AT Congress® Berlin 2022

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Portrait Sarah Barker

Sarah Barker

Touch: Learning and Teaching

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.— Khalil Gibran

What happens inside us when we touch one another? There is a world of experiences within us that we can know about, that we can heighten and focus so that our tactile communication can create the change, the enlightenment, the illumination, the insights that we seek. When we say, “That touches me deeply” we are talking about a multi-dimensional world of thought, emotion, self-image and self-knowing. Do we intend to touch all of those things when we teach or when we are taught the Alexander Technique? Can we learn to touch in more multi-dimensional ways? When we are experiencing as a student, opening ourselves to new experiences, how can we be more receptive and at the same time active in receiving touch?

Sarah Barker’s teaching is based on the learning philosophy that the teacher leads the student to know themselves more deeply. With that in mind these sessions explore the world of touch with commitment to the student’s independence and a faith in the student’s own curiosity about knowing themselves. The time will be filled with movement explorations and discoveries rather than prescriptions and explanations of the “best” ways to teach through touch. You are invited to bring what you know and then to expand that knowing with fun and play and gentle inquiry with your colleagues and fellow explorers.

Day One opens our curiosity with guided explorations in how we connect to the world and ourselves through touch. Sarah will draw on the extensive body of exercises developed in her forty-five years of training actors, alexander technique teachers and students and movers. We will explore listening to the self, responding to a partner and moving with the group in sensitizing our touch for exploring objects, movement games and communication with others.

Day Two will focus our discoveries on the use of touch to communicate our own physical knowledge and to support and enhance the knowledge of those we teach. We will also look at what it is to be receptive and active in the role of student, a role that all Alexander Technique teachers understand is an important part of their teaching experience.

About Sarah Barker

Sarah Barker has a passion for teaching people how to live in a conscious body, how to embody their imagination, and how develop physical intelligence. She focuses on giving her students independence and personal success by helping them discover their own inner abilities and the power to change their quality of moving and living.

She was introduced to the Alexander Technique and the Human Potential Movement during her graduate study of acting at the Southern Methodist University. From the moment she began working with Marjorie Barstow she knew she had a thread that would stitch all of her studies together into a unified approach. The idea that one could use conscious awareness and intention to change one’s whole experience of life and art was revolutionary. She dedicated her studies in the art of acting to the psycho-physical realm. Over the 48 years since that first discovery Sarah has studied more than forty somatic systems for unlocking the freedom and ability that comes with a mind/body unity. She became a Theatre Movement Specialist helping to establish the Association of Theatre Movement Educators. She is also an actress and an acting teacher. She has directed two graduate programs for actors and has developed a body of work for physical approaches to acting and other performing arts. She is now professor Emerita at the University of South Carolina. Sarah continues to teach regularly as an invited guest for Alexander Technique teacher training schools around the world.
She has been teaching the Alexander Technique since 1974 with a focus on providing tools that help people learn the technique when there is no teacher available and then for practice as they work closely with teachers to develop the mind/body connection. More recently she has investigated the scientific understanding of touch and its implications for teaching and learning. She has delivered hundreds of workshops, demonstrations and panels throughout the United States and in Japan, Germany, the UK, Canada, Portugal, and Switzerland.
Sarah writes regularly for theatre movement and Alexander Technique publications. Most recently she launched Allez-Up!, her wellness app for smart phones. In the last few years she has authored chapters in two internationally published books: in Galvanizing Performance (with Jessica Knightly) a book of essays on new developments in applications of Alexander Technique in performance and in Physical Dramaturgy (with Routledge Press) a book of essays on physical approaches to theatre performance. Her book, The Alexander Technique, has been distributed worldwide for forty years and has been translated into French, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian and German. Moving with Ease, her innovative DVD for learning the Alexander Technique, is available in English (through easyalexander.com) and in Japanese (through Being Net Press).


See also: Sarah Barker – Presenter Detail Page

Continuous Learning
Tue 23 & Wed 24 (Session 1)
Fri 26 & Sat 27 (Session 2)

9-11h (9-11am) & 15-17h (3-5pm) (Session 1)
15-17h (3-5pm) & 9-11h (9-11am) (Session 2)

Main Building
Floor: 3.OG (3rd floor)
Room: H 3004

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