Beavers-Berland Workshops
Beavers-Berland Workshops

Course and Project Archive

An Ongoing Project; Making Available Descriptive Language and Documentation of Practices, Theory, Goals and Outcomes.  We are offering this as a research and documentation source for our students and anyone interested in building performance curriculum around mindfulness-awareness practices and view, somatic practice and technique, Viewpoints Practice and Theory.



These annual professional development workshops were designed to share new areas of training developed within the Naropa MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance Program.


2013  May 25-June 1

Developmental Technique™, Experiential Anatomy, Viewpoints Theory

and Practice and The Contemplative Context


2014  May 24-31

The Role of the Nervous System and Perception in the Creative Process and Building Performance Technique


2015  May 15-21

Investigating the Role of the Fluids in the Body and Their Relationship to Kinetic and Psycho-physical Transformation


2016  May 15-21

The Organs and Glands and Their Role in Movement and Psychophysical Transformation


2017  May 21-26

The Endocrine System and The Relationship of The Glands to Sensation, Expression and The Developmental Patterns


2018  May 13-18

The Mind of The Bones: Differentiating and Integrating the Axial and Appendicular Skeleton’ seeking Clarity of Form in Space, Deep Internal Support for Light, Effortless Precision and Articulation; Applying These Qualities to The Developmental Vocabulary and Viewpoints Improvisation Practices


2019  May 19-24

Theory and Practice of Developmental Technique™:  An in-depth study of the developmental movement patterns, the underlying reflexes, and their relationship to the anatomical systems with applications to creating original movement, choreography and physical dramaturgy.



Online Experiential Anatomy Workshop Series

With Erika Berland

One Session per Month for 10 months

Saturday Oct 1—Saturday June 18 

Noon-3:00 Pacific/1:00-4:00 Mountain/2:00-5:00 Central/3:00-6:00 Eastern


for Registration Information


Statement by Erika:

I am excited to be able to offer this series of monthly workshops over the period from Sept. 2022- June 2023 for a total of 10 workshops. Each workshop is three hours long and will be recorded for future use by participants. If you are unable to attend a particular workshop you will have access to the recording soon after the event.


You can register for the complete series or for individual workshops. Each workshop will offer a window into a particular body system and aspect of experiential anatomy with the focus on application of the anatomical structures into mind-body experiences through movement, visualization, and mindfulness/awareness principles. Individual workshops are $60. Or the full series can be purchased for a discount at $500. If you are in need of financial assistance, please contact Erika at


These workshops are designed as an introduction to accessing the major body systems based on the experiential anatomy of Body-Mind Centering® while also serving as a review and touch-in for those familiar with the basic material. Some resource materials will be available and each session will include discussion on integrating the material into one’s practice and research.


Here are brief descriptions of each workshop with more details to follow as each workshop comes up

*Erika will be available for an additional 1/2 hour after each 3hr session for questions and discussion* 


# 1  10/01/22  Anatomy of the Breath- pt.1

# 2  10/22/2022Anatomy of the Breath- pt. 2

This 2-part series refers to the experience and understanding of the role of external and internal breathing. We will cover the basic physiology as well as the breath as a primary somatic focus in accessing and re-patterning movement and presence.


#3  11/19/2022  Nervous System

Every change that occurs to the body-mind is registered and coordinated through some aspect of the nervous system. Exquisitely sensitive it organizes and works through all the other body systems to integrate the body-mind into a whole. We will focus on the basic organization of the N.S. with special attention to the “sensory-motor loop” as it supports a somatic, experiential approach.


#4  12/17/22  Endocrine System

The neuroendocrine or glandular system is the main chemical controlling system of the body working together in close harmony with the nervous system. Closely aligned through experiential research with the chakra’s or subtle body systems, we will explore the main glands through visualization, movement, and a special emphasis on sounding as a way to enliven the endocrine system.


#5  1/14/23  Skeletal System

Our skeletal system provides us with structural and psychophysical support, clarity in movement and along with the ligaments; precision and articulation. We will explore the bones through bone tracing, levering, compression/suspension and the major joints through counter-rotation.


# 6  2/18/23 Primary Tone and Related Reflexes

Our primary tone is developed in-utero and is the underlying basis and support for our movement throughout life. Early reflexes also play a role in the ease of the developmental patterns as they develop in the first year of life and set a baseline for complex movement.  Exploring these aspects of our development will lend ease to our study and practice of the muscles in our following workshop.  


