The Thinking Body
Storefront for Somatic Practice
A favorite among dancers and dance educators, The Thinking Body (1937) by Mabel Elsworth Todd is an early mind-body text exploring the effect of psychological processes on movement. The book’s concrete and yet open-minded analysis of posture and behavior formed the foundation of experiential anatomy and Ideokinesis, heavily influenced Body-Mind Centering, and continues to inform Feldenkrais practice and Somatics generally.
Dr. Katerine Gagnon is a movement artist and scholar specializing in Francophone literature, psychoanalysis, and dance. In her research she explores the intersection of embodiment and imagination through poetry, literary criticism, and other creative work. She currently teaches in the Department of Romance Studies at Brandeis University.
After introducing the book, presenting on key passages, and touching on related texts, Gagnon will lead movement and discussion, breaking down and fleshing out some of Todd and colleague Kate Pierce Thayer’s signature illustrations. Comfortable clothing recommended!
It is not necessary that you read the book before attending although you are encouraged to bring impressions and points for discussion. If you do plan to read some, we recommend the original 1937 edition, which has recently been reprinted and includes all original illustrations.