Figure and Ground, Somatic Learning in the Context of Emerging Abilities

with Carla Bottiglieri and Thomas Greil / minima somatica

Zagreb, April 5-7, 2024

Friday: Lecture at the Academy of Dramatic Art Zagreb, Department of Dance (17-19 h)

Saturday/ Sunday: experiential workshop ( 10-16 h)


Introductory Workshop Online February 17, 2024

Time: 16-19h


Somatic learning echoes the way children learn by exploring, experimenting, and discovering. This “organic learning” is at the center of somatic practice. It aims to open perceptual processes, turning the attention to sensorial flows and to the experience of motor responses. The development in the first year of life marks the steps to arrive to verticality, and to master gravity. Underlying infant development is a tonic function, as defined by French movement therapist and researcher Hubert Godard. This tonic function determines us as gravity sensitive creatures, and lays the ground for the emergence of gestures, expressions, and postural attitudes. It reflects the ability to respond, and to cope with change. Following the principles of Body-Mind Centering® and other somatic approaches, we will explore the development and the ground of tone as well as the emergence of gestures in movement, touch, and vocalization.



Friday, April 12, 17-19 LECTURE

The lecture aims to introduce somatic education and therapy as a means of creating environments for creation and learning, by exploring the variety of possibilities of existence and expression. We understand somatic learning as a continuous construction of our relationship and participation in the world. In this perspective it is possible to address the issues of diversity, to guide the learning of new cognitive and motor skills, using the sensitivity and intelligence of the body as a ground of mediation.



Saturday/ Sunday, April 13-14, 10-16 Experiential workshop

The workshop is aimed at people who are implicated in the sphere of education and care: movement artists, creators, dance teachers, therapists, educators, social-health workers, and somatic practitioners. It focuses on the application of somatic learning in adult education, also for people caring for others in fragile conditions, especially parents, and for those teaching movement to specific publics, and for anybody interested in a sensible approach to touch and movement. The workshop is open to everybody. No previous experience with BMC, Somatics or movement is necessary.



Location:          MO Vocarska, Vocarska cesta 71, Zagreb

Contribution:   90 eur / early bird (before 20/3) 80 eur

Registration:     Reservations are required, places are limited. You can sign up by sending an email to:




is an integrated approach to the study of movement based on an experiential model of psychophysical learning. In the BMC perspective, the experiential study of anatomy involves a systematic exploration of each function of the body – visceral, circulatory, respiratory, joint, muscular, endocrine, etc. – to link biological knowledge to personal experience. From a descriptive science, anatomy becomes the starting point for a specific cognitive activity that connects the abstract and “formal” map of the body to the inner map of sensations, emotions, and images. The practice of BMC involves the study of developmental movements, based on infant development from conception to walking. It allows to set perception in motion and free the imagery of gesture from the fixity of body representations, supporting new ways of being present and listening to self and others.



is an approach to body awareness and sensorimotor experience that engages the whole person. The invitation to “start from within” to refine listening to self and others urges a mode of attention, observation and learning that stimulates and enhances the body’s sensitive intelligence. The different somatic practices developed for accompanying processes of psychophysical awareness have in common the call for effortlessness, accessibility, and simplicity of the proposed movement experiences, so that each person can build a learning path according to his or her interests and needs. In this systemic vision, the subject is inseparable from the environment – physical, social, cultural – in which he/she is constituted and with which he/she builds, without ceasing, dynamic relationships and links of meaning. Somatic methods interact with many disciplinary fields: from the sphere of movement education in the artistic and sporting disciplines, to that of therapy and neuromotor rehabilitation, from psychophysical wellbeing to prevention in general.