When I Open My Eyes – dance health imagination

Author: Miranda Tufnell
Publisher: Dance books (2016)

Softcover: 240 pages
Language: English
ISBN13: 978-1-852-73177-9

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Following two celebrated handbooks on creative practice, Body, Space, Image: notes towards improvisation and performance and A Widening Field: journeys in body and imagination, written in collaboration with Chris Crickmay, Miranda Tufnell now takes us into the field of dance and health. For fourteen years she worked in a GP surgery in rural Cumbria. The book opens with a moving account of an arts project that she and her collaborators ran for people with long term health conditions. Miranda Tufnell is both a dance artist and a body therapist and this gives the book its particular flavour.

This is a book about the body and movement, about imagination and health. It is a gathering of many stories, voices and activities from artists, patients and health practitioners. The arts have long played a role in medicine and there is a substantial body of evidence of the potency of arts practice in strengthening a person’s resources and capacity for well being.

While the work described here is sourced in the body and movement, it is not only written for people with a dance background. Being able to listen creatively to the body strengthens our body intelligence and ability to look after ourselves effectively. Practitioners from many backgrounds come into this field and will find something of interest. This book sets out to inspire rather than to teach, to offer windows into practice, and to convey something of what it is like to work in this field.