by Brooke Lieb
The Balance of Wellbeing, founded and run by ACAT Graduate and Juilliard Faculty Member Jane Kosminsky, has produced three videos on The Alexander Technique, which are now available to stream. One of the videos features ACAT Founder Debby Caplan, who will be celebrated at this year’s AGM Experiential Workshop presented by Joan Frost.
Lieb: What was your first Experience with the Technique?
Kosminsky: My first job at Juilliard was teaching dance in the then newly formed Drama Division. I noticed that my actors had better alignment than many of the dancers I knew! I asked my class (It was Group III.) how that could possibly be. Christine Baranski looked at me as if I were crazy and said, “ Alexander, of course!”
I had no idea what Alexander was, but Judy Liebowitz was on the faculty and at the end of that first year I asked her if she would give me a lesson.
In those years, Judy and I lived on the same block so I walked down the street to her house and up one flight to have my first lesson.
Judy put me on the table. At the end of that first lesson, I knew I had found my second career! What were those early lessons like? Bliss!
Lieb: What kind of feedback has you had from viewers about the Videos?
Kosminsky: We have gotten excellent feedback from viewers and reviewers about our videos. You can see some of that for yourselves on our website, however the feedback I have always enjoyed most has been nonverbal.
For example, the For Dancers video contains all the introductory material that I use for my dancers at Juilliard. The dancers in these videos are now all working in the profession, and two of them even have their own companies. I have watched them use the Technique to grow as technicians and as artists. There is no better feedback than this.
Lieb: What do you feel is Debby Caplan’s unique legacy within the Alexander Technique community?
Kosminsky: Debby has left us with unique and creative ways to work with back patients, but her legacy for teachers goes beyond this: Debby has left us with the gift of clarity.
Debby demanded that we be absolutely clear in our verbal instructions and that our “directions” and our hands be equally clear. She set the most extraordinary example. She was truly inspiring and I shall always be grateful to her.
JANE KOSMINSKY: "I have spent my life in the dance world. The Alexander Technique added well over a decade to my performing career. I trained at ACAT to give other dancers that same glorious advantage. I have been on the Juilliard faculty since 1971." For my complete bio, please visit www.balanceofwellbeing.com.