Two Dance Therapy Workshops

Led by Norma Canner & Penny Lewis

With Anne Brownell’s articulate narration, the viewer is given an intimate look at the work of two pioneers in expressive arts therapy – Norma Canner and Penny Lewis. After Anne recounts her personal therapy and training with Norma, we see a film of a multi-day workshop. Moving smoothly from bodily explorations with instruments, to movement, to art and then to improvisations, this experienced leader’s style is evident, as she helps individuals to explore and reveal themselves in creative and emotionally safe ways.

The second workshop was conducted by Penny Lewis, who tragically died shortly thereafter. Penny begins by suggesting that participants think about “what gets in the way” of emotional progress as they try to reach – and release – the aspirations of “the child within.” Penny begins with an art experience designed to illustrate defenses/resistances to growth. One participant’s art construction is then enacted by other group members, in an almost psychodramatic way, illustrating Penny’s way of melding arts modalities.

Both workshops were sensitively filmed by Anne’s filmmaker son, Ian Brownell. In her comments about the events, Anne Brownell noted two vital and important ethical issues that merit further discussion: “dual relationships”; and the clinical judgment needed when including individuals with fragile self-boundaries in group activities that might stimulate regression.

Commentary by Anne Brownell

Total Running Time: 1 hour, 16 minutes, 32 seconds



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