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DANCE DYNAMICS

EFFORT & PHRASING

WORKBOOK
& DVD COMPANION
VERA MALETIC
2005

2 2 E A S T 1 7 T H AV E | C O L U M B U S , O H 4 3 2 0 1 | ( 6 1 4 ) 2 9 9 - 9 9 9 9 | W W W. G R A D E A N O T E S . C O M
CONTENTS

Preface / iii
About the Author / iv
Acknowledgements / v

I N T R O D U C T I ON
The Significance of Dance Dynamics / 1
Rudolf Labans Contribution to the Field of Movement and Dance / 7
Notes / 8

PA R T A / T H E E F F O R T T H E O RY
/9
I N T R O D U C T I ON
Fig. I. The Effort Graph / 12

VA R I AT I O N S WITHIN ONE MOTION FACTOR / 13


Space / 14
Weight / 16
Time / 18
Flow / 20

C O M B I N AT I O NS OF TWO MOTION FACTORS / 23


Space and Time: The Awake State / 24
Weight and Flow: The Dreamlike State / 26
Space and Flow: The Remote State / 28
Weight and Time: The Near State / 30
Space and Weight: The Stable State / 32
Time and Flow: The Mobile State / 34
Recommended Reading / 36

E F F O R T S PA C E (SHAPE) AFFINITIES / 37
Fig. 2. The Effort Cube / 38

C O M B I N AT I O NS OF THREE MOTION FACTORS / 41


Space, Weight, Time: Action Drive or Basic Effort Actions / 42
Flow, Weight, Time: Passion-like Drive / 46
Space, Time, Flow: Vision-like Drive / 48
Space, Weight, Flow: Spell-like Drive / 50
Recommended Reading / 52

C O M B I N AT I O NS OF FOUR MOTION FACTORS / 53


Notes / 55

CONTENTS / i
PA R T B / P H R A S I N G C L A S S I F I C A T I O N
INTRODUCTION / 57
Classification of Phrasing / 59
Notes / 63

E I G H T P H R A S I N G TYPES / 65
(I) Even Phrasing / 65
(II) Increasing-Intensity; Impactive / 66
(III) Decreasing-Intensity; Impulsive / 67
(IV) Increasing-then-Decreasing Intensity / 68
(V) Decreasing-then-Increasing Intensity / 69
(VI) Accented / 71
(VII) Vibratory / 72
(VIII) Resilient / 73

S E Q U E N C I N G O F PHRASING / 76
(A) Consecutive / 76
(B) Concurrent / 77
(C) Overlapping / 78

E I G H T P H R A S I N G TYPES ANNOTATED WITH EFFORT SIGNS / 79


(I) Even Phrasing / 79
(II) Increasing-Intensity Phrasing / 80
(III) Decreasing-Intensity Phrasing / 84
(IV) Increasing-then-Decreasing Intensity / 85
(V) Decreasing-then-Increasing Intensity / 87
(VI) Accented / 90
(VII) Vibratory / 91
(VIII) Resilient / 92

S E Q U E N C I N G O F PHRASING / 96
(A) Consecutive / 96
(B) Concurrent / 97
(C) Overlapping / 98
S U M M A RY / 100

A P P E N D I X I : Methodological Considerations / 103


A P P E N D I X I I : C.G.Jungs Influences On Laban / 113
A P P E N D I X I I I : Phrasing of Dance Qualities in Labanotation Scores / 117
BIBLIOGRAPHY / 127

D V D C O M PA N I O N & V I E W I N G G U I D E / 122

ii / DANCE DYNAMICS
P R E FA C E

This Workbook supports studio work in dance dynamics by facilitating interac-


tion between the presentation of the content and the reader. Opportunities for
students to generate movement examples and images accompany the introduc-
tion of every new concept. Notes about the feel of various dynamic patterns
and specific movement qualities in performance and viewing are encouraged.
Observation outside the class is facilitated by means of the DVD companion
with video excerpts from various works.

