An interview with Joan Skinner by Bettina Neuhaus
Published in Contact Quarterly
This month we want to draw your attention to an interview with the late Joan Skinner with current SRN member and SRT teacher Bettina Neuhaus:
Joan Skinner, former member of the Martha Graham and the Merce Cunningham Companies began experiments in 1963 that evolved into the Skinner Releasing Technique (SRT).
SRT is a pioneering approach to dance and movement training that facilitates a deep kinaesthetic experience of movement. Guided poetic imagery and hands-on partner studies stimulate the process of letting go of one’s holding patterns and preconceptions, releasing new possibilities in how we perceive and how we move. An investigation of dynamic and multidirectional alignment leads one to discover more freedom, strength, effortlessness, and nuance in movement.
The poetic images, interwoven with specific music, touch the imagination, triggering spontaneous movement and transformative states of consciousness that reveal a primal grace. SRT is a self-propelling process that supports each individual’s way of learning and enhances any activity and movement style. It is recognized as a significant way of engaging the whole self while integrating technical growth with creative process.
In June 2005, after a transformative four-year course of study with Joan, I conducted the following interview in the interest of introducing her thinking to a wide audience.
Photo © Craig Ingle.
Participant in a Skinner Releasing Technique workshop.