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Looking at Dance MTSU

Presentation for Dance Appreciation, Module 1

Margaret Brooker

on 27 April 2015

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Transcript of Looking at Dance MTSU

Just what is this
thing called dance?
It's a tricky thing determining just exactly what dance is. There are as many ideas and definitions as there are dance styles.
Rudolf von Laban
who's this guy?
Rudolf von Laban was a Hungarian
born dancer, choreographer and theorist.
He had a dance school in Munich, Germany
and is considered the father of European 'modern' dance. (We'll learn more about this later). Laban developed a system for notating movement known as Kinetographic Laban or Labanotation. Through this system, we can understand the basics of movement analysis, which is referred to as Laban Movement Analysis (LMA). This will help us look at dance, objectively, thus aiding in our understanding and appreciation of all types of dance!
What is Laban Movement Analysis?
"Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) provides a comprehensive vocabulary and analytic framework for the description of human movement. Using LMA, one can systematically look at a unit or phrase of movement in terms of the four major movement components: Body, Shape, Space and Effort. These basic components can be identified and examined alone and in relationship to each other."
- Laban/Bartenieff Institute
Copyright © 2009
let's say we do the
same thing for
So, we'd have to:
study the Earth’s crust
study different materials that compose it
look at how it has evolved
but this is
Dance Appreciation!
so let's do the same thing for dance
We'll need a little help though!
Let's turn to this guy.
Let's look at these
"four movement components"
In LMA, the body component consists of:
Body Parts:
Head, Torso, Arms, Legs, Hands, Feet, etc.
Body Action:
Flexion, Extension, Rotation, Adduction, Abduction, etc.
Shifts of body weight through space for mobility
when we begin to look at dance
a good place to start looking is the body, and what the body (or specific body parts) is doing through space.
Effort is the dynamic quality of movement. It's how the energy in the body is being used. There are four effort classifications that exists on a continuum. Each factor can have a different degree of intensity.
Space describes the relationship between the human body and the three dimensional matrix of space.

When we look at the concept of space we include information about:
the dancer's own personal movement sphere. (This has a fancy named called 'the Kinesphere')
and general space, which is an important part of characterization or personal style.
SHAPE addresses these questions:
"What forms does the body make"?,
"Is the shape changing in relation to self or in relation to the environment"?
"How is the Shape changing- what is the major quality or element which is influencing its process of change"?
By taking a closer look at the body moving through space, we can discover all kinds of cool shapes!
okay, so now we've got the body, moving through space,creating all kinds of cool shapes, with ...
"Flow" consists of Free Flow and Bound Flow:
Bound Flow: controlled, restrained, careful, constrained
Free Flow: fluid, released, liquid, effortless
Is this an example of free flow or bound flow from Chunky Moves dance??
The effort component of "weight" is when we sense the physical mass of the body and its relationship to gravity.
Light Weight: gentle, delicate, fine touch, buoyant
Strong Weight: powerful, forceful, firm touch, impactful
Time has to do with the concept of time, not 'clock' time, or how long it takes to complete the movement.
Quick Time: sudden, urgent, quick, instantaneous, staccato
Sustained Time: indulgent, gradual, lingering, prolonging
The effort quality of Space concerns our awareness to our environment, and is not to be confused with the major component of Space. It doesn't deal with our physical place in space, rather how we 'attend' to the space around us.

Direct Space: Single focused, pinpointed, channeled
Indirect Space: multi-focused, flexible attention
look how these folks are using the effort quality of time...
How is Sylvie Guillem, one of the greatest dancers EVER, using the effort quality of weight?
okay, now check out this use of space by Elizabeth Streb
Now we know how to begin to look at dance. This is just the beginning. Next, we'll discover the power of dance, how it makes us feel, and just why it's so special!
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