yuriko のすべての投稿

ルシア・ウォーカー・インタビュー 2003年5月8日 東京にて その3

ルシア・ウォーカー・インタビュー その2より

ーあなたのところに来る生徒さんたちは、どのような理由で来る人が多いですか?

 幅広くいろいろな人が来ますね。ミュージシャンやシンガーの人はかなり多いですね。それと、人生に満足していなかったり、健康に満足していなかったり、また、「人生に自分で責任を持ちたいんです」と言う人もいます。それと、なんというか「なにかがちょっと足りない」と感じているような人が来ているかな。もっと深刻な人もいます。背中に問題があったり、痛みがあったり、それでほかのことをいろいろ試してみたけれどどれもうまくいかなかったので、 アレクサンダー・テクニークが最後の頼み、というような人もいます。

 また、来る人たちのなかには好奇心だったり、より意識的・自覚的になるということに興味を持っている人たちがいます。 私自身がそういうことに興味を持っているからかもしれません。 人はそれぞれがワークしたいと思ってることを自ずから引き寄せるものだというのが私のちょっとしたセオリーなの。うれしいことよね。

 この2年間、修道院で教えているということ、あなたにすでに話したと思う。最初、シスターが私のところに個人的に習いに来ていたんだけれど、その後、そこに私が行って教えるようになった。彼女たちの学んでいる理由はいくつかあると思うけれど、彼女たちはあまり外に出ないから、自分たちの健康に自分たちで責任を持てるかどうかを気にかけている。コミュニティにいて、病気になったり弱くなったりしたくないからね。私がいいなと思うのは、その人たちの間に、アレクサンダー・テクニークというのは何か自分でできることだという認識があること。同時に、自分たちがやっている実践の助けにもなると思われている。

また、誰かに「あなたアレクサンダー・テクニークをやったらいいわよ」と勧められて来る人もいる。いろいろな理由があります。

 私の母(=エリザベス・ウォーカー アレクサンダー・テクニーク教師)は、「姿勢」という言葉がアレクサンダー・テクニークに関連づけて語られることを嫌っていたけれど、実際、姿勢をよくしたいという理由で来る人もいます。私には、それはとてもよい理由に思えるわ。そういう人は、見た目としても、感じとしても、自分がみじめに見えるし、感じられるということをわかっていて、それを変えようとしているわけだから。ティーンエイジャーのうちの何人かはそんな感じだったけれど、すごくいい生徒たちだったよ。

 ーたとえばだれかに言われてレッスンを受けに来たような人で、アレクサンダー・テクニークについてよく知らなかったり、とくにどうしたいという希望がないような場合、ルシアはどういうふうにワークしますか?

 もし来るんなら何か理由はあるはずなのよ。ただ、親が子どもにレッスンを受けさせたいという場合には、私はいつも「お子さん自身が来たいと言っていますか?」と聞くの。何歳であっても、その人自身が選んで来ている場合以外は、教えたくないの。その人自身が来たいと思ってるんじゃなかったらね。

 ただ、なぜ来たいと思っているのか、よくわからないという人たちもいるわよね。実は私は、そういう人に教えるのがけっこう好きなの(笑)。そこに何かひらかれているものがあるから。アレクサンダー・テクニークが、可能性を探求していって、それをさまたげているものをとりのぞいていくことについてのものだ、ということを、気づかないうちに理解しているみたいな感じなのよね。

 そして、「友達がすごくいいって言っていたので来ました」という人にたいしては私は、「お友達は何て言っていたの? お友達が言っていたことのなかで、あなたにやってみたいと思わせるようなことが何かあった?」と聞いてみるの。

 つまり、私はいつも、その人がアレクサンダー・テクニークのどこに惹かれたのかを見つけようとするの。

 で、人は何らかの理由で来るんだけど、その理由はすぐに変わることも多いのよね。

 ーたとえばどんなふうに変わるんですか?

 ダンスをとおして知り合った人がレッスンに来たの。仕事を持ちながら、ダンスクラスをやっている人ね。彼女は毎週仕事帰りにレッスンに来て、数週間経ってこんなことを言ったの。「私はダンスの助けになると思って来たんです。そしてたしかに、ダンスの助けになったんだけれど、私がレッスンに来たかった一番の動機は、私が考えていたものとは違っていたんです。一番の理由は、自分のために時間をとるということだったんです。突然それに気がついたんだけれど、すごく変な感じですね、一時間オフをとって自分のために使うというのは、人生に新しい次元が加わったような感じです」。

 ールシアのところには、とても長い間レッスンに来ている人もいると思うけれど、どんな人が長くレッスンに来ていますか?

