History of the International Congresses of the F. M. Alexander Technique

At the 1st International Congress in New York in 1986. From left to right; front row: Dilys Carrington, Marjory Barlow, Marjorie Barstow, Shoshana Kaminitz. Back row: Michael Frederick, Wilfred Barlow, Walter Carrington, Patrick Macdonald, Lena Frederick.
It was the American teacher Michael Frederick who set up the first congress in 1986 in response to the need for exchange of work and ideas between different strands of teaching. Since F. M. Alexander's death it was inevitable that different teachers would evolve in different directions, although the principles of the Technique have remained the same. Due to the openness and independence of the International Congresses, they have succeded admirably in bringing together all different traditions and styles of practising and teaching the Technique.

For an article by Doris Dietschy on the history of the first five congresses, see "Background and Significance".

For an article by Michael Frederick on the origin of the International Congresses, see "Reflections".

For an article by Jean M. O. Fischer on the 7th International Congress, see "Oxford".

The table below outlines some details from previous congresses.

No. Place Date Theme Number of participants Directors Papers published
1st Stony Brook, New York, USA 1986 "The Alexander Technique, a Worldwide Perspective" 250 Michael Frederick none
2nd Brighton, England August 1988 "Research, Training and Stagecraft" 500 Michael Frederick The Congress Papers - Towards Unity (Direction, Sydney, undated)
3rd Engelberg, Switzerland August 1991 "The Development of a Profession" 560 Michael Frederick The Congress Papers - A Spirit of Learning Together (Direction, Sydney, undated)
4th Sydney, Australia July 1994 "125 Years On: The Meaning of Change" 250 David Garlick The Congress Papers - 125 Years On: The Meaning of Change (Direction, Sydney, 1996)
5th Jerusalem, Israel 14-20 August 1996 "Back to Basics" 200 Shmuel Nelken, Ora Nelken, Rika Cohen The Congress Papers - Back to Basics (privately printed by Shmuel Nelken, Jerusalem, 1999)
Freiburg, Germany August 1999 "An Ongoing Discovery: Looking Towards the 21st Century" 550 Karoline Erdmann, Daniel Susstrunk, Michael Fortwangler, Doris Dietschy The Congress Papers - An Ongoing Discovery: Looking Towards the 21st Century (STAT Books, London, 2000)
7th Oxford, England 16-22 August 2004 "Exploring the Principles" 710 Jean M. O. Fischer, Peter Ribeaux, Lucia Walker To be published.
Sydney 1994.

Australia Congress participants.

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