Since Rudolf Laban provided a comprehensive system for identifying move-


ment and dance qualities, his framework is the basis for this text. Labans main
concepts are identified and explained by means of descriptions, examples, dia-
grams, tables, and figures. Movement qualities are referred to as Efforts (the
term used in the English tradition), denoting the motivation and exertion of
movement. Labans propensity for synonyms is also pointed out.

Among special features of the Workbook is the fact that the text is informed by
the tradition of Laban's teaching in Europe, as it was originally formulated and
reformulated by his students, as well as the development of Labans theories
in the USA. In addition, based on Labans foundation, the classification and
notation of Phrasing has been developed by the author, Vera Maletic. A brief
review of literature clarifies the distinction between the terms phrase and
phrasing in dance, and the rationale for using phrasing is explained. Eight
types of Phrasing are defined and exemplified by way of description, notation,
and video excerpts.

Presentation and discussion of the two major components of dance dynamics


constitute the main sections of the Workbook. PART A discusses movement
qualities, or Effort, and PART B investigates Phrasing types. Rather than work-
ing through them in a linear, sequential manner, the two sections can be used
concurrently.

Three Appendices elaborate on the following issues:


(I) Some methodological approaches to the teaching-learning processes
(II) A consideration of C. G. Jungs influences on Laban
(III) The application of Effort and Phrasing in qualitative annotations of
Labanotation scores

A general Bibliography concludes the text.

A DVD viewing guide complements the disc in the back of the book.
PREFACE / iii
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VERA MALETIC is Professor Emerita in dance at The Ohio State University.


She earned her M.A. from the University of Zagreb, Croatia (history of art
and culture), and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University (interdisciplinary).
Having received her initial Laban training from her mother, Ana Maletic, one of
Labans disciples in Europe, Maletic subsequently studied at the Laban Centre
in England, where she earned the Laban diploma.

While in Zagreb, she was the choreographer and artistic director of the Studio
for Contemporary Dance, creating works for stage, film, and television in for-
mer Yugoslavia, Austria, and Sweden.

During her subsequent teaching appointment at the Laban Centre (196677),


she classified Labans manuscripts, which contributed to her insights into the
roots of the Laban theory. Since the late 1970s, her background was expanded
and informed by interpretations and developments of Labans theories in the
United States, particularly through the work and writings of Irmgard Bartenieff
and Martha Davis, as well as professional exchanges with the late Robert Ellis
Dunn. Her book, Body-Space-Expression: The Development of Rudolf Labans
Movement and Dance Concepts, was published by Mouton de Gruyter in
1987.

At The Ohio State Universitys Department of Dance (19802000), Maletic


developed the curriculum in several directions. She taught courses based on
Labans framework dealing with the spatial structure and dynamics of dance.
Maletic also developed courses in analysis of choreographic style and in post-
modern dance. She spearheaded the dance and technology area, including
Videodance and approaches to CD-ROM for dance documentation. Maletic
was primary co-investigator in two multimedia projects funded by the National
Initiative to Preserve Americas Dance.

Currently she divides her time between activities in Columbus and Zagreb,
Croatia. This includes bilingual writing and projects in dance documentation
by means of technology.

iv / DANCE DYNAMICS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The author wishes to thank:


Melanie Bales, Associate Professor, for her collaboration particularly in providing
dance examples for various Effort qualities and Phrasing types.
Lucy Venable, Professor Emerita, for the annotation of scores in Appendix III,
and comments on Phrasing symbols in general.
Vickie Blaine and Odette Blum, Professors Emeritae, for their input regarding
both the contents and the form of the text.
Certified Movement Analysts Melanie Bales, Peggy Berger, and Jeff Friedman for
their responses and suggestions from the points of view of the American Laban
dialects.
Clark Leavitt, Professor Emeritus, for challenging some assumptions based on
dance theory.
Warren Lamb, for providing the opportunity to view a copy of a letter written to
him by Laban in 1952.
Edward Luna, MA candidate in dance, for redesigning the workbook and con-
tributing suggestions from a students point of view.
The Dance Preservation Fund at The Ohio State University Department of Dance,
for funding the production of the 2005 revised edition of the workbook.
Motus Humanus, for a seed money grant towards the production of the DVD
companion.
Jeanine Thompson, for giving her time and talent for recording the DVD voice-
over.

