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Rudolf Von Laban
Transcript of Rudolf Von Laban
Existence is movement. Action is movement. Existence is defined by the rhythm of forces in natural balance. (...) It is our appreciation for dance that allows us to see clearly the rhythms of nature and to take natural rhythm to a plane of well-organised art and culture.” (Rudolf von Laban)
In 1928, Laban’s greatest contribution of Kinetographie was publicized. Laban developed movement choirs similar to Dalcroze’s music visualization. In 1930, the Nazis appointed Laban as the director of the Allied State Theaters in Berlin but later felt threatened by Laban and put him on house arrest. Rudolf Von Laban suffered from spasmodic depression most of his life. He married twice and has 9 children but was not involved in their lives. He published many books and articles and later died in 1958.
Laban created his own notation system called Labanotation. The principal concepts of this notation system were; direction and level of movement, part of the body doing the movement, duration of the movement, dynamic quality of the movement. These concepts included 4 effort categories which were; space, weight, time and flow. These principles were able to expand any simple movement into the most complex. His movement was defined as; direct or indirect, strong or light, sudden or sustained, bound or free.
Philosophy of Composition
Laban used choreographic elements in his compositions which included; shape, level, space, time and energy. All these elements were created to add dynamics and spatial relationships between each frame to communicate a storyline. Laban’s notation system was a way of recording and analyzing human movement. Labanotation wasn’t made for a specific style of dance like other notations such as Fokine’s. This made his choreography very open-minded and easier to compose dances.
In 1879, Rudolf Von Laban was born in Bratislava, part of Hungarian Empire. Labans father was a leader in the military and expected Laban to follow in his footsteps. Laban believed that everyone should dance after attending many dance performances. He wanted to work with amateurs and people whom would not normally dance. At age 30, Laban focused on movement arts in Munich under the influence of Heidi Dzinkowska.
Content of Dance
Rudolph Von Laban choreographed very complex pieces. He focused on diagonals, gymnastic movement, and use of space. Laban’s choreography was unique and each transition flowed adequately.
Rudolph Von Laban’s costuming was simple.When the dancers were not dancing unclothed or with very little clothing they were dressed informal or earth toned colours. The females would perform in either free flowing dresses or tight simple bodysuit and tights. The males would perform only wearing shorts and sometimes in long shirts and loose pantsdepending on the style of dance.
Props and Sets
Unlike his notation or his 8 basic effort actions, Laban never had referred to a specific regimen for which sets and props were developed for choreography. Laban used various stages for his choreography, mostly unconventional; including many pieces preformed outside. Laban used his body as his prop. His complex movement, which was depicted through notation was the main focus with his choreography. Any tangible props would have taken the focus away from his dynamic movement.
Laban’s use of music was always subordinate to his choreography. However, the music in which he used was just as dynamic as his work. With slow, lyrical undertones, Laban’s music was either complementary or opposing to his choreography.
--> Kinetographie or Labanotation
--> Movement chiors
-->many folk dances that he saw around Europe
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