School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: November 2012
Gabrielle Roth - Obituary

As most of you will know, Gabrielle Roth died this last month. The spirit of what we learned with her continues to dance through Movement Medicine. All of us at the School of Movement Medicine send our best wishes to her husband, Robert, her son Jonathan, and all who grieve her passing.

Ya’Acov, Susannah and Roland.

We met Gabrielle Roth in 1988 and fell in love with her and her fierce articulation of how movement creates a space where we can experience the union of body and spirit. Her deep philosophy married with the passionate grace of her dance work and the simple congruency and coherence of her maps inspired us on every level. In 1989 we trained with her and became teachers of the 5 Rhythms, introducing it to many countries in Europe. Between 1996 and 2006 we ran the Moving Centre School, UK, representing Gabrielle and her work in Europe. The 5 Rhythms maps were central to our own inner work and understanding and our 18-year apprenticeship with Gabrielle was the cauldron in which our own work evolved.

Though our relationship was not without its challenges and shadows, we will always be grateful to Gabrielle, who was our central teacher for so many years. She saw the potential locked inside us and gave us the means to access it.

Ya’Acov: “I met the dance at a workshop with Gabrielle Roth in 1988. I was hiding out in the corner, wondering what on Earth had led me into a room where I was expected to spend the next three days dancing. I danced like a gnome, all hunched up and curled in on myself. I felt terribly cumbersome and self-conscious. Gabrielle, elegantly fluid and dressed in black, slowly seduced us into a way of listening to our bodies so that they could begin to find the dance inside. I was astonished how much energy there was in there when I was able to follow the invitation and place my focus on the physical sensation of the body moving and breathing. The difference between that state of listening to and following the body and the self-conscious patterns of thought that I was used to when dancing in a public space was quite shocking. My body had a dancer inside just dying to move!”

Susannah: ”Gabrielle’s words resonated all the way through me. I was thunderstruck. When Gabrielle started to speak, I started to cry. These were the words I’d been longing to hear. They were the words I would have said myself if I had known how to find them. They watered a desert inside me I hadn’t even known was there. And the dance! What bliss to be guided through so many aspects of allowing and letting go in connection with others. Gabrielle and her work held the door open for me to walk through into the rest of my life.”

From our book- 2009.


Susannah and Ya’Acov

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.