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Mindful Movement:The Evolution of the Somatic Arts and Conscious Action

Mindful Movement:The Evolution of the Somatic Arts and Conscious Action

Martha Eddy


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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. 
Mindful Movement: The Evolution of the Somatic Arts and Conscious Action is Martha Eddy's masterfully researched book that traces the complex spider web of somatic influences on American - and European -contemporary dance, particularly in higher education. This is a dense (as in nutrient-rich) read - the bibliography alone is worth the price of the book, with many valuable citations to keep any researcher busy for quite some time. I can easily imagine this volume being required reading in university dance departments worldwide.
Jamie McHugh

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover Cover
Half Title i
Title iii
Copyright iv
Contents vii
Preface ix
Part 1: Influences and Development of Somatic Education 1
Chapter 1: Introduction and Overview — The What and Why of Somatic Education 3
Chapter 2: The First Generation — Founders of Somatic Education Technique 21
Chapter 3: Second Generation — Set One: The Influence of Dance on Somatic Education 37
Chapter 4: European Antecedents to Somatic Movement 63
Chapter 5: Global Roots of Somatic Movement: Asian and African Influences 83
Part 2: The Emergence of Somatic Movement Education and Therapy 101
Chapter 6: Second Generation — Set Two: Dynamic Approaches to Well-Being in Dance and Fitness 103
Chapter 7: Third Generation — The Amalgams: Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Today 127
Chapter 8: The Universities and Somatic Inquiry: The Growth of Somatic Movement Dance Education in Britain 149
Chapter 9: How Dance Has Helped Situate Academic Fields of Somatic Inquiry: Case Study University of Illinois-Urbana 165
Chapter 10: Somatic Movement and Dance Education in pre-K-12 Education 181
Part 3: Current Trends in Somatic Thinking and Being 203
Chapter 11: Healthy Movement, Healthy Mind: Neuroscience Connections to Somatic Healing and Action 205
Chapter 12: Conscious Action and Social Change: “Social Somatics” 231
Chapter 13: Somatic Dance and Environmental Activism: Is this Spirituality? 253
Chapter 14: Concluding Thoughts: Does Somatic Awareness Interplay with Genetics, Ecstasy and Space? 271
Appendices 297
Appendix 1: Elaine Summers: Skytime 2014/Moon Rainbow 299
Appendix 2: Emilie Conrad in Memoriam 301
Appendix 3: Ruth Doing’s Rhythms Fundamentals Compared with Body-Mind Centering BNP as presented by Kate Tarlow Morgan 303
Bibliography 305
Notes on Contributors 341
Index 345
Back Cover Back Cover