Anatomy Talks

Made for the Wesleyan College Dance Faculty Concert in 2000, Anatomy Talks is based on the work of Nancy Topf, pioneer of anatomical release technique (see CQ chapbook 3). Nancy had recently died in a plane crash, and, in the few years following, many of us gathered at Windhover where Nancy had held her summer intensives. I met Jen and Danica there and dreamed up this piece for us to perform while I was teaching release at Wesleyan CT one spring.

(Left to Right, Nancy Topf and Melinda B. at Windhover, 1991.)

ArtSpeak: Anatomy Talks features a variation on the Jungian sandbox. In it we had crumpled papers with dance instructions or mini-scores from the Topf/ideokinesis pedagogy. “The shoulder blades steer the arms in their sternal sockets.” We read them out and enacted them, holding onto our individual score in our dance interactions. This sandbox’s archetypes come to life, acting out their energies, then sink back into the unconscious, emerging again, ready for play.

Anatomy Talks from Melinda Buckwalter on Vimeo.

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