experiencing and learning to analyse movement

It is such a pleasure to be working from the body again. Paying attention to it, slowing down, extending my range of movement, moving into my potential, rejuvenating. How to incorporate such bodily practices into my everyday work, as well as everyday life?

The Feldenkrais work is very interesting … I found it to be a very structured, precise inquiry into the relationship between the mechanics and anatomy of the body and the felt, conscious sensation of the body at rest and in motion. The use of language is important … a care towards the choice of words and their evocations and assumptions about the body. There is a questioning. I am intrigued to learn more.

My workshop today on Laban movement analysis was an experiment. An experiment in teaching the Effort-Shape description and an experiment in applying the system of analysis to live bodies engaging with interactive artworks.

How to teach the Effort cube? Some of the basic Effort actions are easier to access firstly with arm gestures, e.g. Flick. Then we need ways of involving the whole body or initiating the movement from a different source … ?

Everyone was very receptive and had plenty to say on their experience of the Laban system. Some interesting points from the participants regarding learning the system were:

  • it was easier to perform an imagined scenario from everyday life than generate movement from abstract concepts of weight, space, etc. (like dancers do)
  • the mirroring exercise did result in the observers gaining a strong bodily understanding of the initiator’s movements, but perhaps only in form. The intent or context of the movement was not easy to grasp and without this, the embodiment of the movements seemed hollow to some.
  • the mirroring exercise revealed one’s own habitual movement patterns in relation to the movements of the initiator.
  • the continuous repetition of the action or movements allowed the gradual registering and recognition of a range of characteristics of the movement – different sensations and qualities emerged over time. Then one could begin to describe the characteristics of the movement in the process of moving. The attention to Effort-Shape revealed the complex dynamically changing inter-relationships between the Effort-Shape parameters.

The notating of Effort-Shape during observation of audience was challenging! A template was provided with the individual parameters across the top. Each person had to figure out how to record using the template and this resulted in a great variety of ways of transcribing. The notated movements were very fragmentary. Was there any value in notating as we did?

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