Special thanks are due to the following choreographers and performers for per-
mission to include excerpts of their work in the DVD companion:

Melanie Bales: choreographer and performer; Balinda Craig-Quijada: cho-


reographer and performer; Karen Eliot: choreographer and performer; Zvi
Gotheiner: choreographer; Susan Hadley: choreographer; Irene Hultman:
choreographer; Kristina Isabelle: choreographer, improviser, and perform-
er; Rosalind Pierson: choreographer; Noel Reiss: choreographer; Susan
Sanborn: choreographer and performer; Jeanine Thompson: choreographer
and performer; Susan Van Pelt: choreographer and performer.

The following Ohio State University MFA and BFA students gave permission for
the inclusion of their work:

Joe Alter: composition; Robin Anderson: composition and performance;


Lauren Bisio: performance; Ama Codjoe: performance; Teena Custer:
performance; Michael Estanich: composition, improvisation and perfor-

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS / v
mance; Keren Ganin-Pinto: performance; Luke Gutsgell: performance;
Chad Hall: composition and performance; Kristin Hapke: composition
and performance; Jason Hedden: juggling; Kamilah Levens: performance;
Scott Lowe: composition, improvisation, and performance; Christina
Providence: improvisation and performance; Michelle Stortz: performance;
Marc Woten: improvisation and performance.

Notations and graphs on LabanWriter by Gina Jacobson.

V. M A L E T I C , December 2004

vi / DANCE DYNAMICS
INTRODUCTION

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DANCE DYNAMICS

Past and present

For centuries dance traditions of various cultures were based on demonstrat-


ing and replicating movement sequences. This left in abeyance not only the
development of consistent vocabularies for describing the strands of dance but
also comprehensive notation systems, and theoretical frameworks. Even now
at the beginning of the new millennium, many significant components of dance
are taken for granted within the practice of teaching-learning, choreographing,
and coaching; a certain reluctance to identify them verbally and discuss them
theoretically still survives. Granted, it is not easy to pin down and define this
ephemeral art form that has its own means of non-verbal communication. This
may be the reason for the scarcity of theoretical considerations of the dynamics
of dance.

Questions of terminology

Dynamics as related to movement and dance is interpreted in many different


ways. A recent publicationDance Words1contains entries that have been
collected from various sources, such as classes, rehearsals, workshops, publica-
tions, texts on dance films, and interviews. Collecting entries for the section on
movement as such proved to be most problematic, perhaps due to its non-verbal
nature. Great variations in approaches and descriptions are found in entries
under the title of Dynamics and Energy but have in common references to
texture, coloring, and expression of feelings and emotions. The term dynamics
is also used interchangeably with the term energy.2

Ana Maletic, for instance, makes the distinction between dynamics and
dynamicity. While dynamics refers to the intensity and weight aspects of
movement, dynamicity refers to the energy as a result of all motion fac-
tors.3

In this text the term dance dynamics is used as an overall designation pertain-
ing to the phrasing of movement energy. Movement qualities, on the other
hand, denote specific colorings or the textures of movement. Both terms refer
INTRODUCTION / 1
to movement intent or expression. Issues of emotional, kinetic, conceptual,
and other motivations are discussed with reference to contemporary theatrical
dance, and various other dance traditions.

