LIBRARY - Reference(s)

The Evolution of Movement

A guide to the procedures originated by Raymond Dart
Material type: 
AT Focus: 
Alexander Technique
216 x 303 mm.
ISBN 978-0995491175
Mouritz Bibliography
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An earlier edition of this exists
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The Dart Procedures are a set of evolutionary-inspired movements for the purpose of exploring and developing a range of motions and creating freedom of movement.

The Procedures are an adjunct to the Alexander Technique as they require the implementation of the processes involved in the Technique for movement: the consideration of the whole organism and the attention to the means-whereby a movement is performed. The Procedures are essentially an exploration in self-help. They are carried out thoughtfully and slowly. They allow for a gradual 'un-doing' of unnecessary muscular tension and reduce stiffness throughout the whole body; they help to release any undue shortened musculature and to free up breathing. In the process many of our senses - especially proprioception and kinaesthesia - are exercised and enhanced.

Raymond A. Dart was a distinguished anthropologist and anatomist who developed these procedures following a series of lessons in the Alexander Technique in the 1940s. The procedures were taken up and developed by a number of teachers of the Alexander Technique.

Robin Simmons has studied the procedures since 1970 and is now one of the foremost teachers of the Dart Procedures.

In this book Robin Simmons describes and explains the important stages of the evolution of vertebrates, the evolution of movement of the infant, and correlates these with with the Procedures. The Procedures contain evolutions of movement which explore the small, basic and general movement patterns which constitute foundational building blocks for more complex movements. Dart's procedures were far ahead of his time and are a precursor to the recent investigations of evolutionary movement patterns in fields such as primitive reflexes and ancestral movement.

The Procedures themselves are described in detail, with many illustrations to guide the reader. In addition summary tables provide useful overviews of the various stages of the Procedures, and of the many different routes the Procedures can be performed.

The most significant four papers by Dart relating to human movement are summarised and provide an excellent introduction to Dart's writings.

With 184 illustrations and 16 detailed tables this book contains the most comprehensive examination and description of the Dart Procedures to date.