Authentic Movement was originated by pioneer Dance Therapist Mary Whitehouse, who integrated Jung's concept of active imagination with dance movement improvisation.
Authentic Movement is natural, self-directed movement that is often done with the eyes closed and attention directed inward. Movers explore spontaneous movements and gestures, following the impulses from within and listening the body's needs in the moment. The unconscious often becomes more available for awareness and reflection, revealing the inner worlds through images, sounds, gestures or emotions. Authentic Movement can be practised both one-on-one and in group settings.
Authentic Movement is often started from stillness, where the attention is directed inside and the mover waits the impulse to be moved in response to bodily sensations, memories, images, thoughts or emotions. Movement is 'found' within the body and the mover is liberated from any expectations, intellectualisations or conscious decision-making. Movement becomes authentic when the mover allows the intuitive impulses to freely express themselves. One impulse leads to another and guides the mover forward, welcoming unique expressions. It's a meaningful play and can be full of fun and joy but it can also awaken deep emotional responses and intense feelings.
The mover is always seen by a witness, who is observing and containing the experience. The witness is seeing the movement without judgment, projection or interpretation. The witness is not passive, but is also an active participant, who is present in their own sensations while observing the mover.
Authentic Movement is a powerful descent into the inner world of psyche and it allows individuals to awake the sensing world, clarify the perceptions, affirm feelings and develop the skills for self knowledge through bodily-knowing. It enhances wellbeing as it often brings the unconscious into conscious. It connects with creative process and often unblocks and opens new ideas. It is also powerful meditative and spiritual practice as a sacred dance, deepening our sense of self healing and connection to the surrounding world. It also works as a community practise, strengtening the group process.
Authentic Movement is a practice for everyone and no dance experience is needed or necessary. Any age and ability can gain benefits from deeply nourishing practise, where every expression is movers unique inner reflection. Movers only need curiousity and willingness to slowly open into spontaneous movement, whether it was active and expressive or silent and still.
Artists and people who work with creating, find it helpful to reconnect to the inspiration source and find new ideas and ways of thinking. Authentic Movement releases the blockages and opens a gateway to something unseen. It vitalises and releases patterned ways of thinking and moving.
Therapists often find Authentic Movement beneficial to gain embodied understanding of how movement can open feelings and effect to thinking, behaving, movement language and images. The direct experience offers a new way of undestanding the human psyche.
Those who are seeking spiritual and meditative practise, Authentic Movement offers a way to let go of the masks and be more genuinely who we are. As we reconnect with deeper instictual resourses in cellular level, it offers spiritual intelligence and guidance for self healing. It is a great way to find our authentic self, where we start becoming contact with universal experiences. It's a practise to gain deep meditative movement, where the mind remains still and relaxes us to experience the present.
For groups and communities Authentic Movement offers a tool to solve community-wide problems or relationship difficulties. Some of the basic issues can be seen as an bodily effect, movement pattern, emotion or bahavioural pattern. Working with repressed material in the living body, can promote clarity and compassion. It is also good group practise to deeper the connections and meet others in nonjudgmental level.