Location: Galiano Island, BC, Canada
Janet Adler is the founder of Circles of Four. She was introduced to movement as a manifestation of the unconscious by Marian Chace, to authentic movement becoming conscious by Mary Whitehouse, and to somatic epistemology by John Weir. She has explored authentic movement in the presence of a witness since 1970, discovering an inherent order within the development of mover consciousness, witness consciousness, and the relationship between the two. The thread of connection between and among these phenomena, the inner witness, has become the core of the continuous focus of her teaching practice – the Discipline of Authentic Movement.
A retreat teacher for Circles of Four, Janet currently writes, supervises students, lectures, and offers retreats to students in her studio on Retreat Cove on Galiano Island, British Columbia, in Canada. She is co-creator and director of Transitions in Dying and Grieving, a volunteer hospice program on the island.
As guest teacher and senior faculty, she has widely offered lectures, seminars, and retreats concerning the development of the Discipline of Authentic Movement both in private and public institutions, retreat centers, universities, and clinics in North America and abroad since 1970.
Janet’s teaching practice in Northern California (1986-2006) includes advanced study of theory and practice of the discipline, mentorship programs, and groups with extended focus on the relationship between the Discipline of Authentic Movement and the distinct realms of mystical text, mystical dance, kundalini and the process of Initiation, Jewish mysticism, Zen, and the practice of psychotherapy. These years also include producing and directing “Still Looking”, a film about her work at that time in the Discipline of Authentic Movement (1998) and her residential hospice work in Santa Rosa, California, as a volunteer care-giver (1988-1999) and then as an interfaith chaplain (1999-2005).
Her teaching practice in Northampton, Massachusetts (1971-1987) includes her work as founder and director of the Mary Starks Whitehouse Institute, the first school devoted to the study and practice of Authentic Movement. These years include teaching and consulting for Dance Gallery Performing Arts Company.
Janet’s experience as a board certified dance/movement therapist (1963-1973) includes work in differential diagnosis in the nursery at Gallaudet College in Washington, DC, work with psychotic young adults at Austin Riggs Center in Stockbridge MA, and work with autistic children at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh. Phenomenological research with the autistic children is documented in her film “Looking for Me” (1968).
Janet Adler holds a Doctorate in Mysticism from the Union Institute (1992). She is the author of Offering from the Conscious Body: The Discipline of Authentic Movement (2002). Published in Italian, German, Chinese, and French, it is currently being translated for publication into Russian. She is the author of Arching Backward: The Mystical Initiation of a Contemporary Woman (1995).
Her essays and interviews of her (1972-2004), some translated into other languages, are published in Patrizia Pallaro’s Authentic Movement: Essays by Mary Starks Whitehouse, Janet Adler, and Joan Chodorow: Volume One Edited by Patrizia Pallaro (1999) and Authentic Movement: Moving the Body, Moving the Self, Being Moved: A Collection of Essays: Volume Two Edited by Patrizia Pallaro (2007). Essays, interviews, and book reviews are also published in Parabola, A Moving Journal, Contact Quarterly, Journal for Authentic Movement and Somatic Inquiry, The American Journal of Dance Therapy and in Therapy In Motion Edited by Maureen Needham Costonis.