André Bernard was raised in Columbia, South Carolina. He graduated at age nineteen from the University of South Carolina with a chemistry and math major and a theater minor. His professional acting career included over a hundred performances both On and Off Broadway and appearances on television. Bernard was a student of Barbara Clark, who further developed ideokinesis after she studied with the founder, Mabel Elsworth Todd. From 1966 until 2001, Bernard taught ideokinesis at the New York University and elsewhere. He died in May 2003 in New York City.Wolfgang Steinmuller studied medicine in Freiburg/Brsg, Germany, and trained in the Feldenkrais method with Mia Segal from 1986 to 1989. His important teachers in the field of movement have included Andre Bernard and Amos Hetz of Israel. He works as a physician in private practice. He is the anatomy teacher and medical director of the Soma-Institut, which offers continuing education for bodyworkers.Ursula Stricker has been dancing and drawing ever since she could. She lives and works as visual and movement artist and teacher for placement and creative dance in Oberdiessbach and Bern, Switzerland.
Ideokinesis: A Creative Approach to Human Movement and Body Alignmentby Andre Bernard, Wolfgang Steinmuller, Ursula Stricker
Mabel Elsworth Todd pioneered ideokinesis in the 1920s. Her book, The Thinking Body, described new ways to use all the senses as well as inner feeling and imagination to retrain the body to move with ease and balance. The system became an invaluable tool for generations of dancers, actors, and performance artists, thanks largely to one of its most important teachers, André Bernard (1924-2003). This book presents an introduction to the practice as well as a lengthy interview with Bernard and two meticulously detailed workshop protocols illustrated with 52 photographs and line drawings.
- North Atlantic Books
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A most fascinating look into the history of ideokinesis This book is a great read; accessible and very informative; and quite enjoyable. Andre Bernard refers back to the discovered made by Lulu Sweigard and Mabel Todd that movement performance and skeletal alignment are completely interdependent, and that improvement in the mechanical efficiency of either one automatically related to the other. (See also Human Movement Potential and The Thinking Body for the original texts) A favorite, favorite quote is long but so meaningful: "I think that most of us are here because we want to improve our movement patterns or our body patterns in general. That is certainly a legitimate goal, but I am looking at this work on a larger canvas. I see it as a metaphor for life itself, for the life process. What I mean by that is, whether we realize it or not, we are constantly re-creating ourselves. Moment by moment, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, month by month, and so on. This is usually somewhat a process of which we are unaware, but it is happening through the same devices we have been using with consciousness to make changes in the body. That is the process of thinking, intending, desire, attitude, insight - all of these tools we have been using to affect our neuromuscular system- as a goal; using them with awareness. In life these tools are being used, as I said, usually unconciously. So what I feel is that we can guide this process. I do not think we can control it, nor is it desirable to have a rigid control on it, but I think we can guide it by being aware of what we think, what we intend, what we desire, and what we do." (p.195)