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Newsletter #2 - October 1998



Upcoming Metings and Events
Article - Change the Balance of Ballet Class
Article - The Performing Arts Clinic
Review: Marja Mosk's Successful Visit
How to Advertise in this Newsletter
Contact AMANZ
Apologies, Thank yous, Credits


spacer Upcoming Events

Annual General Meeting
Arts psychologist, Helen Chambers will give a presentation at the AMANZ Annual General Meeting on 24 February 1999 at Symphony House, 69 Tory Street, Wellington.

Anyone is also welcome to attend the upcoming executive meeting on Monday 23 November, 7.30pm at Wakefield Medifit, Rintoul Street, Newtown, Wellington.

Talk for Medical Practitioners
Do you want to increase your understanding of treating the performing artist?
Physio/Flute Player Libby Eglinton and Physio/Dancer Susan Simpson will be speaking to all medical practitioners interested in Arts Medicine on Wednesday 18 November at 7.30 pm, Symphony House, 69 Tory Street, Wellington.

Access is through the Tory St entrance or side entrance just around the corner.

Sports Medicine NZ Annual Conference
Rotorua, Nov 13th-15th 1998

SMNZ's annual conference will be held at Rydges Hotel in Rotorua in November. Dawn Sanders and Dr Roz Wilson will be giving a brief presentation introducing AMANZ to the delegates, who will be largely made up of the country's sports doctors, physios, podiatrists, massage therapists and other allied health professionals. This is the largest group of sports, musculo-skeletal, rehabilitation therapists with whom AMANZ should become closely associated. Many members of AMANZ are also prominent members of SMNZ including Dawn Sanders (AMANZ president) who is the Wellington Branch President, Dr Roz Wilson on the SMNZ National Exec, Dr Ruth Highet, Dr Steve Targett and others.

The conference forum will enable us who will attend to promote AMANZ amongst this health professional group and of course increase our membership and nation-wide database of therapists.

Registration enquiries:
Conference Office
Centre for Continuing Education
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800, Christchurch
Ph: (03) 364 2534 Fax: (03) 364 2057, Email:

Hospital Visit
Hospital Audiences, Inc (mentioned in our August newsletter) is a very vibrant New York based organisation which among its activities includes approximately 2500 live performances each year in health and human service facilities.

Currently it runs a super- accessible OMNI*BUS, describes theatre for blind and visually impaired theatregoers, runs Peer Education, Youth Leadership and Violence Prevention programs, Art Workshops and Housing readiness for the homeless courses.

We are hoping for a visit to New Zealand by HAI in the near future. Watch this space. You can contact HAI at 220 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036, (212) 575 7676, Fax (212) 575 7669, TTY (212) 575 7673 or

Events Now Past

Learning Through the Arts
Not necessarily medicinal but certainly encouraging was this conference report received from The Arts Team who held the "Learning Through the Arts" conference in Wellington in July.

This conference brought together the four disciplines of Music, Visual Art, Dance and Drama, with a sprinkling of Literary Arts, and enabled those passionate about their discipline to mingle with those passionate about other disciplines.

These 140 people found that they had things in common, used similar language to talk about their discipline, used similar techniques, taught similar skills - they had lots to share.

Along with four keynote speakers, the Arts Curriculum Development Team, responsible for developing New Zealand's Arts curriculum for primary schools, presented at the conference, allowed 140 participants to ask questions, put forward their ideas, share their vision.

To quote from the conference report: "For three days the quality Hotel throbbed with workshops and speakers, teachers sucked miniature lollipops while discussing Gardner and Bresler. They sketched with their less favoured hand and considered using Van Gogh's painting with six-year-olds. They said hello to one another with their legs and elbows and an hour later created an arrogantly choreographed and danced ball scene from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. They considered the place of Maori performing arts in the wider frame of education and made flax flowers of delicate beauty and strength. They listened to the pitfalls created by National Curriculum procedures in England and interacted vigorously with New Zealand's Arts Curriculum Development team.

AMANZ wishes the Arts Team and teachers well with future activities and conferences. We can continue to learn and benefit from the ego-free professionalism pinpointed as a highlight of this conference.