 私は1988年に教えはじめたので、それ以来ずっと来ている人がいれば、その人が一番長く来ているということになりますね。それくらいの期間続けてはいるけれど、ずっと私のところでではなくて、以前ほかのところで学んでいて、その後私のところに来たというミュージシャンが何人かいますね。 一番長く私のところに来ている人としては、ある年配の女の人がいるわね。今70代で、もう 10年以上来られていますね。

 ーその人はどうしてそんなに長い間レッスンを受けつづけているのかしら?

 よくわからないのよね。たぶん私のことが好きなんだと思う(一同笑)。

 いえ、へんな意味じゃなくて、いい意味でね。
ほかの音楽家などの人たちにしてもそうだけど、もちろん学ぶことに興味を持ち続けているから来ているのだけれど、単にそこに行けば学びをサポートしてくれる人がいるとわかっているから、ということもあると思う。そういうのってけっこういいものなのよね。ときには、何か学ばなくちゃ、と思わないといけないのが重荷になときもある。べつに何も学ばなくてもいいのかもしれない。来るだけで十分なのかもしれない。

 つまり、彼女が私のことが好きなのかも、と言ったのは、私のとこが彼女にとって、何かを思い出すための場所だったり、何か気分が転換できる場所だったり、サポートされる場所であったり、気にかけてくれる人がいる場所であったり、ただそれだけのことなのかも、というような感じ。

そうだとするとそれは、私自身が教師として何かをコントロールしなきゃというのを手放す助けにもなるのよね。そしてそれは、若い人たちを教えるときにも必要なことね。

私はその人たちがなぜ来ているのかはけしてわからないのかもしれない。それでいいんだと思う。もし私が何かを与えることができているのなら。もちろん、はっきりした動機があって長いこと来ている人たちもいるけれどね。

 レッスンを受けることを止めたときに本当に進歩する人たちもいる(笑)。そして、少し経ってから「自分が本当にこれを必要なんだとわかった」と戻ってきたりするの。私自身もそうだった。教師養成のトレーニングを卒業したとき、そのときがはじまりだった。それ以前は「だれかが何か私に教えてくれるんだわ」という感じだったのが、卒業後は、「えー、私が自分でやらなくちゃいけないのね」という感じになった。それは大変だったけれど、わくわくすることでもあったのよね。

 私、長くレッスンに来る理由は何かという質問に答えたかしら。そうね、その人たちがテクニックを実践したり、学んだりすることのサポートだと思う。

 それと、わりあいに長く続けている私たちみんなもそうだと思うけれど、アレクサンダー・テクニークを学ぶことによって感受性と興味が育っていくから、もっと学びたいという気持ちも育ってしまうのよね。私のところに来ているミュージシャンで、はじめは4レッスンだけ受けると言っていたのに、もう4年来ている人がいるよ。それもけっこうしょっちゅう、来られるときは毎週来ている。

 -アレクサンダーの原理は、「自分自身に戻る」というような考えとかみ合うと思いますか?

 もう少し言ってくれる? 自分自身に戻るっていうのは、その人の自然な…

 -そう、本来の自分。

 私の母の言葉で言うと「もって生まれたもの」ね。母は、人は協調作用とか、よい使い方とか、そういうものをもって生まれてくるという意味で言っているわけだけれど。どうかしら。そうとも言えるし、そうではないとも言えるかしら。

 私は、(母が教えていた)自分が学んでいたトレーニングコースでさの説明のし方を、かならずしも信じてはいないの。私は子どものようになろうとしているわけではないと思う。そういう意味の自然さを求めているわけではないと思う。私が興味があるのは意識的でいること/自覚のほうだから。もちろん、無意識のなかの美しさというのは、すばらしいものだけれど、それは私が追い求めているものとは違うの。そして、人が アレクサンダー・テクニークのレッスンにそれを求めて来ているとは思わない。求めているのは意識的でいることのほうだと思う。それはとても難しいことだからね。

