SYNOPSIS (The Story)
This film explores the fascinating, adventurous life of F M Alexander from his early beginnings in remote Tasmania, to living in London leading a life that brought contact with people from all walks of life.
F M Alexander’s breathing and voice problems that threatened his career were personal. His discoveries now help countless thousands of people, worldwide, who are grateful for knowledge of the Alexander Technique which has improved their health, and for many has enhanced their careers.
Alexander family convict origins, settling in North West Tasmania. Frederick Matthias Alexander born 1869 in Wynyard: schooling, Waratah- junior accountant, joined local amateur drama group.
1889, Melbourne, developing acting career interrupted by on stage voice and breathing problems, off stage no speaking problem.
sought advice, no relief so with help of mirrors Alexander observed himself reciting then normal speaking. Persistent practice and detailed observation brought reward – fine voice resonance, well controlled breathing.
In solving his problems Alexander developed detailed understanding of functional anatomy. We all need basic knowledge of our structure and how to successfully operate it. The DVD includes anatomy animation to illustrate how FM arrived at his answers.
1894 - 1904 On tour as actor and Elocution teacher: Tasmania, New Zealand, Melbourne again then Sydney. (1900-1904) While in Sydney he formed a Shakespearean company that performed in Sydney and travelled widely to country areas for many performances.
1904 – 1955 Life in London, teaching visits to America.
The film briefly recounts some of his teaching to prominent people from various walks of life; actors, doctors, politicians, educators etc. In 1931 Alexander started to train others to teach his methods. There is rare archival footage of Alexander himself giving a lesson, and a trainee from that first teacher training course, Erika Whittaker, recalling – fifty years later – her very clear memories of those years.
Present Times. Interviews with:
Medical Report; Professor Paul Little, Professor of Primary Care Research within Medicine, University of Southampton.
Scientific comment; Professor Lucy Brown, Clinical Professor in Neurology, Albert Einstein Medical Centre, New York.
General evaluation: Professor Galen Cranz, Professor of Architecture, University of California, Berkeley.
James Galway, flautist.
Choral Scholars, the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge.
Steven Shaw, the Shaw Swim Method, UK.
This Alexander DVD is
For the person who is curious about the Alexander Technique and wants to know more.
For the person who is already familiar with the Alexander Technique.
The film shows how Alexander made his discoveries which can deepen one’s understanding of mind-body unity.