For the past 30 years I have been developing a form of Improvised Movement Theatre that is unique in its teaching of performance as a means of communication between people. My philosophy is that performance is for everyone not just the highly skilled professionals. We all have our own stories, songs and dances to share with each other and it is this sharing that enriches us. A safe non-competitive environment is essential to allow our thoughts and feelings to manifest themselves in a theatrical setting. I try to instil in my workshops the confidence to open up and explore through movements, words or sounds, our own way of being in the performing space. This space becomes not something to fear, but a source of power that allows us to look at laugh at and enjoy ourselves and our relationship with other people.
I began dancing in New York City at the age of 19 as a physical therapy in to strengthen a weak right leg. I became so excited by the improvisation taught by Alwin Nikolais as part of his dance theatre curriculum that I left university to pursue my life as a dancer and choreographer. More and more my interest turned to improvisation as a possible source for self expression. I started to entertain the idea that a performances could be totally improvised.
In 1970 I move to San Francisco and began to develop my own style of teaching dance technique through improvisation as well as improvisation as a performing art itself. Combining with Terry Sendgraff and Ruth Zaporah we formed the BERKELEY DANCE THEATRE & GYMNASIUM where our explorations found us adding the spoken word to our physically based improvisations.
In 1982 I moved again. This time to Melbourne, Australia after falling in love with Lynden Nicholls an Australian dancer who had arrived in San Francisco to study trapeze dancing with my partner Terry. Lynden and I formed a living and working partnership. The working partnership is called "Theatre of the Ordinary". The past 20 years has seen a tremendous growth in my teaching. Actors, dancer, musicians and most important of all ordinary people pass through my classes learning improvisation and performance. Many stay on for 3 or 4 years developing their skills in spontaneous movement and language. Each person when they do leave has evolved their own unique style of self presentation in the performing arts.