 でも、そうね、それはともかく、本来の自分というのがどういう意味であっても、あきらかに アレクサンダー・テクニークはそれを見つける一番いい方法のひとつだと思う。 本来の自分はどこかしら、とむこうのほうに探しに行くということではなくて、ここに戻ってくるという意味なら。そのためにアレクサンダー・テクニークは役立つと思う。 学び始めた頃は私はそうは思っていなかったのよ。実は、アレクサンダー・テクニークを学ぶことにとってもし自分の癖が取り去られてしまったら、個性というものはなくなってしまうのではないかと、少し心配だったくらいなの。

 ー私もそれは心配していました。

 退屈な機械になってしまうんじゃないかってね。心配よね。私たちは自分たちの「個性」にとても執着しているからね。でも学うちにわかったことは、なんといったらいいか、癖が取り去られたら、もっとはっきりと力強くその人が現われてくるということだった。それを本来の自己と言っていいと思う。よけいなものを取り去るにつれて、そこにもっとはっきりとした「その人」が現われてくるのよね。

 ー今日はおもしろいお話をたくさん聞かせてくださってありがとうございました。私何か聞き忘れたことはなかったかしら?

 ほかの人たちも、何か私に聞いておきたいことない? 今私はあなた達みんなに、私が聞かれたのと全く同じ質問をしたい気持ちよ(笑)。でもこんなふうに質問されるのは、いい気分ではあるわよね、何か特別な人になった気分で。そして私は何でも言いたいことが言えるんだからね。普通の対話だと、「私はこう思うんだけど、あなたはどう?」と聞いたり、あるいはこちらが聞かなくても、「何ばかなこと言ってるの?」と相手に言われたり、普通はそんなふうに反応しあうでしょ(笑)。

Share Button

An Interview with Lucia Walker May/8/2003 in Tokyo: Introduction

ルシア・ウォーカーさんと。photo by Tomoko UeharaI met Lucia for the first time in June 1999, in the last year of my teachers training. She visited our training course in Japan and taught for 3 weeks as a guest teacher. Before her visit, people had talked about her, saying that her parents were also great teachers who is learnt directly from F. M. Alexander (the founder of the AT).

My first impression of her was very ordinary person. She didn’t seem special -she almost disappeared among students. But in 3 weeks, I found out that she always has a clear intention when teaching, and communicated it to the student just as much as each student needed at certain moment. And she didn’t turn the technique into something special but as the tool we can use.

As well as being an Alexander Technique teacher, she is a dancer and a dance teacher well-experienced in contact improvisation. Using such experience, she teaches the Alexander Technique in a practical way helping us learn how to be aware of oneself/world moment by moment, and how that is related to movements.

I am grateful that she’s been coming to Japan almost every year since her first visit. This year I asked her to come to our class, and also do an interview with me. The interview was done in a friendly atmosphere at a neighboring park, sitting round a simple wooden table.


Part1

“it’s curious when people talk about it, when they say, ‘But you approach the whole thing through the body’ – because of course, in all our learning, we get drummed into us that it’s thinking that counts. So is Alexander’s doorway body or thought? “

Part2

“I certainly don’t think it’s the only way to teach, or even the best way of teaching. It seems to be the one I do.”

Part3

“I was a little worried that if I took away my habits, I would have no personality left. But what I discovered is that actually, as you take stuff away, you get a clearer and stronger ‘somebody’ appearing.”

Share Button

An Interview with Lucia Walker: Part1

– What was the reason or motivation or expectation when you started learning AT?

I’m just trying to remember…but I think my main reason or motivation was in wanting to move more freely and more accurately. I was getting interested in dance at about the same time. I was taught a form of dance finally, that was also looking at ‘good use’, and releasing into movement instead of making a lot of effort. And then there was also Tai Chi. So that was at slightly less mechanical and more energetic level, I was learning Tai Chi. For some reason I remember coming out with the feeling in a very different state — much lighter and fuller and more powerful. I knew about AT but not that much, I suddenly understood what maybe it was aiming for. I thought, “Oh, if it’s something like this, then I’m very interested.. if I could reach this place more easily”.

There was also that before I got involved in movement and was wondering about training as a teacher in AT, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do but I was always interested in education. Then I started doing a teacher training for children, and it wasn’t quite what I wanted to do. So there’s something about learning that was always interesting to me. And it seemed to be a very interesting approach to learn.

– Has the reason changed as you keep learning?

Yes and no. I think how I would describe the reason has changed a bit. I think it is probably the same reason. I often talked about in teaching about ‘how to be a human being’ , where those things that are really precious but somehow really difficult for us. So at another level, how really to be a whole person and fulfill my purpose in life…well, getting a little closer to understanding what that might be.

