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An Evening With Thomas Hanna

By Danny Burke

Saturday night, during the AHSE Convention, is usually reserved for group entertainment. This year, the Education Committee decided to offer a session in floor work, guided by Thomas Hanna himself. AHSE attendees eagerly gathered to experience this special evening with Thomas. 

In preparation, John Loupos had the idea to excerpt multiple related movement patterns drawn from several of Thomas Hanna's CD series and to edit each excerpt down to its best features. The end result offered a unique, and at times challenging flow of movements, which gave partiipants some new perspectives on how we might experience Tom Hanna’s work.

John's remix of movement patterns from several of Tom's CD's was thematically focused on the hips and the hamstrings. As we all closed our eyes, and followed along to his guiding voice, it was easy to imagine Thomas, himself, standing in the room and sharing his wisdom with us. The remix lasted for an hour and fifteen minutes.  Many of us became intrigued with Tom’s descriptive language on what we might sense and how twe might feel as we progressed througn the movements. There was a brief interruption at one point, as a small creature - a mouse perhaps - appeared out of nowhere and touched Kathy Kerber (so she claimed), causing her to sit up and emit a mild shriek. Could this have been a sign of Tom’s presence, channeled through Kathy and a mouse? We all certainly felt his energy.

The selected movement patterns started off simple and easy, but segued into patterns that were became more complex and, at times, a little demanding. At the end, many of us felt we'd had quite a "work out" and had become a little tired.  For most of us, though, it was a "good" kind of tired.

As our session drew to a close, some of us looked to the front of the room as if to ask Tom a question... But, of course, he wasn’t there. It was fun to wonder what we would have asked, and even more fun to ponder what he might have answered, if he could.

Special thanks to John Loupos and the Education Committee, for coming up with such a novel idea for a wonderful Saturday night at the convention.