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Mindful Movement
The Evolution of the Somatic Arts and Conscious Action
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ISBN 9781783205837
Hardback 370 pages
230x170
Published September 2016
Imprint: Intellect
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Books by Martha Eddy
Books in Performing Arts
Chapter Titles     |      Reviews     |      Comments

In Mindful Movement, exercise physiologist, somatic therapist, dance educator and advocate Martha Eddy uses original interviews, case studies and practice-led research to define the origins of a new holistic field – somatic movement education and therapy­ – and its impact on fitness, ecology, politics, health, education and performance. The book reveals the role dance has played in informing and inspiring the historical and cultural narrative of somatic arts – approaches to consciousness based in the awareness of the soma, the living body. Providing an overview of the antecedents and recent advances in somatic study and with contributions by diverse experts, Eddy highlights the role of Asian movement, the European physical culture movement as well as the language of neuroscience and their relationship to the performing arts, and female perspectives in developing somatic movement, somatic dance, social somatics, somatic fitness, somatic dance and spirituality, and ecosomatics. Mindful Movement unpacks and helps to popularize awareness of both the body and the mind. 

Martha Eddy is a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist, Teacher of Body-Mind Centering and Certified Movement Analyst with a doctorate in Movement Science, on the faculty at Empire State College, SUNY, and Princeton University. She is the founder of the non-profit organization Moving for Life as well as the somatic movement therapy training Dynamic Embodiment. 

 

Chapter titles
Part 1: Influences and Development of Somatic Education
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Chapter 1
Introduction and Overview — The What and Why of Somatic Education
Chapter 2
The First Generation — Founders of Somatic Education Technique
Chapter 3
Second Generation — Set One: The Influence of Dance on Somatic Education
Chapter 4 - Kelly Jean Mullan
European Antecedents to Somatic Movement
Chapter 5 - Sangeet Duchane
Global Roots of Somatic Movement: Asian and African Influences
Part 2 - The Emergence of Somatic Movement Education and Therapy
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Chapter 6
Second Generation — Set Two: Dynamic Approaches to Well-Being in Dance and Fitness
Chapter 7
Third Generation — The Amalgams: Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Today
Chapter 8 - By Sara Reed and Sarah Whatley
The Universities and Somatic Inquiry: The Growth of Somatic Movement Dance Education in Britain
Chapter 9 - Rebecca Nettl-Fiol
How Dance Has Helped Situate Academic Fields of Somatic Inquiry: Case Study University of Illinois-Urbana
Chapter 10 - Kate Tarlow Morgan, Eve Selver-Kassell, Lauren Lipman and Mary Ann Brehm
Somatic Movement and Dance Education in pre-K-12 Education
Part 3: Current Trends in Somatic Thinking and Being
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Chapter 11
Healthy Movement, Healthy Mind: Neuroscience Connections to Somatic Healing and Action
Chapter 12
Conscious Action and Social Change: “Social Somatics”
Chapter 13
Somatic Dance and Environmental Activism: Is this Spirituality?
Chapter 14
Concluding Thoughts: Does Somatic Awareness Interplay with Genetics, Ecstasy and Space?
Reviews
'Involved in Somatic practices since the 1970s, Martha Eddy has produced a significant review of the history, participants and practices of a field which, in my perfect world, would be part of every person’s education. It is about our ability to perceive ourselves, to feel bodily movement and structure. Somatics is the softest revolution in human consciousness that can be imagined. Many of the practices are informed by ancient Chinese and Indian disciplines; in 1970 Thomas Hanna coined the word we now use to name these integrative approaches. Somatic education has been enthusiastically embraced and developed in large part by performers who love science or philosophy. In my own years of study and exploration I found it a missing link in dance practice and especially know that my solo dance practice is based on it. It is the most basic awareness of dance a dancer can have. Mindful Movement describes how somatic education has been made more visible by university performing arts and psychology departments and how it is beginning to be used in some schools for children and youth. The body is profoundly neglected in primary education, as though the child will be taught by their parents (they aren't) or somehow discover the body's many levels just by having one (they don't). One thing a child has is sensations; indeed, some of my childhood sensations remain with me still. Education in this field, which can guide one through the body and even improve the structure of the body via the perception of how it feels, would be an excellent starting place. The feelings are there; it may dawn on educators and our culture that learning to perceive oneself is why these feelings exist. Eddy has related Somatics’ many facets to give movement practitioners today a sense of their elders and the profound achievements that this approach has provided. She opens doors to the importance of ‘the hidden senses’ of proprioception and kinesthesia in education, culture, and health. She also makes a case for how attention to the body through somatic practice can help ignite and sustain activism in these realms.' – Steve Paxton, developer of Contact Improvisation, founding member of Judson Dance Theatre and Grand Union

'I just wanted to say that your book is clear, inviting, rich in detail, and also beautifully honours the many paths to somatic practice. Brava! I will definitely be recommending this book to my students and peers...Just wanted to connect and pass along my appreciation for this book and all the work you do in this field of work.' – Nancy Romita, author of 'Functional Awareness: Anatomy in Action for Dancers'

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