And I love the process in teaching of seeing people seem to get closer to expressing themselves more fully. That’s maybe what I love the most – it’s when I sense myself expressed in myself more fully, and see other people doing that.

– As a personal experience, have there been anything that you particularly felt you benefited from learning AT?

Yes, I did think it helped me learn how to dance, and helped me understand why I like to do that. And.. oh there’re lots of things.. I think it has helped me be more happy. But it’s quite hard to tell, because over time you don’t know what would have been there without. But the principles really give me a way to stay interested in life and also in something about.. I suppose it’s sensory pleasures – pleasure in whatever happens.

-You’ve been doing something other than AT as well, for example dancing. So I am curious to hear about the relationship between those other things and AT, for you. Perhaps it’s more psychological in nature, or not..

There’re quite a few other things that I do as well as AT.

-Is it like you needed those other things because AT itself didn’t offer what you wanted enough?

I’m not sure about the answer to that, but yes in a way.. but I was never expecting AT to.. Well, no, I don’t think it’s that it wasn’t enough. It’s that it helped me be more interested and available to other studies and interests.

And with dance and contact improvisation, improvisation particularly, they were supporting each other. I can’t even imagine learning one without the other.

Then at personal level, what’s helped me a lot has been Chinese medicine, specifically ‘Five Elements Acupuncture’ – it’s a particular form of acupuncture. I’ve been curious about how that gave me or helped me so much in the way that AT obviously hadn’t. In another way I’ve also always found it a little frustrating with that, because it’s a healing practice, it’s an intervention — you have to have someone do something to you. And it did make me realize how much I valued AT being something that, even though you learn in interaction, you can find entirely for yourself.

It was interesting because near the beginning of having treatments in that, the person treating me knew a bit about AT and said even the energy has its habits running in meridians, and maybe for some reason it has got into those habits and it needs support. And I felt that.. yes, the treatment I had in specifically the relationship with the practitioner that I had really gave me something back or new or.. something else.

And then the other thing both personally and for teaching, I think what’s given me one of the biggest support (but also AT gave me great support) in learning and practicing that, is what’s sometimes called NVC, Non Violent Communication. That’s the model and it’s very much about present moment. So both in terms of communication and resolving difference, but also mainly connecting to people and also connecting in yourself, it has kind of been a really great addition to me for AT. You become extremely aware of habits of language and communication.

– So the model is about the wordings and things like that?

Well, partly it’s about wordings.. But as I’ve studied it more and practiced it more, I realize that although it is about the language, what constitutes violent language which in the model is basically judgment and labels. Even good judgment – anything that fixes somebody is violence in our language. But actually it’s more about attitude, what you are doing in yourself, and what your intention is in speaking or communicating. As I’ve gone on, I’ve realized that. And that has made it a bit easier. Because it’s very hard to change some of the word patterns. But in fact if you change, if you really see what’s behind them, it changes what happens.

And yes, I’ll add in, with the dance thing, I have been teaching and continuing to teach and perform, and that’s been a help.

With both acupuncture and NVC, it has occurred to me early on in my time with them, whether that would be something I wanted to do professionally – train to do and then do that. And in both cases which I found quite exciting, I thought, “No, it isn’t – these things I can’t imagine my life without, but the thing I really want to do as my work or that what I have to do, is AT” – well, at the moment.

– (everyone) Why?

Partly because it’s what I’ve learned, and I know. Partly because it has these elements of teaching, and people learning and me learning as a continuous process. So does NVC. It has touch and physical communication in it which goes underneath language and thinking, in a way that’s really precious to me. I think I discovered I communicate things that way, that I hardly know what they are but I do know what they are. And in that way it’s very practical. I don’t only mean in everyday-life practical, but I mean it’s very physical. There’s that difficulty with language, when people say ‘physical’, they think, “Ok, then it’s not emotional, it’s not mental, it’s not spiritual”. I suppose (and that’s part of my general beliefs) that what the physical does, what we can do, is refine the physical so that it’s more capable of expressing all the other layers of the person. So It’s not about separating, because they’re not separable. But if they’re more clear or more clean or more something, then all this, the juicy stuff, can get through.(laugh)

– I myself am interested in that, I think it’s precious that AT has this ‘physical’ aspect to the approach. But that approach doesn’t only influence the physical aspect — The influence goes over to the psychological, or spiritual or other levels (because those are undividable). I’m very interested in the potential of what AT can do. I’d like to know more how that works.

