The Vault

Sydney 1994

The Meaning of Change

Dr David Garlick, Congress Director.
It was appropriate for an International Alexander Congress to be held in Australia since it was the country of birth of F.M. Alexander. 1994 was an appropriate year since it commemorated the 125th anniversary of Alexander's birth and the 100th anniversary of his commencing to teach his Technique. Sydney was appropriate as the host city, since Alexander taught in Sydney at the turn of the century and departed from Sydney to pioneer his new Technique in London. The Sydney Congress drew over 200 registrants from 11 countries. As with the previous three congresses, it was characterised by an atmosphere of goodwill, good humour and good communication in practical as well as theoretical matters. The Congresses aim to be centripetal; they aim to draw together some of the diverse strands that exist in the Alexander world so that the fabric of the Alexander community can be strengthened and the colours of its diversities can be seen to be part of a spectrum. The Alexander Technique is essentially practical, the transmission from one person to another of sensorimotor mechanisms contributing to an improved psycho-physical integration of an individual. This was a prominent feature of the Sydney Congress—senior guest teachers demonstrating their skills, Congress teachers working with small groups, volunteered workshops by teachers. Many of these were captured on videotape (which may still be ordered from us). Conceptual and historical aspects were presented by speakers at the opening and closing ceremonies and at the evening panel discussions and these have been recorded on audiotape. These aspects are now presented in printed form. We trust that this record will be of value both to those who were able, and those unable, to attend the Congress. There is much food for thought in these printed words just as there was much skill demonstrated in the practical transmission of the Alexander Technique at the Sydney Congress.