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by Robert Ibell

The Anatomy Book For Musicians: A Guide to Understanding Performance Related Muscle Pain
by Susan L. Weiss

Susan Weiss says in a preface to this book: "The purpose of The Anatomy Book for Musicians" is to make the musician and teacher aware of the location of their muscles, what action the individual muscles perform and how they can become injured. This book should in no way substitute for a physician's diagnosis. It is hoped that studying this book will facilitate communication with physicians regarding musculoskeletal pain or discomfort."

There are 31 muscles/muscle groups identified in the text and for each muscle the following information is provided:

* Action
* Symptoms of Overuse or Trigger Points
* Causes
* Self-help tips

Other sections in the book include Muscle Names By Pain Location, Use of Ice Application and a short Glossary of anatomical and physiological terms. The illustrations by Jill Chittenden, who is a freelance medical illustrator, are very clear and simple to understand. Likewise, the author's text is uncluttered and comes from both a massage therapy background and experience as an amateur musician.

The Anatomy Book for Musicians costs US$18 (plus approximately US$7 for postage etc) and is available from:
Muscle Dynamics
PO Box 431
Glenview, IL 60025
Ph: (847) 729 3770, fax: (847) 729 3954

The Musician's Hand: A Clinical Guide
by Ian Winspur & Christopher Wynn Parry

"The Musician's Hand" is a practical clinical guide to the special considerations of which surgeons, doctors and therapists should be aware when planning and implementing treatment for patients who are musicians.

The authors (one a hand surgeon, the other a rheumatologist & rehabilitation) specialist at Devonshire Hospital, London) have brought together a list of contributors who offer a wide range of insights and perspectives in their fields, including:
* Musician's hand and arm pain
* Misuse & overuse
* Surgical evaluations & indications
* Specific conditions (eg. thoracic outlet syndrome, rotator cuff, hypermobility)
* Nerve compression syndrome
* The physiotherapist's contribution
* Unique surgical conditions
* Dystonia
* The musical interface & adjustments to it
* Performance psychology
* Instrument playing and severe hand deformity

This book is not cheap (£49.95 + £12.00 freight) but is extremely clear (it includes lots of photos), comprehensive and up-to-date. It was published in April 1998 by Martin Dunitz, London. It can be ordered from the publishers:

Martin Dunitz Ltd
The Livery House
7-9 Pratt St
London NW1 0AE
Tel: 0044-171-482 2202
Fax: 0044-171-267 0159

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by Dawn Sanders QSM

First presented: DANZing Conference, Wellington 2 September 1996; first published (in summary) by DANZ in Bulletin Vol 1 Issue 3 October 1995

The basic format of ballet classes today was laid down in 1820 and 1830 by Carlo Blasis in his books Elementary Treatise upon the Theory and Practice of the Art of Dancing and the Code of Terpsichore. This comprises the familiar pattern - barre work, ports de bras, adage, centre practice, petit allegro, grand allegro, reverence.

Since this time, there has developed greater analysis - of each movement, of each detail, of each physique. Dance medicine is following in the footsteps of sportspeople, who have for years been aiming to become faster, more efficient, to seemingly-endlessly break records, to maximise the potential of the body as safely as possible.

Through considerable study, it seems that the above may not be the most beneficial order of classwork. In particular, this involves taking into account making the best use of the average optimum period of oxygen uptake in dancers (whose cardiovascular fitness is not usually as high as some other elite athletic performers) and the time of greatest occurrence of injuries.

The harder dancers exercise, the more oxygen they require. There is, however, a point beyond which the use of oxygen will not increase, even if the intensity of exercise increases. This point at which oxygen consumption plateaus is called the Maximal Oxygen Consumption or VO2 max.

From the first ballet class a student attends, there is constant stopping to explain and correct technique, adjust posture, enhance artistry... In spite of this, the class does progress, and by the time the allegro section is eventually reached, the dancer tires rapidly.

Few elite performers can exercise at their V02 max for more than about five minutes.