Maybe just to finish the other question about why do I want to do what’s called AT; it’s because it’s based on the idea of unity of a whole person and observation of what is happening now, rather than analysis of something that happened before or.. anything else. It’s main principle is about “What are you doing now that you could change if you wanted to”. I really enjoy that — practicing that teaching. And because it also has questions about language and communication that interest me.

About the other, the ‘physical’ thing; I mean I’m always curious when people say “Oh, yes”. Well, one of my difficulties with Alexander profession is that it’s been so resistant to connecting to any others. Because it says, in England especially, I think it’s done a damage by that. “We’re not going to go to the alternative / complementary medicine fair — we’re not a medicine, we’re not a healing.”, “No, we are not going to go into universities and schools because we can’t do creditations and exams. We are different”.

So it does have, and that’s why I love it, this way where it doesn’t fit with other things. But I think it’s a pity not to recognize common ground. And that’s becoming more and more necessary. So some people prefer to be recognized in-with body workers — what’s called “body workers”. I don’t like the term, but of course people working with the body are also very interested in whole parts — they are not just interested in the body. Almost nothing is [interested just in the body]. Some people have a more mechanical…like western medicine is somewhat more mechanical in terms of intervention and fixing, and that’s why Alexander was always going, “We need to be more indirect”. But many other therapies work indirectly. So I think it’s a pity to separate at that kind of social and recognition level.

But at another way, it is different.

But yes, it’s curious when people talk about it, when they say, “But you approach the whole thing through the body” – because of course in all our learning we get drummed into us that it’s thinking that counts. So is it? Is that even … is Alexander’s doorway body or thought?

Possibly slightly different styles of teaching emphasize one more than another. And some people talk about it in a way…I think Marjory Barlow used to talk a lot about the nervous system, which is of course quite a bridge between brain, thinking and body. I often talk about what Alexander says about the “nature of human reaction”. I like words like that because reaction happens at all of those levels, and you can’t say that’s just physical or emotional.

Share Button

An Interview with Lucia Walker: Part2

– So even among the Alexander teachers, there seem to be different entrances for each style of teaching. In case of you, what in your style of teaching is the entrance? What style of teaching do you like or prefer?

Well, I don’t know. I know different occasions when I really admire certain teachers and certain ways of teaching. And when I admire (or envy even) different people’s teaching, I like to look at what’s going on then and whether that’s something I aspire to (so I want to learn and take for myself) or whether it’s just enjoyment of seeing someone doing something really well their way. And it varies. I do often take on and learn from other people different ways.

But then I am noticing I have a way of my own, which is what I do, so I must like that or find it works for what I think I’m doing. But I certainly don’t think it’s the only way to teach, or even the best way of teaching. It seems to be the one I do.

– So what is it that you find yourself doing

It depends on the situations obviously. But a sort of mixture of things. Maybe that’s quite important, the mixture. Whether it’s groups or individuals — trying to make opportunities that we can become more conscious of our reactions. And those opportunities vary. For me, I value varying them, so it’s not always everyday activity or performance activity. Sometimes it’s a totally new activity that I suggested, or something useless, you know, different things. Or just what’s happening now, the improvisational thing.

Then in relation to the touch and the hands-on, I’m in constant research about exactly what’s going on with that (laugh). Even that varies from time to time with different people. And I don’t quite know, but something seems to provide an opportunity for people to know something differently and even DO something differently, so that, that possibility becomes open. Something about that, I think.

And often people talk in lessons about feeling more ‘peaceful’ or more ‘calm’. For me that’s interesting because a while ago I used to think, “Oh, but that’s a bit boring to be peaceful or calm”(laugh). Mostly people like it, but I wasn’t sure that I did. But Alexander liked that thing — he talked about this thing, that you can’t really learn anything, and you can’t really experience. I think he says something like “unless you have that calm and collected condition where someone’s reasoning processes are operating”. And I think that’s true, actually. If everything is overexcited, it’s very hard for even ideas coming in. There seems to be something about touch that very naturally helps have that effect. Also something I think about is whatever the teacher is maintaining or modeling has that effect — people begin to resonate to that. So if you’re in that whatever is called more calm or more balanced state, then people begin to get it. And they like it – it’s more comfortable. It does seem that for me it’s easier to find that through touch than any other way.

