Dance and the Alexander Technique: Exploring the Missing Link
by Rebecca Nettl-Fiol and Luc Vanier
University of Illinois Press, 2011
In a Nutshell: A comprehensive guide to the Alexander Technique, with movement explorations and an accompanying DVD.
Not just for modern dancers, Alexander Technique promotes an easy mobility in the joints and creates more holistic dancing, so it can greatly enhance your students' ballet, jazz and hip-hop training, as well. Written by two Alexander instructors and dance professors with very different backgrounds (Nettl-Fiol focuses on modern at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Vanier focuses on ballet at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Dance and the Alexander Technique bridges the gap between Alexander's theory and practice. It allows students to understand why practicing the technique is practical and valuable.
The text first lays a thorough foundation for the practice, introducing founder F. M. Alexander and defining the theories behind the technique and philosophies of leading practitioners. In the next 10 chapters, movement studies are laid out in lesson plan form (approximately six to 10 per chapter), citing the Alexander Technique concept the study explores, as well as how it correlates to common dance steps. An accompanying DVD shows dancers putting these studies into practice.
This book would best be used in class with an experienced Alexander instructor leading the way; however, it is also a great jumping-off point for new practitioners interested in boosting their coordination, mind-body awareness, joint mobility and flexibility in a healthy and holistic approach.