In a study by Sanders (1992) of the injuries of thirty professional dance students, it was revealed that 67% of injuries were sustained during the last third of a typical one and a half to two hour dance class. Other studies endorse this.

Revision of class structure

Might then the implications of these studies indicate that the most energetic section of a ballet class be placed, instead of during the final twenty to thirty minutes of a class, in the middle third. For younger students times decrease proportionately with class duration.

To be more specific, should a ballet class structure now follow this format:

Barre work, centre practice, pirouettes, petit and grand allegro, ports de bras and adage.

This latter section of class could then be devoted to exercises and enchainements of a 'cool down' nature.

This follows a more progressional pattern of increasing intensity and energy expenditure through to the conclusion of allegro, and then a gradual easing off. The greater degree of energy available for steps of elevation would result in improved performance and safer execution. The same principles apply to contemporary classes.


Barre Work
1st third of class
Foundation of all classwork

Centre Practice
Barre work without a prop

2nd third
Body by now well centred
Petit Allegro - Gradually building momentum

Grand Allegro - Greatest energy exertion
Ports de Bras
'Calm down' time

Final third
Adage - Includes some stretching & `cool down'

© Dawn Sanders QSM 10.10.95

It is important to work towards achieving the best technique possible for each individual physique with its inevitable quirks and anomalies. As there is a constant striving for excellence, physically and emotionally in every field of endeavour, ballet must not let itself slip into the annals of antiquity. Teachers, students and dancers alike must be open to explore and develop new ideas and concepts to take dance on to the next stage.

A copy of the unedited version of this paper is available from the author. Please send $10 to the address below.

© Dawn Sanders QSM
Dance Anatomy Tutor
New Zealand School of Dance
P O Box 17 215
Ph: 04 476 8369
Fax: 04 476 8754
For DANZing Conference, Wellington, NZ, 2 September 1995

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The Performing Arts Clinic
From a presentation by Gillian Webb at the Inaugural General Meeting of AMANZ in February 1998.

Thankyou for the invitation to be part of the Launch of AMANZ - as one member of the Performing Arts Clinic, based in Auckland, I am hoping that our association is only just beginning.

The story of how the Performing Arts Clinic began starts with one of the three directors : Virginia Farnsworth is a professional musician and years ago sustained an injury so serious that it threatened her career. She like many artists, struggled to find a continuity of care which would promote her recovery back to playing classical guitar.

While overseas, she came into contact with the British Performing Arts Clinic and at last found the answers in their multi disciplinary approach to management.

There she worked with Feldenkrais Practitioners (movement retraining) and was inspired to train as a Feldenkrais Teacher. She has completed her training and she practices Feldenkrais within the Performing Arts Clinic in Mt Eden. She continues to teach and play her classical guitar professionally.

The other directors are Dr Jonathan Kuttner, a GP with a special interest in musculo skeletal pain who in his spare time plays the cello, flute and guitar.

I am the third director and sadly the least talented musically speaking! I am a manipulative physiotherapist who plays the saxophone as a hobby and when people hear me play they beg me not to give up my day job!

The association between the three directors began by a chance remark made by Virginia to Jonathan, who was a pupil of Virgina's, while she was teaching him guitar one day. She was complaining her arm was sore and Jonathan (being more interested in his guitar technique than her arm) suggested she see her GP about it.

Virginia commented that although she felt happy with her GP generally she felt that there was a lack of understanding in addressing her music related problems. What was needed, she felt, were practitioners who were in tune with those who made the music.

I was practicing physiotherapy in more or less the isolation that private medicine creates, receiving referrals for management of artists' problems from a number of sources and finding, sadly, that I didn't have all of the answers all of the time.

Virginia, who had heard of me through my work with the School of Music at Auckland University contacted me. And so, one day about three years ago, Jonathan, Virginia and I sat down and decided that a more coordinated approach might be more satisfying to us as well as being more effective for our patients, the artists.

We began by holding a group consultation which meant the three of us would sit in the room with the artist and hear the history of the problem, watch the artist perform if possible, do a physical examination and then work out a group management strategy.

