Tammy Narena, aka Tamara Ressman, was my mom and she was the creator of Telesymbols, which was the pre-cursor to Empatharian. I just posted a video to the Empatharian Movement for Peace Facebook Group, of her explaining her work. She also was demonstrating it, playing a few of her original piano compositions, dancing, and even singing. This was recorded in 1978 in Northern California, in preparation for her big debut of the work, I guess. Or maybe this was the big debut.
I’ve written about her previously in this blog, a classically trained prima ballerina, who had dance academies in three countries, and whose first language was Russian, believe it or not! She learned English from English nuns in South Africa, where she grew up, but she left as a young woman and started her family (me) with my dad in England.
In England she first got the idea for Telesymbols as a new dance form more accessible to normal people, and as a movement language which would accelerate neurological development in her special teaching method.
In 1958, when I was turning 7, we moved to the USA, to Los Angeles, California. After a series of car accidents, she was unable to teach any more and had chronic pain and headaches. She continued working on her project, developing the curriculum and writings, as well as doing loads of artwork and leather flowers.
She also spent a lot of energy and time writing to government officials, including Lyndon Johnson, then President, lobbying for the infrastructure of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, so that culture could be supported, and new promising ideas like hers would be funded. Well, that funding never came to her, but we do have the infrastructures in place…
1978 found us on our way to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she eventually healed her chronic pain, with the help of some great physical therapists and hot springs.
Watch the video if you have a chance, especially minute 13, where she starts performing the work!