Dynamics as part of some dance traditions

In many dance traditions, terminology is generated from movement qualities


and dynamics that characterizes various dances. Here are some examples:

In Javanese traditional dance there are three basic principles that address dance
dynamics. The first one is wiraga, described as a way the dancer controls the
movement while traveling smoothly and evenly as a breeze through a palm tree
(for female) or flowing water (for male). The second principle, wirasa, deals
with the dancers capacity to express feeling that would be communicated to
the audience. The third principle, wirama, refers to tempo and rhythm which
are considered indispensable elements of dance.4

Different emotions embodied through breathing rhythms are an intrinsic aspect


of traditional dances of Korea. Breathing is a central force that influences the
body movement and creates different qualities. Ogae Jit (shoulder movement)
makes the breathing visible through a slight rise and fall. For instance in Salpuri
Chum the emotion of Han, including sadness, anger, and discontent, may be
marked by deep exhalation. It has to be overcome by the dancer to achieve
Heung, a state of joy, pleasure, and excitement.5

The qualities of resiliency, bounciness of the whole body, has been observed in
many forms of a ritual dance performed in the Central Philippines, called sinu-
log. This quality is seen as linked to some healthy patterns of life, and can be
found in both traditional and non-traditional dancing.6

Resilient step patterns, the so-called drmez, in dances of Croatia, have been
among the most characteristic motives in circle danceskolos of plains or flat
ground regions. They are reminiscent of ancient work motives imitating tread-
ing and crushing corn. The vertical emphasis of resilient shifts of weight, alter-
nating with lively vibration, both gives in and resists the pull of gravity.7

Capoeira Angola, an Afro-Brazilian game/dance/fight, is often ironically called


vadiao (or doing nothing in particular); indicating a relaxed but highly
alert attitude appropriate to a street-oriented form. This attitude is demonstrat-
ed dynamically in a series of casual feints called mandinga (or sorcery), used
to distract the opponent and disguise ones true intentions. Likewise, a player
adept at malcia (treachery or double dealing) may collaborate closely with
the opponent, only to interrupt the game with a surprise attack.8

2 / DANCE DYNAMICS
The terminology of classical ballet contains some basic forms of dynamic move-
ment, in other words dance vocabulary, such as battu or battement (hit or
thrusting), coup (cut), gliss (glide or slide-like), fouett (slashed
or whipped), and jet (thrown), are named according to the quality of their
performance. This terminology, created by French dancing masters of the 18th
century, inspired Laban to name his basic Effort actions, such as thrusting, glid-
ing, slashing, etc.9

The staccato, hard and fast angularity of urban American street-dance (as seen
in the work of Rennie Harris Puremovement, for example) demonstrates the flu-
idity and multirhythmic ease found in much of West African vernacular dance.10
Moreover, in the culture of hip-hop dance, many terms have dynamic connota-
tions. B-boy or b-girl break dancers take their name from the break; a
percussive interlude found on many funk recordings of the 1960s70s, which
is often broken and remixed by a DJ. Other terms, such as popping and
locking, describe impactive gestures fragmented by stillness. The term hip-
hop itself (perhaps derived from hep, or fashionable) betrays the importance
of pelvic movements which are readily visible in the form.11

This brief survey has shown how various motivationssuch as representing


gender differences, particular emotional states, some healthy patterns of life,
work actions, combat-like dance tactics, and descriptive languagehave cre-
ated patterns in different traditions and served as the basis for movement and
dance-derived terminology.

Some theoretical considerations of Dynamics

The first theoretical reflections on the expressive aspect of Western theatrical


dance started to emerge in periods of expressive crises. The decline of the
courtly ballet in eighteenth-century France motivated Jean George Noverre
(17271810) to write his Letters on Dancing and Ballets, a severe critique of
the use of sheer virtuosity, stereotyped movement and mask; he urged that the
link between movement and meaning be visible and that expression should be
given preference over virtuosity.12 The Industrial Revolution and subsequent
periods of decline of theatrical dance in the second half of the nineteenth cen-
tury, prompted persons such as Delsarte and Duncan to address expression
in performance, practically and theoretically. Francois Delsarte (18111871)
formulated principles, laws and orders of movement expression with particular
reference to actors and singers. Several of his American disciples and follow-
ers (such as Genevieve Stebbins, and Ted Shawn) applied Delsartes principles
to dance.13 The foremost endeavor of Isadora Duncan (18781927) was the
desire to express her being in movement and dance; she sought the source
of the spiritual expression to flow into the channels of the body filling it with
14
vibrating light. . . .