– Has the way you teach been somewhat stayed the same since you started teaching, or has it gone through changes?

It’s gone through changes…as I’ve leaned. Some of the things I talked about — but also that funny balance of where confidence comes from.

– (everyone) Where does confidence come from?

Where does confidence come from? I don’t know. But in a certain way, the freer or more present you get, the more confident you get. But it’s quite hard to do that.

So I think at the beginning of teaching, I more worked within the form that I had learned – certainly in private lessons which was mostly chair-work and lying down and very simple movement activities, and sort of following that form, putting a few things in. In a way maybe it’s not that different now, but I notice I’m much more likely to start from what someone asks or says to me, than from my idea before about what maybe we should learn or do today. So I won’t always know. That’s in private lessons.

Then quite early on after I trained, I did start doing group things. That has changed a bit for me. At the beginning we were kind of told, “You must always say it’s just an introduction” -even if it’s ten lessons in a big group or whatever, “This is just an introduction”. Then I thought about the principles, and sharing what they were ,and that kind of thing. When I look back actually at my notes, from the first class I did like that. It’s very similar to what I do now, incredibly similar. But the difference is that I don’t think that’s good enough to say, “It’s just an introduction”. Even if you have one class and that’s all someone’s gonna go to, maybe they get interested and they want to learn more, but somehow the lesson must be right there. I’m not gonna tell people what they could learn if they studied this, which is sort of what we were told to do. It’s more like, “This is what you’re learning”. But actually, again, the form is very similar. The form in the group for me is to explain a little – explore a little usually with games, explore a little in practical activities. Certainly early on I didn’t do much hands-on in groups. And then I saw how powerful that was, so I would include that now.

– Some Alexander teachers seem to think that it’s impossible to learn anything in just one lesson, or having so many students in a group. But does that mean you don’t think that way?

In a way not. I was talking to another teacher who said that when people start she says they must come for two lessons a week (or is it three…two or three), and if they can’t afford that or can’t make the time, then they wait till they can. And they must do that for quite a few weeks. I was a bit shocked. I thought if somebody says to me, “Can I come for two lessons to try?”, I go “Yes.” and I expect them to learn something in two lessons.

So I feel a bit between-the-two. I do understand that other one. Because I think in a way that’s what is a bit different about AT. It is an ongoing work, it’s not something where you go, “Ok, now I understand it” — it’s like forever to make those changes and bring things. So a bit of both, really. I still think it’s worth it. It’s worth opening that possibility. But that just seems to be what I do. I don’t know what’s better.

Sometimes I do feel concerned when I think of how much I feel I have to learn about myself. I’ve studied this in teacher-training for three years and taught it for sixteen or whatever. I think, “Well, if I can’t learn it by now, how’s somebody who comes four times got any hope of learning anything…?” But I see people able to. Maybe they’re quicker, or it’s a different thing they want, or something. People do learn things.

There’s one summer course I work on, which is hard for me because I see 28 singers in a day in groups of seven, 10 minutes each. They’re watching each other in the groups of seven, I think, “This is useless” I get no realization. But a couple of people came back a year later, and they said, “Oh, what we did really helped me”. Or somebody gets inspired to look for more teaching.

– Have you ever thought of quitting teaching AT?

Quitting teaching?

– Yes … like, “This is it, I’m gonna quit”.

Not quite “This is it, I’m gonna quit”, because I would still use it. It seems to be such a great place for learning that I can’t really imagine that. But there certainly have been times when I thought, “No, this is not how I’m going to study and teach it within the form of AT – as I said, with thinking about learning those other things or when I see people doing things that I admire. But funnily enough, what I would miss would be the touch again — information that’s shared. Because I think some of the other things, you do get in other disciplines. But even other touch-disciplines – which are very interesting. I know some Alexander teachers go towards Cranio-Sacral Therapy and Cranial Osteopathy and different kinds of things – none of them have the same quality.

Share Button

An Interview with Lucia Walker: Part3

– What sort of reasons are there for your students to come to your lesson? In your case?

Quite a range. I see quite a few musicians and singers. People who are just not quite satisfied with their life and their health, and they want. Sometimes people even say they want something for which they are responsible as a way of improving that. So in a way, that feeling of “It’s not quite good enough”. Sometimes, various kinds of pains or back problems, or when people have tried many other things and nothing’s worked and this is the last chance. But I’m glad, and I have a bit of a theory that people attract what they’re interested in working. And then I think there’s some element of curiosity, really. People who are interested in being more conscious.

