PhD Thesis: The Ecological Body ~ extracts
I decided to select four dynamics which, over time, have proved themselves to be central to the way I perceive and teach movement and to my own style of movement. I chose to investigate the movement dynamics of active and passive, proportions, transition/position and point, line and angle in movement.
Each of these dynamics contributes to individuals discovering their own original movement vocabulary in relation to those around them and to their environment. The environment may be seen as participating in those very same dynamics, so this selection immediately creates a bridge between individuals, as a dynamic system, and their environment. As I perceive movement to be an expression of the shifts between mind, body and feelings within changing contexts, each of these dynamics may be applied to the physical, psychological, affective or ecological aspect of individuals in their particular situation. These dynamics may also be applied cross-culturally.
Active/passive, transition/position, proportion and point, line and angle are both key principles in my work and practical tools for developing movement skills, thus indicating no separation between theory and practice. In addition, these qualities are present within ecological and perceptual systems, providing a common ground between mover and the environment. For this reason, I refer to them in my practice as ‘movement dynamics’. The whole organism moves, thus avoiding the body/mind polarity, and movement necessarily places individuals in their environment: they move somewhere. Mutual influence exists between a movement task and its environment, so that the movement which emerges is informed by both task and environment and could not exist without both.
The movement dynamics have revealed themselves as invaluable in several ways: they offer scope for scores and tasks in movement training which can then be fulfilled by each person in their own unique style of movement; they provide a bridge between the individual’s body in movement and the movement in the environment ; they offer common reference points in movement and communication which value difference; for example, someone may situate their movement more in ‘staying’ , but can appreciate the other’s ‘itchy feet’ as difference, rather than, through a misunderstanding, feeling pushed ‘to go’, or left behind; similarly, they are accessible cross-culturally, providing a relatively etic framework for movement dialogue, but also illuminating different approaches to the same dynamics; they support the individual to learn to see movement from movement rather than from a static position – a dynamic is the ‘movement’ of movement itself .