INTRODUCTION / 3
The development of technology between the two World Wars, and the emer-
gence of modern dance in Europe, was the background of Rudolf Labans
investigations into the common denominators of the dynamics of movement
expression referred to as Effort. Because of its systematic classification, his
theory is one of the most important for modern dance thought.15

Since the 1940s several American dance educators and choreographers have
also acknowledged the significance of the constituents of dance dynamics. For
instance, Margareth HDoubler states that to execute any movement, we
must make an effort; this effort consists of an expenditure of energy. . . . Since
energy is a determining factor in the character of expressiveness of movement
it is interesting to consider actions with respect to the way energy is released to
produce them.16

Doris Humphrey refers to dynamics as the ingredient that adds spice and inter-
est to living as well as dancing, and argues that dynamics is the lifeblood of
the dance, and is ignored at the peril of your existence as an artist.17 Alma
Hawkins discusses the perceptual dimensions of dance qualities, and maintains
that the aesthetic quality of dance movement is determined by the flow and
control of energy. She further explains that:

Energy, or force, is the source of movement, and it is also the basic


ingredient in the aesthetic qualities of dance. The choreographer con-
trols the dynamic flow of the dance through a sensitive organization of
movement tension. The play of forces set in action by the structured
movement tensions evokes a kinesthetic response in the perceiver and
thus enables the dancer to communicate. The tension aspect of the
movement causes the observer to empathize or feel into the dance
and thus perceive its import.18

Drawing on her experience as a dance viewer and philosopher of art, Susanne


Langer wrote in the 1950s that:

In watching a dance, you do not see what is physically before you


people running or twisting their bodies; what you see is a display of
interacting forces, by which the dance seems to be lifted, driven, drawn,
closed, or attenuated, whether it be solo or choric, whirling like the end
of a dervish dance, or slow, centered, and single in motion. . . . The
forces we seem to perceive most directly and convincingly are created
for our perception; and they exist only for it.19

4 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Descriptions of Dance Dynamics in various contexts

Within their mode of description, dance critics, historians, theorists, and film-
makers frequently depict movement qualities, for example: (Emphases are the
authors.)

[Sara] Rudner likes to play off opposites against each other. One is the
disparity between an inward, nonspecific focus and an outward, alert
riveting of her attention. We see it in the first dance as she oscillates gen-
tly inside her body, feeling a flow,
flow nothing more, then suddenly straight-
ens and looks to the side as if an alien noise had surprised her. (Marcia
B. Siegel, The Tail of the Dragon, New Dance, 19761982. Durham,
NC: Duke University Press, 1991. 17.)

[Blondell] Cummings performing presence is intensified by her quick


hand gestures and split-second changes of facial expression that contrast
dramatically with her slower, more fluid shifts of weight. (Ann Cooper
Albright, Auto-Body Stories: Blondell Cummings and Autobiography
in Dance. Meaning in Motion, J. Desmond ed. Durham, NC: Duke
University Press, 1997. 191.)

As the dancers attempt to extend the duet encounter, movement phrases


lengthen and the quality of movement extends beyond passive free
falling. At times, dancers control the movement in order to guide the
momentum of an encounter or keep it going. They also direct their
movement with intentional strength or lightness in order to guide a
fall. (Cynthia Novack, Sharing the Dance: Contact Improvisation and
American Culture. Madison, WI: University of Madison Press, 1990.
66.)

She [Meredith Monk] poses sharply,


sharply rooted in a wide stance: one out-
stretched arm points up, and her face is startled, startling. Then care-
fully she removes her wig, jumps off the platform, and moves to the
fully,
middle phase of her life/dance. (Leslie Satin, Being Danced Again:
Meredith Monk, Reclaiming the Girlchild. Moving Words: Re-writing
Dance. New York: Routledge, 1996. 134.)

Slowly the man touches the woman beside him, . . . the restless thrash-
ing body before them suddenly seeming to communicate as anguish
that complements their drowsy affection. (Jennifer Dunning, Images of
Light and Dark Connect East to West. Review of Akram Khans Kaash.
The New York Times, Oct. 18, 2003.)

