In examining ideokinesis and its application to the teaching and practice of dancing, Drid Williams introduces readers to the work of Dr. Lulu Sweigard (1895-1974), a pioneer of ideokinetic principles. Drawing on her experiences during private instructional sessions with Sweigard over a two-year span, Williams discusses methods using imagery for improving body posture and alignment for ease of movement. Central to Williams's own teaching methods is the application of Sweigard's principles and general anatomical instruction, including how she used visual imagery to help prevent bodily injuries and increasing body awareness relative to movement. Williams also emphasizes the differences between kinesthetic (internal) and mirror (external) imagery and shares reactions from professional dancers who were taught using ideokinesis. Williams's account of teaching and practicing ideokinesis is supplemented with essays by Sweigard, William James, and Jean-Georges Noverre on dancing, posture, and habits. Teaching Dancing with Ideokinetic Principles offers an important historical perspective and valuable insights from years of teaching experience into how ideokinesis can shape a larger philosophy of the dance.
Based in Minnesota, Drid Williams is the senior editor of the Journal for the Anthropological Study of Human Movement and the author of Anthropology and the Dance: Ten Lectures, Anthropology and Human Movement: The Study of Dances and Anthropology and Human Movement: Searching for Origins.
Foreword by Lynn Martin vii Introduction ix Chapter 1. Beams of Light 1 Appendix: Lexicons of the Body 18 Chapter 2. Relaxation 21 Appendix: Constructive Rest by Lulu E. Sweigard 35 Chapter 3. Baking Biscuits and Kinesthesia 37 Appendix: The Dancer's Posture by Lulu E. Sweigard, with Introduction by Martha Hill 47 Chapter 4. Doctors, Dancing, and Ideokinesis 54 Appendix: Better Dancing through Better Body Balance by Lulu E. Sweigard 69 Chapter 5. Mirror, Mirror ... 73 Appendix: Accentuate the Positive ... 86 Chapter 6. Imagery and Habit 90 Appendix: Walking Bundles of Habit by William James 100 Chapter 7. More about Teaching Dancing 101 Appendix: Letter XI by Jean-Georges Noverre 113 References Cited 119 Author Index 123 Subject Index 125