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Beret Arcaya

Jed Diamond

Catherine Fleming

Steven Hallmark

Jacob Heringman

Penny O'Connor

Chyna Whyne

 

 

 

The Alexander Technique has deep roots in the performing arts. Some of the leading actors of the early 1900s were among Alexander's first pupils and George Bernard Shaw became one in 1935. Today the AT is part of the curriculum of major music and drama schools around the world.

These include the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), and the Arts Educational Schools (ArtsEd) in London, and the Julliard School of Dance Drama and Music in New York. All these have permanent AT teachers on their staff.

Some of the most distinguished performers find the AT so relevant that they go on to train as AT teachers themselves. Their blend of performance and AT experience enables them to bring a special understanding to both their performing and AT teaching skills.

Among those who combine professional work in the performing arts with Alexander Teaching are the following whom I happen to know. You can find out more about them through the links to their websites in the sidebar.

Beret Arcaya studied music at the Julliard School of Music in New York.  She then turned to acting and had a successful career in films and TV.   In 1968 she went back to singing and began to appear on concert platforms and on orchestra tours in Europe.  She discovered the AT in 1975 and was immediately enthused by the new avenues of self-discovery it opened.   She trained as an AT teacher under Judith Liebowitz and qualified in 1981.  She has an AT practice in New York and is also a well-known singing teacher.  I got to know Beret during her regular visits to the Constructive Teachning Centre during my AT training and while I have been working there as a teacher. This year she is returning to the concert platform with  Pergolesi‚Äôs Stabat Mater.

Jed Diamond is an Associate Professor and Head of Acting in the University of Tennessee (UT) Department of Theatre. He has a distinguished acting career and trained as an Alexander Teacher in New York. He is now bringing his experience to bear in shaping the acting curriculum in the UT. He believes strongly in the application of Alexandrian principles to the craft of acting. I got to know Jed during a post-graduate term he spent at the CTC.

Catherine Fleming is a recorder player with the Flautadors ensemble. Still a young group, they are building a worldwide reputation with their recordings and concert performances. I very much enjoyed one of their concerts in London's Queen Elizabeth Hall. Catherine trained as an Alexander Teacher in the Constructive Teaching Centre and has her AT practice in West London. She also teaches the AT in the music department in Eton college and gives lessons to musicians studying in the top London music colleges.

Steven Hallmark trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 1970-74. He started Alexander lessons in 1973 for a bad back and found the insights it provided became fundamental to his acting. He trained as an Alexander teacher at the CTC in 1980-83 and then worked in Norway and England. He moved to Sweden in 1989. He has worked with drama and music students throughout Scandinavia and in Belgium, Australia and the UK. He runs the Stockholm Alexander Teacher Training School.  He and I have been working together on research material dealing the head-neck relationship produced by Mikael Karlberg and his colleagues at the University of Lund.

Jacob Heringman is one of today's leading young lutenists and has played at major concert halls around the world. In addition to professional matters, his website provides fascinating information on the lute and lute-playing. He trained as an Alexander teacher at the Alexander Studio in London and has his AT practice in Yorkshire.

Penny O'Connor teaches the Alexander Technique to the BA and MA drama students at the Arts Educational School (ArtsEd) in West London. She has a broad background in theatre, as an actor, writer, and director; she has also taught drama and special needs in secondary schools. As I work with Penny's MA class every Friday afternoon, I can speak for her skill and empathy with her students. As well as her work with actors Penny also gives private Alexander lessons in London and the Greek island of Alonnisos.

Chyna Whyne is a singer, dancer and voice coach. To these, she adds the interesting speciality of teaching people to master the art of wearing (extremely) high heels. She trained as an Alexander teacher at the Constructive Teaching Centre where her high heels never bothered Walter Carrington - they posed the challenge of learning to use oneself in the best possible way in all circumstances. Chyna now shares her time between west London and Jamaica. As our Alexander training overlapped at the CTC, I can vouch for Chyna's AT skills as well as the splash of exotic glamour she brought to the school.