INTRODUCTION / 5
An admirable and fairly unique quality of Dan Wagoner is his weight. .
. . in the way his movements are weighted. It looks as if he were press-
ing against heavy water rather than air. The effect is quite different from
the kind of dancing that gives the illusion of flitting or floating. The
viewer is involved in seeing the energy that pressed into the floor or lifts
out of it. This is a quality of his that shows consistently, whether he is
moving slowly or quickly, in the air or on all fours. You see this and are
glad that gravity can be a dancers partner. (Paul Taylor, Down with
Choreography. The Modern Dance: Seven Statements of Belief. S. J.
Cohen ed. Middletown, CN: Wesleyan University Press, 1966. 92.)

Movement qualities are the result of personality, of height and weight,


of involuntary mannerisms, or rehearsed efforts, of musical response,
of the whole body, or of only isolated parts, and on and on. So much
goes into the making of the qualities that define the particular artwork
that is the dance itself. One must see and think a good deal to see subtle
movement qualities. (Gerald Myers, Do You See What the Critic Sees?
Philosophical Essays on Dance, 1981. 48.)

Meaning [in film] is conveyedor should beby the quality of what is


seen rather than by what is said. The more attention is paid to stylizing
the screen, to making the quality of how it looks convey the meaning,
the closer you get to dance, which is precisely thatthe communication
of meaning through the quality of movement. (Maya Deren, quoted by
Leslie Satin in Movement and the Body in Maya Derens Meshes of the
Afternoon. Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, vol.
6, no. 2, 1993. 41.)

As the eight performers come and go, thrashing or worming into move-
ment, heads cock, hips and elbows jut, backs sway, shoulders roll and
hike, knees collapse, feet strike out into space . . . either simultaneously
or in rapid succession, as if the dancers were trying to direct their body
parts toward various directions in space. (Deborah Jowitt, How Many
Ways To Twist It? Review of The Room as it Was, performed by
the Ballett Frankfurt, choreographed by William Forsythe. The Village
Voice, October 814, 2003.)

Assignment

Pay attention to descriptions of dance qualities in dance books, journals, and


newspaper articles. Sample the descriptions that you find helpful in visualizing
the dance.

6 / DANCE DYNAMICS
RUDOLF LABANS CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE FIELD OF MOVEMENT AND DANCE

Who was Laban?

Rudolf Labans (18791958) multiple experiences as artist-designer, dancer,


choreographer, director, teacher, work-study adviser, and remedial consul-
tant, provided a foundation for the formulation of his theoretical framework.
Labans acquaintance with the heritage of dance and traditional thinking on
one hand, and his exploration of anatomy, psychology, and crystallography on
the other, significantly contributed to the forming of his theories. Contrary to
traditional approaches to the study of dance, such as learning steps and move-
ment sequences, Laban believed that in order to gain a mindful approach to
movement and dance, their underlying principles must be understood. His view
of modern dance as human expression connected with universal forms of move-
ment brought him to seek movement elements as common denominators of all
types of movementin everyday life, work, and the performing arts.

His major contributions

Three major systems of movement and dance classification constitute Labans


theoretical framework:

(i) A comprehensive movement analysis and description that also under-


lies his system of notationKinetography Laban or Labanotation20
(ii) The theory of spatial relationships of movement and dance referred to
as Space Harmony or Choreutics21
(iii) The theory dealing with the dynamic structure of movement known as
Eukinetics and Effort22

Labans fundamental view of the unity of all movement components is appar-


ent in his concept of a general movement harmony; it considers the affinities
between the movements energy or Effort and its placement or unfolding in
space.23 This concept was later developed into the Effort/Shape methodology
of movement observation and training in the U.S.A.24

