Tamalpa Life-Art® Process
Using dance improvisation, drawing, writing, vocal expression and mindful witnessing, you are invited to expand into more expressive freedom, identify personal life themes through the wisdom of the body and artfully embody your personal mythology within a supportive group dynamic. This work is based in Somatic Therapies and the Tamalpa Life-Art® process, a movement-based Expressive Arts modality founded by dance pioneer Anna Halprin and her daughter Daria Halprin at the Tamalpa Institute. Tamalpa is an approved training program of the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA) All levels, no experience necessary.
For 25 years, my steadfast focus as a performer includes using dance and other arts as a path to more freedom and stability from an integrated orientation of body, mind, and soul. Each performance is an initiation or marked entry into what I am creating in my life. For me, the creative process that leads to stage performances involves personal inquiry and integrative transformation of physical, emotional and mental levels of awareness. However, I also work without a performance goal in mind as a practitioner, movement researcher or facilitator of individual and group processes. Much of the purely “process oriented” work I do involves placing myself as the witness and guide for one or more movers in a natural, clinical, or studio setting.
For the last 10 years, I have been cultivating a stillness practice and have studied the physiology of trauma and stress as it relates to mindfulness practice and expressive arts.
Movement combined with mindful witnessing in a safe environment provides a direct access to the “here and now” and a journey into Soul. Anna Halprin, co-founder of the The Tamalpa Institute in 1978, generated what is called the psycho-kinetic imagery process used in the field of Expressive Arts Therapy. We begin with the body in motion and transition into the other arts (drawing, poetic dialog and writing) to take it out of the abstract and illusive into a tangible, documented, symbolic or verbal self-portrait of where we have been, who we are, and where we are going. The movement process then becomes the laboratory for exploring the blessings and burdens of our lives –and a place to flex and tune the instrument of the body and expand our ability to heal and create with the themes we are living with.
It is my belief that when the three levels of awareness (body, mind, emotion) are integrated in a moment, we can at the very least, identify life themes and histories that limit our present choices and reactions in life… and at best, we may integrate into a fourth level of awareness of the “soul” and “spirit”. Here, in this integrated landscape of transformation, we can embody wholeness, and make changes based off of a deep level of self-acceptance from a lived and new awareness.
In addition to Tamalpa Life-Art Process, Meditation, and my professional dance career, I am also influenced by several other practices that I have studied such as Body-Mind-Centering, Yoga, Breema, Re-Evaluative Co-Counseling, Gestalt Awareness Practice, Somatic Experiencing, Rosen Method, Laban-Bartineiff Movement Analysis, Contact Improvisation, Sound Healing and Eco-Somcatics. I am currently developing my work around the four elements in Nature and ultimately return to the body as an impermanent expression of nature.
See video of a workshop I lead in Mexico: