Welcome to Thinking Body Institute News!
TBI News provides ongoing updates on the activities of the Thinking Body Institute. Archive subscribers may also submit short descriptions of their activities that may be of interest to users of the website.
TBI Archive Subscribers: Please submit your information on the Archive Welcome page.
Recently, we invited current TBI Archive Subscribers to share their activities and interests through a new section of the TBI Exchange page called TBI Contacts. Given the shifting priorities and ongoing stress associated with COVID-19, it is not unexpected that the response to this opportunity has been slow. As things settle, please do consider sharing your background and interests through TBI Contacts. There is absolutely no rush – we will welcome your contribution to this new section of the Exchange page at any time. If you have lost track of the email to Archive Subscribers that introduced this opportunity, please click here for another copy of the submission form. Or, if you have other ideas about how to enhance communication within our community, the Suggestion Box on the Exchange page is always open.
New Addition to Bernard’s Archive
A new version of audio files of Andre Bernard’s 1986 Berkeley, California workshop has been added to his collection. Many thanks to Eva Karczag for converting the original tapes to MP3 files and donating them to the archive.
Go to the TBI Archive page »
The Thinking Body: A Study of the Balancing Forces of Dynamic Man
by Mabel Elsworth Todd
We are pleased to announce that The Thinking Body is now available in the TBI Media’s Special Editions and TBI Collections written by Mabel Elsworth Todd. Mabel Todd’s The Thinking Body (1937) still stands today as the classic study of posture and movement that established many of the founding principles of somatic movement education. The book proposed an approach to “structural hygiene” and “bodily economy” based on “the concurrent study of physics, mechanics, anatomy, and physiology.”
The Thinking Body expanded upon Todd’s 1929 college syllabus, The Balancing of Forces in the Human Being, which set forth the human “psycho-physical mechanism involved in the organic reaction to the problem of resisting gravity in the upright position.” Throughout her career, Todd refused to codify her educational method in order to “prevent the premature appearance of a ‘school’ or ‘system’ which so often spells the end of creative processes.” In the late 1970s, the term Ideokinesis became associated with Todd’s approach.
Since the original edition of The Thinking Body became part of the “public domain,” several companies have satisfied the demand for the book by offering a variety of reprints. In 2021, as part of the educational mission of The Thinking Body Institute, TBI Media developed a meticulous reproduction of Todd’s classic text with features that are not found in other editions, including:
- An introduction to Miss Todd’s life and career written by Pamela Matt as the Preface to the TBI Media Special Edition.
- A cover design that incorporates elements from Todd’s original book jacket.
- Advanced typesetting techniques that resulted in more readable print than text produced with facsimile or photocopy methods.
- The use of state-of-the-art imaging software that enhanced the original anatomical illustrations and clarified the labeling.
Click here for more information and instructions for purchasing a copy of The Thinking Body.
by André Bernard with Wolfgang Steinmüller and Ursula Stricker
We’re excited to offer copies of André Bernard’s Ideokinesis book for purchase. André Bernard (1924-2003) began teaching “creative body alignment” to New York acting students in the late 1950s. He assumed an adjunct faculty position with Tisch School of the Arts in 1965. Bernard’s teaching career at NYU provided a platform for influencing dance students from all over the world. Their enthusiasm for his “physio-philosophical” approach spawned summer workshop opportunities on the west coast and later in Europe. Bernard built understanding of the ideokinetic method by borrowing from the actor’s discipline. He encouraged both beginning and advanced students to approach the imagery with the mindset of a “first run-through,” as any occasion for thinking of an image could be an opportunity for new kinesthetic insights, “as long as you, don’t do the image — let the image do you.” This book presents Bernard’s introduction to ideokinesis, a lengthy interview originally published in 1997 by Contact Quarterly, and two meticulously detailed transcripts from his workshops. The text is richly illustrated with drawings and photographs from his classes.
Click here for more information and instructions for purchasing a copy of Ideokinesis.
TBI COLLECTIONS: Todd’s Early Monographs, Bernard Teachings, and Todd’s Classic Texts
Todd’s Classic Texts
Mabel Todd’s The Thinking Body (1937) still stands today as the landmark study of posture and movement that established many of the founding principles of somatic movement education. The book sets forth the human “psycho-physical mechanism involved in the organic reaction to the problem of resisting gravity in the upright position.” For The Hidden You (1953), Todd expanded several themes introduced in The Thinking Body and suggested that her principles for improving body balance would relieve emotional stress and facilitate knowledge of the cosmic order.
Click here for more information and instructions for purchasing Todd’s Classic Texts.
Save $10.95 with this collection of 3 products: Ideokinesis, Beginning Constructive Rest, and Advanced Constructive Rest. In the 1980’s, André Bernard composed and narrated audio tapes devoted to the practice of Constructive Rest for participants in his California workshops. The tapes were produced to encourage his students to continue their exploration of the imagery. Bernard’s original Constructive Rest narrations were donated to the Thinking Body Institute by Ruth Botchan, the sponsor of his workshops at Berkeley Moving Arts.
Click here for more information and instructions for purchasing Bernard’s Teachings.
Todd’s Early Monographs
For the serious student of Mabel Todd’s original educational approach, studying these two classic monographs contemporaneously offers a distinct advantage. The First Principles of Body Balance is richly illustrated with simple anatomical drawings and images of the application of her mechanical principles, offering the reader a visual representation of the theoretical discussion presented in The Balancing of Forces.
Click here for more information and instructions for purchasing Todd’s Early Monographs.
by Pamela Matt
A revised edition of A Kinesthetic Legacy: The Life and Works of Barbara Clark is another recent addition to the TBI Media publications. Among the most exciting additions to the book is a recently discovered teaching manual of eighty lessons that Clark developed for her student André Bernard in the mid-1950s. Those who participated in André’s workshops and classes will undoubtedly recognize imagery and lesson procedures from Clark’s curriculum that served as the foundation of his teaching. The curriculum also reveals the seeds of lesson ideas and visual imagery that Clark refined in her four subsequent body alignment manuals.
The revised edition of A Kinesthetic Legacy incorporates additional information on Mabel Todd’s educational system, which served as the basis for Clark’s teaching and writing. Color reproductions of the anatomical plates she used in conducting Todd’s table work should clarify the relationship between human anatomical structures and the exquisite abstract imagery Clark developed. The revised edition concludes with a new content-based Index that relates Clark’s body alignment lessons to specific elements of Mabel Todd’s theory.
Click here for a complete description of the revised edition and a “preview” of pages from several sections of the book.
Please make use of the TBI Media website and spread the word to your colleagues and students! All proceeds from purchases are used to support the mission and activities of the Thinking Body Institute.