SOMA was founded in 2006 as an association in Paris. It is dedicated to research and diffusion of Somatic Education especially BMC® in France. SOMA is directed by a board of co-directors: Janet Amato, Lulla Chourlin, Anne Garrigues and Thomas Greil. The administrative assistant is Julie Trouverie, responsible for registrations, accounting and many more things.
The first BMCSM professional training in France started in 2006, initiated and directed by Vera Orlock. Since then more than 80 Somatic Movement Educators (2008, 2013 and 2015), over 40 BMCSM Practitioners (2010 and 2016) and more than 30 Infant Developmental Movement Educators (2013 and 2015) have graduated from our programs.
SOMA also participated in the European project SPARKS (Somatic Practices, Arts and Creativity for Special Needs) 2013-15, together with 4 other European organizations, a research project for applying BMCSM to working with people and families concerned by certain fragilities. www.sparks-project.eu
SOMA currently offers the Somatic Movement Education (SME), the BMCSM Practitioner Program and Infant Developmental Movement Education (IDME) Program. SOMA is recognized in France as a Professional Training Center (organism de formation). The programs are addressed to professionals in the field of dance, movement, education and therapy, to discover, research and embody anatomy and development through movement and touch. Students can get financial support from the state for their continuing education, professionalization and professional reorientation. Our programs are especially addressed to people already working in the field of education, teaching dance or theater, as well as infant educators.
Thomas Greil is the educational director of SOMA and responsible for all programs, as well as the coordinator of the Practitioner Program. The SME program is coordinated by Lulla Chourlin and Janet Amato, the IDME Program by Janet Amato and Anne Garrigues.
The courses are bi-lingual, even though the majority of the students are French. The classes are taught in French and English with translation into English and French.
The faculty of SOMA is composed of Certified Teachers of Body-Mind Centering®. Collectively, they bring many years of experience as teachers and practitioners of BMCSM and have a broad range of professional experiences in various areas of the performing arts and bodywork. We frequently invite other teachers from Europe and the US. The teachers in the IDME program have many years of experience working with babies and families.
Thomas Greil studied many years with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen working with babies and children with challenges. Since 2003 he teaches and coordinates BMCSM Programs (SME, Practitioner and IDME) in France, Italy, Germany, England, Slovakia and in the US. He trains people to work with babies and their families. His interest is in researching movement and to create a link between neuroscience and embodiment. In his private practice he works with babies, children and adults with structural and neurological challenges, and in the last years especially with children in the autistic spectrum.
Lulla Chourlin is a choreographer based in Besançon. She practiced Contact Improvisation with Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith, Kristie Simson, Mark Tompkins et Didier Silhol. She became a BMCSM practitioner in 1998 and a BMCSM teacher in 2006. Since 1999 she directs her own training program. She teaches BMCSM and improvisation in France. With her company Astragale she proposes performances with other artists in museums, landscapes …
Janet Amato is a dancer and body-worker based in Paris. She teaches since more than 10 years in BMCSM Certification Programs in Europe. She co-directed two whole IDME Programs in France. She is a certified Pilates teacher and Reiki 2 practitioner, and has a long experience and study in the art of craniosacral with Dr. William Martin Allen, Ph.D. Janet has been practicing for many years yoga, tai chi and chi gong. Her artistic path includes work with Jérôme Andrews and Solange Mignoton.
Anne Garrigues is a dancer based in Grenoble in the French Alps. She has been teaching dance and improvisation, creating choreographies for over 30 years. She became a BMCSM Practitioner in 2010 and a BMCSM Teacher in 2012. She teaches in the BMCSM Certification Program in the UK, Poland and Italy. Committed to infant movement development, she works in her private practice with children and parents, including learning disabled children.