F. Matthias Alexander and Mabel Elsworth Todd: Proximities, practices and the psycho-physical
Abstract:Proximities in the work of F. Matthias Alexander and Mabel Elsworth Todd are examined for the first time. There are close geographical proximities in their location and to those in their respective circles during the period 1914–1937. Both Alexander and Todd drew on ideas prevalent at the turn of the twentieth century. There are historical proximities based around the intellectual hub of New York City, notably to the philosopher John Dewey, the historian James Harvey Robinson and the pioneer dance educationalist Margaret H’Doubler. Alexander’s and Todd’s ideas and practices are considered in their time from a starting point of the idea of the ‘psycho-physical’, a term used by these practitioners in their writings. They both used it to try and speak about the self in a new way, and what they proposed had major ramifications. The article concludes by suggesting that we might reconsider how we think of dancers and dance students in the light of this historical reconsideration of Alexander’s and Todd’s ideas.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: De Montfort University
Publication date: April 27, 2012
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