Performing the Dreams of Your Body: Plays of Animation and Compassion

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Performing the Dreams of Your Body: Plays of Animation and Compassion


Author: Jill Hayes


This is a truly blessed work. The title of this book - Performing the Dreams of your Body: Plays of Animation and Compassion - gives us an indication of the depth of its content. This book shows us a glimpse of body as incarnation of soul impregnated with sprit. A 'suffering with' is presented, from which new community is co-created and compassion experienced by both witness and mover.

Jill said the book wrote itself; and my experience on reading it was that it read itself. The reading required no effort on my part. I feel grateful for that lightness. In the stream of ideas presented, fed by the poems and voices of participants, I experienced a gentle touch. My imagination was stimulated by each performance as it played out human conflicts in a symbolic process of expression and containment.
The heart of this book is the embodied human being. Life itself is mirrored in our journey through the pages. The deep connection which is made with body, nature and the rhythms of our earth is profoundly humbling. Arising out of this deep connection with that powerful, awesome place - earth, body, matter - come animation, spirit, love and compassion in the form of poems, creative reflections and inspired writing. My imagination was indeed stirred to roam freely in and out of the scenes co-created by Jill and the voices of her participants.

These performances are enthralling. The framework Jill uses to capture their communication within community speaks to the heart and soul within me. I do feel moved to move! We are designed to move and it is in the body, spontaneously moving with imagination, feeling and community, that the direct experience of the self, and of life itself, can be profoundly felt.

There is a suggestion that the heightened awareness of the perceptual and expressive body is also a tool in the verbal therapeutic relationship. It is made clear towards the end of the book that transpersonal dance movement can be usefully employed in the continuing professional development of counsellors and psychotherapists, which I can fully endorse since I engage with this in my own practice.

I sincerely recommend this book to those involved in dance movement therapy, visual art, dance and spiritual practices of any kind. It is a gem to treasure. I hope it will be read by practitioner, client and trainer both present and future. It will surely develop a depth of understanding of the processes involved when embodiment becomes the seed and flower of that which is heartfelt.

Professor Helen Payne University of Northampton


  • Pages: 182
  • Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 16 mm
  • Weight: 0.350 kg