Inspiration in the Aegean
THIS SIX DAY WORKSHOP is a unique opportunity to combine travel to a Greek island with an in-depth, experiential look at how the body and mind work together in movement and imaginative endeavors. The classroom experience extends as you hike, swim, relax and enjoy Folegandros with the new information and body awareness that you gain from the Alexander Technique.
alexander Technique on folegandros
The small island of Folegandros provides a powerful, inspiring environment for study. The spare, uncluttered landscape resonates with the Alexander Technique’s goal of developing a clear, unencumbered body. Swimming in the crystalline sea encourages the clear, direct thinking that is the Alexander Technique in action. Walking the land reinforces a buoyant relationship to gravity and an unobstructed flow throughout the body.
The mythology of ancient Greece offers a poetic link between natural phenomena, storytelling, and the human spirit. Imagery from this tradition will come into play as we unfold the stories of our own mind/body connections; investigating how a more balanced body enhances the creative process.
During each daily 3.5 to 4 hour class we will explore the AT principles experientially. The remainder of the day is available for students to explore Folegandros on their own.
Daily activities include:
simple movements explored from an Alexander perspective;
partner work to facilitate new sensory experiences;
Contemplation of our dynamic skeletal structure;
creative work - movement improvisation, writing, drawing, spoken text.
references to Greek mythology via imagery and story.
All students receive hands-on guidance from Judith during the classes, and one individual, 25-minute, private lesson.
Our first class usually begins at 9:30 am on Sunday morning. The following four classes are in the mornings, with the exception of one afternoon class.
Our final (sixth) class will be a morning, outdoor excursion, directly applying the Alexander principles as we hike to a beautiful swimming location, Livadaki Bay. For those who are not comfortable with the hike, there will be the option to travel to the bay by boat to join us.
Folegandros, located in the radiant Aegean Sea, is an enchanting, rugged island still relatively unspoiled by mass tourism. Washed with the incomparable light of Greece, its sunny beaches and rocky coves meet the clear, turquoise-blue sea. The classic Cycladic central village offers delicious food in intimate tavernas around three charming town squares. Visitors and natives alike relax, promenade and enjoy wonderful meals in a timeless setting. Island residents convey a gracious hospitality that has been practiced in Greece for centuries.
Part of the enchantment of this island is that it is only reachable by sea – TRAVEL PLANS ARE IMPORTANT. Please visit "Getting There" to plan your trip.
STUDENTS – WHO?
The workshop is designed both for people new to Alexander Technique and creative movement, as well as for those who have studied previously and wish to review and deepen their understanding. This workshop is open to all levels of movement or Alexander Technique experience – participants have ranged from absolute beginners to certified Alexander Teachers, and is designed for adults of all ages and disciplines. All are welcome – a willingness to explore and participate is the only requirement. Accessibility on the island is limited – see below.
PREPARING FOR THE WORKSHOP
Classes are held in the local high school. The floors are marble (this is Greece!). Plan on bringing a yoga mat (or whatever you prefer to be comfortable) for lying-down work on the floor. Bring dance kneepads to protect your knees if this is of concern: here is a good source for kneepads.
Working barefoot is fine for the class. However you may wish to wear cushioned shoes that provide protection from the marble floor for upright movement work. Wear clothing that is comfortable to move in for class. It’s useful to wear long pants so that you can move on the floor easily.
Bring simple drawing and writing supplies – we will use these in class.
Accessibility: Folegandros is a rocky, barren island. The walking streets are made of stone, and are uneven. Unfortunately, our classroom is not wheelchair accessible. Please contact us if you have concerns regarding mobility issues. Our final class is a group hike to Livadaki Bay. For those who are not comfortable with the hike, there will be the option to travel to the bay by boat to join us.
Packing for Greece: Although Greece is usually quite warm during the day at this time of year, it can be breezy, cool, and windy at night. You will need a sweater or jacket. Bring layers. Bring sun protection – serious sun hat, gauzy long-sleeve shirt, and sunscreen. The Grecian light is strong.
knee pads (optional, as needed)
cushioned shoes (optional as needed)
clothes comfortable for movement (long pants recommended)
simple drawing and writing supplies
clothes and sun protection for Greece (layers for cool nights and sunscreen/hats for sunny days)
water shoes (the beaches are rocky and we recommend footwear to navigate them)
a simple REVIEW OF the ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
Our workshop engages the dynamic principles of the Alexander Technique, examined in consort with poetic elements of myth, imagery, environment and movement (daily life movement, movement etudes, and creative movement). Offering a systematic, lucid and pleasurable look at the human body's design, the Alexander Technique teaches a way to move with flexibility, efficiency, grace and power.
Though our bodies are designed to move with lightness and internal support, we often develop habitual patterns of tension that interfere with this freedom. They can cause pain, diminish our movement range, and limit our creative choices. The AT helps us focus the mind to recognize and release these patterns. Engaging the body as its inherent structural design suggest, our movement becomes more energized. We enjoy an increased range of movement without strain. We become more present in the moment and thus more responsive to our creative possibilities.
Alexander's principles are conveyed through verbal and visual cues as well as a unique touch. In a delicate communication through her hands Judith conveys a fresh kinesthetic experience and guides the student towards a new integration of mind and body.
For more information on the Alexander Technique, visit the "Areas of Focus" section of the website.