I think I told you that for two years now I’ve worked at a convent. Even before, some individuals came to me, then I see more people. They don’t really go out very much. And there it’s quite a mixture. They in a way are concerned about taking responsibility for their health, in a community people don’t want to be weak or sick. So I like that way, there’s a sort of realization that that’s something you can do, as well as contribute to your practice of whatever you do.

I also have some people where somebody says, “Oh, you should do AT”. There are different reasons.

I know my mother (= Elizabeth Walker, AT teacher) hates the word “posture” being associated with AT, but actually I’ve had a few people who come for that reason. To me it seems a very good reason. They know that how they are both feels and looks and everything else horrible, and they want to change it … I’ve had a couple of teenagers like that, and that’s really nice.

– Say somebody has told this person to go and get some AT lessons, so this person comes for a lesson without not really knowing what it’s about, or without wanting anything in particular — how do you find working with this kind of person?

Well they must want something, if they came. If it’s been a child, maybe the parent has rang me up. Then I always say, “Do they want to come?”, and they go, “Yes”. I’m not interested unless someone is choosing – whatever age. They have to want to. So it needs to be presented in the way they are interested to start with. But I have had people with whom it’s a bit vague why they come … I quite like that actually. (laugh) Because there’s an openness there. It’s almost like an understanding without quite realizing it, of this whole issue of discovering potential – taking away what’s interfering with the potential.

And usually if someone says, “Oh, my friend was saying how great it was, so I’ve come”, then I will say, “Well, what did she say that you thought ‘I want some of that’?” I mean, I’ll always try and find out what’s the thing that touched someone.

I mean, I’ll always try and find out what’s the thing that touched someone.

And often people come with one motivation and reason and it changes very quickly.

– How it changes for example?

Well, one person came to me whom I did know through dancing. She had a job but she did dance classes, and she came for some lessons. She thought it would help her dance. And I think she came every week after work. And after few weeks she said, “You know, I came for that reason, and I am getting that, but my main reason is very different from what I expected — it’s about taking time for myself”. She said, “I suddenly realized, you know, this is so strange for me, and that strangeness is really adding a new dimension to take an hour off, sort of ‘off’ from life, to pay attention to myself.”

– I guess there are pupils who’ve been taking lessons for a long time. What kind of people comes long time?

Well, I’ve been teaching since the beginning of 1988. So all that time would be long. I mean, I’ve got some people who have been having lessons probably that long, but not with me all the time – they were somewhere else before. A couple of musicians like that. And there is one woman who comes not that often now – an elderly woman. She’s now in her 70s. I think she must have been coming over ten years.

– Why does this person keep coming to you?

Shall I give you her phone number? (laugh)

Actually with her, it’s interesting. I’m not quite sure. I think she likes me (everyone laugh).

Just in a comfortable way.. I’m just thinking about the musician people… there is something in the people who keep coming where they’re interested in learning but where there is also just this assumption that you can get helped and supported by someone doing that with you. So there doesn’t have to be, and I quite like that, it takes off me. Sometimes maybe too much the sense that they’ve got to learn something. Actually, maybe not. Maybe it’s enough to come.

So when I said she likes me, it’s like maybe it’s enough to just have that reminder of something — something shift a little bit, to be supported, to be in a place where you remember, to have someone be kind to you and pay attention to you. Also I realize there’re something about that which helps me give up some control as a teacher. Also with younger people I had to do that. That I might never know their reasons for coming, is fine. If I give something, maybe it’s not mine to also have the ‘why’ or the every thing. And the other thing, of course, of people who’ve come a long time, is that they have their motivation.

Some people really make progress when they stop having lessons. They come back later and go, “I really needed to do that”. I did, when I stopped my training. That was when I began. That’s when I started working. (laugh) Before that, it was like, “Oh, someone will tell me something”. And when I came out, it was like, “Oh no, I’ve gotta do this all on my own”, which was hard but also a bit exciting.

I just wonder if I answered the reason for coming a long time. Yes, I think it’s support in their practice of the technique, practicing and learning it. And one other thing is just like all of us, who relatively go on for a long time. It’s that as the sensitivity and interest develops, it develops — you want more. I had one musician who thought she was only gonna come for about four lessons. She’s now been coming for about four years. And she comes quite often when she can — maybe a week or so.

