announcement header image  

Independent //

New Book / Critical Writing on "Authentic Movement"


by Eila Goldhahn (Routledge 2022)

ISBN 978-1-032-11952-6

This ground-breaking book advances the existing literature with an arts practice-led research monograph. It explores the history, practice and theory of socalled "Authentic Movement" which integrates the fields of dance, movement and psychotherapy. The book offers a solid grounding and guide and will be accessible to scholars and researchers in the arts and humanities.

Review by Patricia Pallaro:

With vivid descriptions, penetrating and clear language, Eila Goldhahn's outstanding body of work is at last readily accessible to the global audience of scholars and practitioners. It is a profoundly original undertaking, one that not only maps the history of the practice and the discipline, but also expands it through art as well as performative research.

Dr. Goldhahn's writing rhythm, sometimes syncopated, at other times fluidly poetic, makes reading her book a pleasure. She paints artistry as witnessing and object-making as dancing movement. Her installations bridge life, death, and ritual, reminding us how private and public spaces in Authentic Movement come to be—through shared experiences. Dance, imagination, interpretation, and inner witnessing take on deeper meaning and scope via her "camera-witnessing" technique.

During many years of Authentic Movement practice, I had never questioned the use of the word "authentic," even after having read her 2009 article in the AJDT. Certainly I could not have researched, dissected, stripped it of its current usage and meaning in the way Dr. Goldhahn has. Whether broadening the concept of authenticity, rejecting some of its preconceptions, or magisterially weaving it in and out of famed continental philosophers' contemplations, Dr. Goldhahn describes the essence of this practice and, perhaps, what Janet Adler in her later writings calls "direct" experience.

In her search for an ontologically adequate and methodologically correct term, Dr. Goldhahn merged the constant experience of opposites in Authentic Movement into one fluid expanse of possible relationships and connections she named MoverWitness (Goldhahn 2007, 2011 & 2022). The learning process of collaborative choreography, coupled with the use of digital devices, offers a novel, intense method of exploration for dancers, practitioners, supervising therapists, and artists, using curiosity, limits and boundaries, intertwining bodies, movements, actions, reactions, and non-judgmental language.

Furthermore, Dr. Goldhahn's relentless questioning and probing of intellectual boundaries gives us opportunities to peek, not only into our ever-present digital experience with an ethical eye, but also to confront our illusion of embodied presence and blurring of our digitally-transmitted experiences.

Her holistic merging of science, aesthetics, kinesthesia and proprioception uproots Cartesian dualism. This allows us becoming one with, and at the same time, micro-focusing on elements of the urban environments or natural habitats. At the end, Dr. Goldhahn invites us to explore MoverWitness for its ecological clarion call to stop the destruction of our world. She is devoted to communicating "the realization of the interconnectedness and dependencies of all ecologies" in her strong belief that "creative embodiment, empathy, and non-judgmental way to use language" in collaborative relationships will foster and shape a new world for all living creatures.

Patrizia Pallaro, Moving the Self Psychotherapy Center, Annapolis, MD, USA

This book is available as a paperback, E-book or hardcover book via the Routledge website.

Exhibitions, lectures and training courses via

Image title and copyright 2024: Eila Goldhahn dancing in front of digital eye in Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's installation Venice Bienale 2007. Copyright Stuart J Young 2024.





footer logo

SARA: Society for Artistic Research Announcement service

Interested in using our announcement service ? Go here