Several years ago, an unusual group of people gathered together for a unique
purpose: to create two pioneer videos about the work of F. M. Alexander. Our
mission was to help bring this remarkable work into the public domain, to
educate people about the work and to help people to begin to use it for
themselves. Almost all of us — an actor, videographers, designers,
musicians and crew — were students of the Technique and our focus was intense.
Our first video, FIRST LESSON, with actor William Hurt and me tells
you who Alexander was and explains what the Technique is, how it
works, why it works and how you can use it to create postural change
and an organic/anatomical way of using your body. Good use of course,
vitally affects how you function. For example, whether you are in
front of the camera or holding the camera, you need to work with ease
and without the aches and pains of excess tension.
Our second video, introduced by Mr. Hurt, is SOLUTIONS FOR BACK
TROUBLE with Deborah Caplan. Ms. Caplan was a master teacher and a
physical therapist who spent over 30 years working with people from
all walks of life who suffered with back pain. She is joined in this
video by a singer, a photographer, a lawyer, a grandmother, a dancer
and a teacher. She gives us the benefit of her enormous wisdom and
specific instruction in how to use the Alexander Technique if you
suffer from back trouble.
Both videos have been reissued with additional materials and in DVD form by THE BALANCE OF WELL-BEING. They are only sold on this website. For more information, go to
Our latest video is for another special interest group — dancers.
Artists from our first shoot gathered together once again to create
FOR DANCERS, THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE. In this 2-disc package, the
Alexander principles are taught through the art of dance. Dancers are
shown how to use Alexander to improve their technical facility and
dance with greater freedom and daring. I am joined by dancers from
the dance division of The Juilliard School, along with professionals,
Brock Labrenz, Heidi Stoeckley and Gelan Lampert, Jr. and Alexander
colleague, Anne-René Petrarca. Clearly I am
enthusiastic. For the last 20 years I have been watching young dancers
make incredible changes using this work. I am so grateful that we
finally a DVD that can make the work available to all dancers, not
just a few. I am happy to announce that FOR DANCERS is now available
at this web site.
Jane Kosminsky b. Jersey City, New Jersey. Dance Award Winner, School
of Performing Arts, 1960. B.A. language and literature, CCNY.
Graduate, The American Center for the Alexander Technique. Has
performed with the May O'Donnell, Tamiris-Nagrin and Norman Walker Dance
companies. Soloist, Norman Walker Company, 1960-65. Soloist, Paul
Taylor Dance Company, 1965-71; has toured extensively in U.S., Europe
and Asia. Co-artistic director (with Bruce Becker) and principal
dancer of 5 by 2 Plus, a modern dance repertory company, 1971-82.
Restaged Paul Taylor's Aureole for productions of Nureyev and Friends and appeared as Mr. Nureyev's partner, Paris, 1974; London, 1976;
Madrid,1978. Has choreographed plays for The Juilliard School,
Off-Broadway, and Theater Row. Director of Dance, 92nd Street Y,
1986-1988. Faculty, The Neighborhood Playhouse, 1988-2012. Faculty,
The American Center for the Alexander Technique Teacher Training
Program, since 1986. The Juilliard School drama faculty, 1971-86.
Dance faculty since 1986 teaching Alexander Technique for dancers. Member of the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT). In
private practice in NYC. Has produced two pioneer videotapes for the
general public about the Alexander Technique: First Lesson, An
introduction to the Alexander Technique with William Hurt and Jane
Kosminsky and Solutions for Back Trouble, A lesson with Deborah Caplan
master teacher and physical therapist. Both were released in March
2000. Latest DVD — For Dancers, The Alexander Technique was
released in the spring of 2005. In 2014 she created Great Circle Productions, a not-for-profit organization for mature artists stepping to the left of their own comfort zone. (For more information, please visit greatcircleproductions.org). Most recently, Jane was awarded the Julliard President's Medal, "bestowed upon individuals who have made an indelible impact on the arts and have served as significant role models both at Juilliard and in the broader performing arts community."
Anne-René Petrarca graduate, The American Center for the Alexander
Anne-René is a modern dancer, choreographer, Alexander Technique teacher, yoga instructor and the founder and artist-director of the dance company Sculpted Motion. Anne-René received her undergraduate degree in dance from Point Park University, her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her Alexander certification from The American Center for the Alexander Technique in New York City. She re-located to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2009 after 20 years in New York City, and continues to have the great pleasure of working with her teacher, mentor and friend Jane Kosminsky. She assisted Jane at The Juilliard School for ten years and has joined her at National Conventions and in the making of Jane's DVD, For Dancers: The Alexander Technique. Anne-René is currently on faculty teaching modern dance and Alexander Technique at the LINES Ballet Training Program, LINES BFA at Dominican University and the LINES Summer Intensive Program. She is a guest teacher at Mills College, San Francisco State University and Shawl-Anderson Dance Center. She has held guest artist positions at Sarah Lawrence College, Long Island University/Brooklyn , The Next Stage Project, Joffrey Jazz Summer Intensive, Hope College and was on the faculty at DNA (Dance Space Center).
Anne-René's approach to teaching modern dance and her creative process integrates the concepts of the Alexander Technique. The dancer is encouraged to identify and change inefficient habitual patterns in order to access resiliency, expansion, risk taking and the freedom to explore the range of motion and expression in the body. The dancer will gain clarity, efficiency, softness and strength in movement, breath and performance quality. Sculpted Motion creates choreographic works that stimulate the viewer viscerally, emotionally and kinesthetically by using movement containing strong circular shapes, organic undertones and rich details with an athletic and sensuous aesthetic.
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