This gave us the advantage of learning what the other practitioners had to offer. And I think that for me is the point I would like to make tonight. Before you are able to work in an integrated way with other practitioners you have to know what they can and can't do. That takes loads of time and talk. But it's great fun!

Nowadays we consult as individuals and refer to the others in the group. This has changed because we have grown in number, the demand has increased and the expense of bringing us all together at one time was too high.

The group has grown to involve an Alexander technique teacher, a massage therapist, a dietician, a podiatrist, a speech therapist with an interest in voice, a psychologist who has an interest in performance anxiety, and a medical specialist with expertise in pain management.

We use a video to tape the performance element of the assessment and circulate notes with the permission of the patient to outline the history and physical findings.

Members of the Performing Arts Clinic comment on what they see and read and offer services if they feel their area of expertise is useful.

The information is then relayed to the patient and various management strategies are discussed. At the end of the day it's the patient's decision as to how they want the process to run.

The whole process is made much simpler by the fact that we are all in the same practice (apart from the Alexander technique teacher) since this year.

Our services include not only medical related management but also the preventative elements: we present at seminars promoting self management of stress and physical fitness.

So, it was with great interest that we received the information regarding the AMANZ. We support the objectives tremendously. We want to do all we can to support such a Society.

As we found in a very local sense, there is much to be gained in coming together and integrating our areas of expertise. We can certainly recommend the harmony that comes with a well orchestrated piece of medical management.

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Marja Mosk Mensendieck Workshop
review by Robert Ibell

To report briefly on the Mensendieck workshop with Marja Mosk from Amsterdam:
Attendance was not large (eleven) but there was a reasonable cross-section of people: a number of NZ Symphony Orchestra musicians, one general practitioner, one singing teacher, and one member of the public.

It's a pity more people didn't attend - the workshop was excellent, with lots of audience participation. Marja started by analysing posture while standing, looking at common faults and simple ways to correct them.

She then worked with two musicians, a violist and a bassoonist, looking at the areas of match and mismatch between instrument design/playing technique and human physiology. She quickly isolated likely causes of physical problems the players had been experiencing and looked at how technique, instruments and other factors such as chairs could be adjusted to eliminate or minimise the problems.

Marja's great skill and her experience in working with musicians were obvious, as was her ability to communicate her ideas to others and to actively involve an audience. She held other classes at Victoria University and in Auckland and Christchurch and also gave individual lessons so more than just eleven New Zealanders did get the chance to work with her.

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Advertising in the AMANZ Newsletters
All types of advertising are welcome, members, non-members practitioners, performers - anyone with anything to advertise!

This newsletter has a current circulation of 150+ (and increasing ) and is, as a serial registered with the National Library, is also registered in Paris and available to publishers, book suppliers and libraries globally. We have affiliate organisations in the United States and Great Britain and now have our own web site which will contain the current newsletter so the potential for coverage is enormous!

Schedule of fees:
$30 for a quarter page
$50 for a half page*
$100 for a whole page*
Sign up for a year (four issues) and receive a 15% discount.
*Half and whole page advertisements can appear on left hand pages only in the print newsletter.

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AMANZ offers benefits to members, including discounted admission to some related events where possible, and as time goes on we hope to offer benefits in other areas too (eg. discounted insurance premiums etc). To join AMANZ complete our form

Contact AMANZ:
P O Box 17 215, Karori,
Wellington, New Zealand
Ph: 64 4 476 8369 Fax: 64 4 476 8754
Mobile 025 283 6016

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Erratum: Apologies to Deirdre Tarrant for an error in her biography in the last newsletter. Dance titles 'Jink with me' and 'One more than Two' were spelled incorrectly and paragraph three should read "the five professional dancers show the positive role of health ...".

Thank you
Many thanks to Raewyn Whyte for all her assistance with setting up our web site. Our address is:

Many thanks also to David Famularo, editor of ART NEWS NEW ZEALAND for his article on AMANZ on their website. The address is

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Disclaimer: The opinions and statements of invividuals in this newsletter do not neccessarily reflect views held by AMANZ. We would, however, be pleased to receive your comments/complaints should you wish to contact us.
Newsletter design: Sharon Callaghan
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