– Do you think the Alexander principle goes with the idea that someone goes back to themselves?

Can you say a little bit more? Or different way of describing ‘goes back to themselves’? Their natural…?

– Yes, true self.

Right. What my mother calls ‘inherent’ – which means you come with it; coordination and good use. Um…yes and no.

The language that previously described it, certainly in my training…I don’t really believe it. I don’t think I’m trying to be like a child – that kind of naturalness. I’m interested in consciousness, even though the unconscious grace of different sorts is very wonderful, that’s not the one I’m after. And I don’t think it’s the one the people come for lessons are after. It’s the conscious one, which is really difficult to find.

But I mean, at certain level, whatever true self means, yes, I do think Alexander is one of the best ways I see for coming back to it… So we do say ‘coming back’ rather than ‘going back’. ‘Coming back’ means ‘here’ rather than ‘there’. I’m just suddenly realizing what the difference is for me. When you said ‘going back’, I was thinking where my true self is, but if it’s like ‘coming back’. So, yes, I do.

I don’t think I realized that at the beginning. In fact I was a little worried that if I took away my habits, I would have no personality left.

– I was worried, too.

Boring and mechanical… Yes, maybe that’s really a worry of youth. We’re very attached to our personalities (laugh). And what I discover is that actually…I don’t know what you call it.. something about people gets clearer and stronger. So I presume that’s the true self. It’s like as you take stuff away, you get a stronger and stronger somebody appearing.

– Lots of interesting things… thank you for telling us. Do I have other questions that I missed asking you? I wonder… I feel I have some more questions…

[To others] Or any of you? I want to ask all of you the same questions. Now I realize that’s what’s strange about an interview. (laugh) It’s kind of nice. I sort of feel quite special, you know (laugh) – to all these questions, I get a chance to say all the stuff. But it’s not like a conversation. Normally in a conversation, we can go, “I think this, and what about you?”. Or you go, “What rubbish!” — you know, you do something. (laugh)

Share Button

「リトル・ダンサー」

映画「リトル・ダンサー」(原題 “Billy Elliot” イギリス映画)を観ました。 炭坑ストの頃のイギリスの炭坑の町に住んでる、ダンスが好きな男の子ビリーのお話です。「ダンスをしたい」っていう、すごい単純な欲求っていうのに、どうやって忠実でいられるかっていうことが、気持ち良く描かれてはげまされました。同時に、ダンスをしたいなんて、ふつう男の子が(とくに炭坑の町では)あんまり思わないようなことを思っちゃうような人っていうのも、やっぱりそこの社会に必要なんだ、ってことを、映画は言ってる気がしました。ひとりの男の子が「踊りたい!」という純粋な夢を、まわりの人たちといろいろに関係を持ちながら少しづつ実現させていく。最初は、本人もまわりの人たちも、「無理だよ。男の子がダンスなんて。」と信じているんだけどね。で、ビリーが夢をだんだん実現させていく過程のなかで、ビリーの家族や友達など、まわりの人も少しづつ変わっていく。

 ビリーのクラスメートで、女装が好きで男の子が好きなゲイ(トランスジェンダー?)の男の子(マイケル)がいるんだけど、彼とビリーとのやりとりのなかで、ビリーが「ぼくはダンスが好きだからと言ってホモじゃないんだ」とかいいつつも、無言で、社会の多数派とはちがった生き方を求めているマイケルを励ましている(マイケルもビリーを応援してる)。励ましあうのに同じ夢を持っている必要はなくて、同じ考えを持ってる必要もなくて、一人ひとりが社会のなかで、その人のものでしかないその人の夢を、お互いと、社会とかかわりを持ちながら、それぞれが実現させようとすることによって、社会がほんの少しづつ変わっていく、そういう過程が大事にできたらいいな、と、そんなことについて私は考えました。

 私がアレクサンダー・テクニークが好きなのも、アレクサンダー・テクニークを使って、その人個人から出てくるものを大切にすることを学べて、なおかつ、それが個人のなかだけで完結しちゃうわけじゃない、というところです。自分から出てくるものを大切にすることと、まわりから来る刺激にどう応えていくか、ということが、切り離されることはできない、そういうことに気づけるところが好きです。社会とどう関わりながら、どう自分を生きていくか、ということにとても関わることだと思います。

Share Button