looks from other ‘comers’.” From comments following the Congress, I doubt whether we are any nearer to bridging the divide between “traditional” teaching methods and, what is now commonly referred to as the “hands-off” approach.

The contributions fall into identifiable categories. The history of the Technique is covered by an overview by Rosslyn McLeod and, on a personal level, Marjory Barlow recalled memories of her uncle, F. M. Alexander. There are specific sections on the Alexander Technique applied to music-making, dance and movement. Aspects of speech and the voice are included (Dale, Heirich, Davis et al), also vision and eyesight (Grunwald). There is a section on concepts around body and mind interactions and scientific presentations by the lecturers in anatomy (“The Human Embryo’s Use of Its Self”, Dr Brian Freeman) and physiology (“Recent Physiological Research into the Alexander Technique”, Dr David Garlick) at the University of New South Wales that, incidentally, hosted to the Congress. Professionalism and the future were considered (Kettrick, Raff) raising issues of standards and evaluation as we move inevitably “further and further away from the original source of the Technique” (Kettrick, 98).

© Malcolm Williamson ( Reproduced with permission.

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