INTRODUCTION / 7
Notes for Introduction

1. Valerie Preston-Dunlop, compiler, Dance Words (Choreography and Dance Studies,


Vol. 8, 1995).
2. Preston-Dunlop, Dance Words, 268273.
3. Ana Maletic, Pokret i Ples (Zagreb: Kulturno-prosvjetni sabor Hrvatske, 1983) 45.
4. Sal Murgiyanto, , Seeing and Writing about World Dance: An Insiders View, in
Dance Critics Association News (Summer 1990) 7.
5. Si-Hyun Yoo, Young-Sook Hans Salpuri Chum: Labanotation and Stylistic Analysis of
a Traditional Korean Dance (Masters thesis, The Ohio State University, 1995).
6. Sally Ann Ness, Body, Movement, and Culture: Kinesthetic and Visual Symbolism in a
Philippine Community (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992)
222224.
7. Ana Maletic, Knjiga o Plesu (Zagreb: Kulturno-prosvjetni sabor Hrvatske, 1986) 316.
8. Edward Luna, from Masters thesis in progress (The Ohio State University, 200405).
9. Rudolf Laban, Choreutics (London: Macdonald & Evans, 1966) 30.
10. Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Digging the Africanist Presence in American Performance
Dance and Other Contexts (Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 1996) 158-59.
11. See, for example, the definition of the adjective hip( or hep) in the Fourth Edition of
The American Heritage Dictionary (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000), which
refers to a the Wolof (Senegal) word hipi, or hepi, meaning to open ones eyes, be aware.
12. Jean-Georges Noverre, Letters on Dancing and Ballets, transl. C. W. Beaumont
(London: Beaumont, 1951, first published 1930).
13. Genevieve Stebbins, Delstarte System of Expression (New York: Dance Horizons,
1977, originally published in 1902), and Ted Shawn, Every Little Movement
(Pittsfield, MA: Eagle Printing and Binding Co., 1954, first published in 1910).
14. Isadora Duncan, My Life (New York: Garden City Publishing Co., 1927) 75.
15. Selma Jeanne Cohen, Dance as an Art of Imitation, in What is Dance? Roger
Copeland & Marshall Cohen, eds. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983) 19.
16. Margaret HDoubler, Dance: A Creative Art Experience (Madison, WI: University of
Wisconsin Press, 1966) 79.
17. Doris Humphrey, The Art of Making Dances (New York: Grove Press, 1959) 102.
18. Alma Hawkins, Creating through Dance (Englewood Cliffs, NY: Prentice Hall, 1964)
3435.
19. Susanne K. Langer, Problems of Art (New York: Scribners, 1957) 5.
20. Rudolf Laban, Principles of Dance and Movement Notation (London: Macdonald &
Evans, 1956).
21. _________. Choreutics (London: Macdonald & Evans, 1966).
22. _________. & F. C. Lawrence, Effort (London: Macdonald & Evans, 1947).
23. _________. Choreutics, 3136.
24. Vera Maletic, Body-Space-Expression: The Development of Rudolf Labans Movement
and Dance Concepts (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1987) 78.

8 / DANCE DYNAMICS
PA R T A / THE EFFORT THEORY

INTRODUCTION

Sources for theory

The concept of Effort and its theory is presented in several of Labans English
books.1 The first one, Effort, published in 1947, was an outcome of Labans
collaboration with F. C. Lawrence, a management consultant in industry;
Lawrence had invited Laban to record industrial processes and to assist with
work-study. While this first book focuses on Effort in work and industry, the
1948 book Modern Educational Dance proposes a new dance education or a
free dance technique, based on the practice of Effort sequences. The 1950
book The Mastery of Movement on the Stage, and its subsequent editions as
The Mastery of Movement (1960, 1970, 1980), elaborate on Effort expression
in mime, acting, and dance.

Development of theory

Labans first investigations into the dynamic structure of movement focused


on expressive qualities in dance. In the 20s and 30s he referred to this area as
Eukinetics (Eu, good and Kinesis, movement), and defined it as exploring
good movement in terms of harmonic principles in dance.2 As a complement
to Eukinetics, in the 40s, Laban developed the Effort theory that considers the
various qualities of mind-body movement involved in human exertion in gen-
eral. Labans term Effort differs from its common usage of denoting activity that
requires substantial expenditure of energy.