#7  3/18/23  Muscle

The over 700 muscles of the body comprise an incredible tensile 3-dimensional grid both for support, movement of the bones through space and vitality, strength and power. A complex topic, we will touch on the basic functions and more efficient use of the muscles related to the previous workshop’s understanding of primary tone and basic reflexes.  


#8  4/15/23  Organs

While the organs carry on the functions of our basic survival, they also support our movement from the inside out, lending organic fullness, presence and a connection to our deep emotional core. We will explore the physical aspect of “core support” that the organs lend to our movement as well as the psychophysical connections of the organs for authenticity and genuine response.


# 9  5/13/23  The Fluids

The body fluids and channels reflect the qualities and rhythms inherent in the circulation of the earth’s fluids; the ocean, rivers and streams, eddies, pools and waterfalls. They are the circulatory system of the body, the ability to “go with the flow.” We will identify the different fluids and resonate with their qualities and rhythms through movement explorations.


#10  6/17/23  The Elemental Body

Our bodies and the body of the earth are interdependent and made out of the same materials and substances. As our bodies resonate with our natural world, we can experience a deeper sense of our own self-care as well as concern for the health of our planet in this crucial time. Having deepened our sense and experience of all the body systems, we will use this time to integrate our somatic experiences through connecting and reflecting on their relationship to the natural world.


Online Developmental Technique™


Wendell Beavers

Saturday Mornings @ 9:00 Pacific/10:00 Mountain/11:00 Central/12:00 Eastern

Beginning Saturday Oct. 1 through Dec. 17 (no class Oct. 22 & Nov. 26)

Classes are 1.25hrs

Drop-in or take as a series

Somatic Foundations- Naropa University 2004-2020

Differentiation and Integration of Mindfulness/Awareness Practice, 

Experiential Anatomy, Developmental Movement as Performance Technique

Core Curriculum, MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance

Four Semester Sequence

Somatic Foundations I: Developmental Movement and Experiential Anatomy

Somatic Foundations 1 is comprised of two components: Introduction to Developmental Movement vocabulary with reference to a range of movement sources and an introduction to Experiential Anatomy. Developmental Foundations serves as both a morning physical warm-up and technique class and as an introduction to developmental patterns, underlying reflexes and movement principles. Material introduced in the class is explored as movement/dance vocabulary and as a series of principles of investigation. Experiential Anatomy is the study of the major systems of the body with the goal of physical embodiment and specificity in the “language” of the body. In this component we will focus on the skeletal, respiratory and organ systems based on the research of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, somatic educator and the School of Body-Mind Centering®.

Somatic Foundations ModuleII 

This course is a continuation of the fall semester’s introduction to the body systems based on the pioneering work of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.  Through Experiential Anatomy we will review the Organ Systems, and begin a study of the Fluid, Endocrine, and Nervous systems.  Techniques taught to access these systems include anatomical imagery, movement, breath, sound, touch and improvisation.

The focus of this introductory course is to gain further specificity in the “language” of the body through embodiment and intellectual understanding. Students should also have a growing ability to articulate their individual strengths and weaknesses related to physical technique and movement expression.

This course also includes a physical technique class that applies the experiential anatomy material and developmental movement to movement and performance.

Somatic Foundations Module III

This course will focus on reviewing, integrating and the expanding the students growing knowledge of the somatic approach of Body-Mind Centering®. The classes will begin with a review of Developmental Movement and then a series of Somatic Labs. Classes will emphasize the identification of the different body systems in movement and performance while at the same time practicing an integration of the systems in the service of full embodiment for the performer. We will also emphasize application to performance through improvisation, voice, character and movement. 9 hours of Somatic Coaching for the Fall Production will also be included as part of the Fall curriculum. Mindfulness Practice sessions will also be a part of the students program this Fall.


Somatic Foundations Module IV  Somatic  Pedagogy and Thesis Support 

This course will focus on integrating the somatic view and techniques that have been introduced in the MFA program into each student’s greater thesis work, teaching and on-going research.  The course will also offer support and mentoring for developing a somatic pedagogy. Questions we will explore include: How do I make the somatic work “my own”? How can I apply somatics to the discipline and population that I would like to teach? What principles are common to a somatic approach to movement and theater training? How does the somatic training I have received interface with other somatic disciplines?

This section also includes attendance and Feedback on student’s individual presentation’s of their Thesis Projects in relationship to the somatic material as well as Feedback on student teach backs presented in class. Each student will be expected to sign up for individual coaching and support for their Thesis projects.