MF Herstory

Movement Fundamentals: Liberating Practices for Dance Artists | Movement in Life & Art is a training and experimental paradigm designed and refined by dance artist Jane Hawley over the past twenty-five years. The intent was to create a fundamental and moving paradigm, which trains dancers as artists and empowers people to love and feel gratitude for their bodies.

Independent Research

This body of work began while Hawley was teaching through the Unit One program at University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She continued the experiment while at Beloit College and through guest artist residencies and teaching at Interlochen Arts Academy; Leelanau Children’s Center; Dance Arts Academy of Traverse City; and the Northeast Michigan Human Services Agency.

In 1998, Hawley founded the nonprofit Black Earth Collaborative Arts Company and continued developing this dance training paradigm through the collaborative creation of evening length performance works with artists of diverse disciplines (painters, poets, musicians, architects, photographers, carpenters, teachers, midwives, and doctors), and while teaching at the DEPTH (Developing Educational Practices and Theories) Foundation of Northport, MI.

Luther College Collaboration

Hawley came to Luther College in Decorah, IA in the fall of 2000 and implemented the Movement Fundamentals (MF) paradigm and Contact Improvisation (CI) in the spring of 2001 with the support of Professor Bob Larson and the Theatre/Dance department. MF and CI at Luther College continued to evolve with the collaboration of colleagues Shannon Bierly (2003-2006), Amanda Hamp (2006-2013), Blake Nellis (2013-2015), and Andrea Vazquez-Aguirre (2015-2018). In the fall of 2013, the Theatre/Dance department combined with the Art department to become the Visual & Performing Arts Department, housing the dance program and Movement Fundamentals paradigm.

Research and Publications

Professor Hawley has presented the MF paradigm at the National Dance Education Organization (2002, 2010, 2015); American College Dance Association (2004, 2012, 2017, 2019); Motus Humanus: Laban Institute of Movement Analysis (2006); Universidad de Las Americas, Performática International Forum of Contemporary Dance and Movement Arts (2007, 2008, 2009, 2018); International Association for Dance, Medicine, and Science (2008); Connecticut College, Contact Improvisation Teacher’s Exchange (2010); Ghent University, “Composite Bodies and Posthuman Prototypes in Contemporary Performing Arts,” Belgium (2015); and NYU Tisch School of the Arts and Movement Research, “Fostering the Future” Higher Education Dance Curriculum Development Session (2014).

Hawley conducted MF residencies at the European Eco Arts Festival (2009); Birr Theatre Arts Centre, Ireland (2010); K-3 Zentrum de choreographia, Kampnagel, Hamburg, Germany (2010); Arizona State University (2012); Kansas State University (2014); University of Colorado, Boulder (2014); and Big Rig Dance Collective, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas (2016).

Dance Magazine featured Professor Hawley and the dance program of Luther College in a 2009 issue of Lifetime Learners, a supplement to Dance Magazine and Dance Teacher in “Radically Somatic” written by Nancy Wozny. In 2010, Hawley’s sabbatical consisted of a research performance intensive with renowned dance artist, Douglas Dunn, followed by further teaching of MF in Ireland and Germany.  Hawley’s second sabbatical in 2017-18 involved re-envisioning and re-vitalizing Black Earth Collaborative Arts with MF alumni and guests for authorization to conduct business in Minneapolis, MN. Alongside this endeavor and again with MF alumni and guests, Hawley initiated the Movement Fundamentals Institute for Cultivating | Thinking | Liberating | Self | Body | Artistry.