Ancestral Movement is an open exploratory practice uncovering movements and cognitive abilities innate in human bodies because of our ancestry, stretching back through deep time to the beginning of life in the womb and all the way back to the very origins of life on the planet. Movements that we share with all other creatures that have ever lived on the earth: our fellow primates and mammals, all creatures with four limbs, with a spine, a central axis, a segmented body plan, a digestive system, all creatures that evolved in the ancient oceans, all creatures with a vascular system, all cellular life. Movements and abilities that are unique to the human species: empathy, mimicry, shape changing, storytelling, theatre.
In this practice we will be studying the evolutionary anatomy of the body, the adaptedness of our various body parts and patterns to the different natural environments in which our ancestors have lived over the ages, anatomical and behavioural comparisons with other related organisms, and including the basic and practical understanding of the brain and nervous system, the combined science of neuroplasticity and the integrated systems of body awareness, emotion, pain, memory, empathy and nonverbal communication.
We will use movement, breath, directed attention, emotion and imagination, in solo practice and with partners, to open up deep and forgotten parts of the body normally hidden from conscious awareness: every tiny articulation of the spine, ribcage, abdomen, the diaphragm, throat, pelvis and skull, and hidden muscles joints and movements throughout the body. Ancient, fundamental ancestral movement patterns will emerge which we can use to integrate these hidden and forgotten areas back into our self-image to become more alive, aware, expressive, creative, powerful and sensitive to ourselves and to the other human and non-human bodies around us.
Some sessions will have a more internal focus, others will be more externally physically strenuous. All of the practices can be scaled according to individual abilities, and all sessions will be challenging but extremely rewarding for people of all backgrounds and physical capacities, including teachers and advanced practitioners of any other disciplines.