Dennis Leri

Introduction To the Primitives

By Dennis Leri

In this three-day advanced training for Feldenkrais practitioners, Dennis Leri introduces and makes applicable the notion of a primitive. You will learn how movement "primitives" are found at all levels of action and are the basis for human movement. Primitives can be used to guide us in knowing how to organize our actions, our thinking and our intentions. Their proper use can make Functional Integration lessons more meaningful and effective.

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By Dennis Leri

In this three-day advanced training for Feldenkrais practitioners, Dennis Leri introduces and makes applicable the notion of a primitive. You will learn how movement "primitives" are found at all levels of action and are the basis for human movement. Primitives can be used to guide us in knowing how to organize our actions, our thinking and our intentions. Their proper use can make Functional Integration lessons more meaningful and effective.

The workshop includes eight lectures, three Awareness Through Movement lessons, and six Functional Integration demonstrations.

Dennis explains and explores three categories of primitives:

1. The movement primitives, which are the basis for all human movement. You will learn how movement primitives are found at all levels of action. Dr. Feldenkrais said that his lessons were no better than common exercise if they did not clarify what he called "the primary image." Dennis explains how to use movement primitives to see, sense and know the primary image. Both the primitives and the primary image will help you to "see" and experience Function, Differentiation and Integration.

2. The conceptual primitives, which guide all effective thinking. You will learn how to use modes of "fluid thinking" to know how to proceed in Functional Integration, and how to know when a lesson is finished.

3. The categorical primitives which orient our intention toward the aesthetic, pragmatic and theoretical aspects of a Functional Integration lesson.

  • In an aesthetic lesson, how do we aim for elegance or beauty?
  • In a theoretical lesson, our intention is organized around creating and testing a hypothesis, what general principles can, or do our Functional Integration lessons demonstrate?
  • In a pragmatic lesson, how do we invent new means to act, bridge gaps, and see what others don't?
    Day One

  • Lecture: Introduction to the Primitives and the Primary Image
  • Awareness Through Movement Lesson: The Primary Image #1
  • Lecture: Further Explication Regarding the Primary Image and Questions
  • Functional Integration Demonstration: Clarifying the Primitives or How Each Person Organizes to be Oneself


  • Day Two

  • Lecture: When the Lines are long the Muscles are Long
  • Functional Integration: Demonstration, Guidance and Commentary
  • Functional Integration Demonstration: The Seventh Cervical and Imagery in Action
  • Lecture: The Concrete and the Abstract in the Feldenkrais Method
  • Functional Integration: Demonstration, Guidance and Commentary
  • Awareness Through Movement: The Primary Image with Tubes


  • Day Three

  • Lecture: Vibrant Viability versus Perfection
  • Awareness Through Movement: The Primary Image Expanded
  • Lecture: Clarifying the Primary Lines
  • Functional Integration Demonstration: The Foot to the Head
  • Lecture: The Non-linearity of Functional Integration
  • Functional Integration: Demonstration, Guidance and Commentary
  • Lecture: The Primary Lines of Force and Waiting
Dennis Leri graduated from the first U.S. Feldenkrais training program and worked closely with Dr. Feldenkrais from 1973 to 1984 in the U.S. and at the Feldenkrais Institute in Tel-Aviv, Israel. He directed numerous training programs and was widely regarded as an innovative and inspiring teacher.
 
Dennis complemented his teaching with the Neuro-Epistemology of Francisco Varela, Humberto Maturana and Heinz von Forester. He also had a long-time interest in Western philosophy, Buddhism and had deep experience in the martial arts. During his life, Dennis practiced the Method in various forms for more than 30 years.

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