Nancy Topf CQ Chapbook 3 on Release Technique

In May2012, I cocreated a chapbook for Contact Quarterly including excerpts from Nancy Topf’s unpublished manuscript The Anatomy of Center, and writings by Marsha Paludan and Barbara Clarke who were both instrumental in the development of Release Technique. My collaborators were Jen Harmon, co-editor; Kari Lindstrom, photos and images, both of whom are my colleagues in the Topf work; and Julia Handschuh, designer. You can get a copy of the chapbook here and read an article that I wrote for it here.
There were some astonishments in making this piece. One thing that begins to crystallize viathe manuscript’s structure is Nancy’s view of the body’s center as a central point rather than a center line or axis (though we worked with that concept in class, too). Another is that the four of these pioneers all have suffered difficult physical journeys: AIDS, a plane crash, car accident, stroke. So sad not to have all four vibrant and available to continue their work. The Marilyn Monroe concoction in the chapbook was based on Nancy’s obsession with Monroe’s work with Barbara Clark. When I hit on the idea of the psoas character being Marilyn, I swear I could feel Nancy laughing that hearty psoas laugh. 🙂

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