FOR ROBIN’S BOOK ON THE DART PROCEDURES SEE MENU
Instruction in the Dart Procedures is given individually and in groups. Please contact Robin for details. The Dart Procedures are an evolving sequence of carefully executed “postures” and movements that Professor Dart developed after having had lessons in the Alexander Technique in 1943.
He described them in a series of articles (the Dart papers) addressed to his medical colleagues written in the late 1940s.
Background: the re-discovery of the Procedures
The 3 articles (the Dart papers), and the procedures contained within them, lay undetected until an Alexander Technique teacher, Professor Alex Murray of the Michigan State University USA, re-discovered them in 1967. Alex Murray complied a document to outline and formally organise (with illustrations by Pam Hartman), the sequence of procedures Dart had described. Murray later went on to publish a more expanded version contained in a book Skill and Poise (1996) with illustrations by Delia Hardy.
Dart’s Lecture to The Society of Teachers of the F.M. Alexander Technique
In March 1970 Dart gave the annual lecture to the Society of Teachers of the F.M. Alexander Technique which he entitled “An Anatomists Tribute to F.M. Alexander”. Dart’s lecture contained references to the 3 articles he had written and drew attention to the significance of the evolution of the nervous system and especially to the 12 cranial nerves. He also referred to procedures he had developed which assist any interested person in the development of poise and equilibrium (“How any intelligent individual can study his or her own self”). This lecture was later published (in Skill and Poise) and became in effect the 4th article or paper.
My interest stems from 1970
I learnt the Dart Procedures originally from Walter Carrington during 1970-71 and, subsequent to my graduation from his training school (in 1971) I continued to explore them both on my own and with a small group of like-minded friends who were also Alexander Teachers including Don & Carmen Burton (now Tarnowski) and Jean Clark.
As of today (2017) I have been teaching the Dart Procedures for over 40 years and have presented numerous workshops to Alexander Teachers and others in various European countries. My book on the Dart Procedures ‘The Evolution of Movement’ is now published and can be obtained from me. See Menu item Evolution of Movement.
Who might be interested to explore the Dart Procedures?
Any person interested to improve their body awareness, their co-ordination, their poise and freedom of movement might be interested to explore the Dart Procedures. This may include movement professionals, actors, dancers, musicians, gymnasts, athletes, physiotherapists, and other health professionals, but you do not need to have any professional interest in movement to benefit from these procedures.
Features of the Dart Procedures
The procedures are both practical and psycho-physical, and they are also concerned with an evolutionary ancestral perspective.
Ancestral evolutionary perspective is concerned with the evolution of movement from invertebrates to vertebrates to mammals and eventually to human movement.
Practical considerations involve the considerations of an evolutionary series of postural attitudes and carefully executed movements based upon the principle of “temporary fixation” (splinting) of body weight-bearing points. The series ranges from attitudes of complete safety (there is nowhere to fall to), to utter precariousness (there is everywhere to fall to).
Principles: As well as the basic principle of temporary fixation Dart also incorporates a principle of temporary eliding. In this way, the procedures explore not only the limits of the range of movement and balance from each of the postural attitudes but also explore the full freedom of visual range and of respiration.
Additional aspects: Dart highlighted the double spiral arrangement of voluntary musculature in his first paper (1946). This basic insight informed his later inventions of the Procedures. In his 1970 lecture and elsewhere Dart also highlighted the significance of certain nerve structures in both the evolution of movement and the development of the attainment of poise (e.g. the 5th cranial nerve -the trigeminal- and the medial longitudinal bundle). By studying Dart we learn not only about the evolution of movement but also about many significant aspects of human anatomy, physiology, and ancestry that might otherwise pass us by.
Workshops in the Dart Procedures
In April 2012 I ran the world first one-week workshop in Turkey using the Dart Procedures. Our experiences in Turkey led us to offer another one-week course at the same venue on the Mediterranean coast in June 2013. In 2014 and 2015 I gave seminars on the Dart Procedures in Bournemouth, UK. In 2016 I gave weekend workshops on the Dart Procedures in Sweden, Cheshire UK, Bangalore, India & Breschia, Italy. We ran our annual one-week workshop in Turkey in the summer of 2016 and again in 2017. We wereTurkey in 2018 at a splendid new location and we will return there this year.