By Marianne Salza
Looking back at the times I would visit my mother when she worked with elementary-age multi-handicapped students makes me realize how beneficial integrating the Bartenieff Fundamentals into their education would be. Devising games adapted to their needs and abilities can help them explore their movement potential.
“My task…was to find ways of keeping alive the movement impulse…the root of all development of a thinking, feeling, acting human being,” said Irmgard Bartenieff, creator of the body-movement re-education.
The Fundamentals are designed to help individuals integrate kinetic feeling with emotional feeling and expression. Offering these personal, movement observations to guide and direct children with disabilities in a way that seems fun to them can widen their expressive movement vocabulary.
The techniques encourage people to develop sensitivity to their body practices by doing movement sequences that support and facilitate the incorporation of the physical and emotional experiences of the self.
Motivation is key — especially with children. Emphasizing strength, potential and uniqueness within the personality can bolster their self-acceptance and enthusiasm.