The concept of Effort

Laban sees Effort as the inner impulsea movement sensation, a thought,


a feeling or emotionfrom which movement originates; it constitutes the
interface between mental and physical components of movement. This inner
impulse or motivation is expressed by way of Motion Factors. Accordingly,
every human movement, including thought, has the potential to engage the Four
Motion FactorsSpace, Weight, Time, and Flow.Flow The particular emphasis on,
or selections from, these factors make up what Laban calls the characteristic
Effort patterns of a person (or an actors and dancers role).
THE EFFORT THEORY / 9
More specifically the Effort patterns result from bi-polar inner attitudes of
accepting, yielding to the physical conditions influencing movement or resisting,
fighting against them. The moving persons attitudes of accepting or resisting
the four Motion Factors result in bi-polar Effort qualities* or Effort Elements
of: S PA C E indirect or flexible, and direct; WEIGHT light, and strong;
T I M E sustained, and sudden, and FLOW free, and bound. The attitudes
of accepting or resisting may not always be voluntarily exercised but can also
occur unconsciously and automatically.

*The term Effort qualities is used to denote single or combined Effort element.

MOTION FACTORS EFFORT ELEMENTS


accepting resisting

Space INDIRECT or FLEXIBLE DIRECT

Weight LIGHT STRONG

Time SUSTAINED SUDDEN

Flow FREE BOUND

Laban further associates four phases of the movers inner participation with the
Motion Factors as follows: Attention is associated with Space, Intention with
Weight, Decision with Time,3 and Progression4 with Flow.

In addition, Laban also associates the emphasis on Space with a persons power
of Thinking, Weight with Sensing, Time with Intuiting, and Flow with Feeling.5
Since these powers loosely correspond to C. G. Jungs theory of function types,
there are frequent references to Jungian influences on Laban [See Appendix II
for further discussion].

MOTION FACTORS INNER PARTICIPATION "Powers of"


with phases of

Space ATTENTION THINKING

Weight INTENTION SENSING

Time DECISION INTUITING

Flow PROGRESSION FEELING

10 / DANCE DYNAMICS
How do all these strands relate to the performance and observation of Effort
qualities?

Movement with emphasis on the Motion factor of SPACE is associated with


the cognitive capacity or power of Thinking, and can bring about Attention to
direct channeling of the focus of movement or give it a multi-focused, indirect
quality. This may be manifested as clarity of thought and/or performance.

Movement with greater emphasis on the Motion Factor of WEIGHT is associ-


ated with Sensing and can bring about strong or light Intention. This may show
in the context of mental work, and/or in a display of strength or delicacy in
performance.

Movement that shows predominance of the Motion Factor of TIME may indi-
cate an Intuitive readiness for Decision making, either suddenly or with sus-
tainment. This may manifest itself in thinking, and/or showing a good sense of
rhythm in performance.

The emphasis on the Motion factor of FLOW is related to feeling that can
bind or free its Progression. This can show as holding back or being outgoing
in communication, and/or as performing great nuances in the progression of
movement or dance.

The concept of the Effort Graph

The innumerable variety of the moving persons situations or actions, creates


a range of dynamic qualities of movement. It arises from the choices between
either an accepting, yielding attitude, or resisting, fighting against attitude.
These attitudes are also visually represented in the design of the Effort Graph,
that facilitates the descriptive or prescriptive application of the Effort theory.
(See FIG. 1, overleaf.) For example, while the execution of an arm gesture may
be described as direct and bound (Space, Flow), the qualities for an efficient
performance of a long leap forward may be described as direct, sudden and free
(Space, Time, Flow).

THE EFFORT THEORY / 11


FIG. 1: THE EFFORT GRAPH

ACCEPTING

RESISTING

M O T I O N FA C T O R S EFFORT ELEMENTS

INDIRECT
Space OR FLEXIBLE DIRECT

Weight LIGHT STRONG

Time SUSTAINED SUDDEN

Flow FREE BOUND

12 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Predominant variations within ONE MOTION FACTOR

In considering Labans Effort theory one has to keep in mind that the dynamic
structure or quality of a particular movement gains its full significance or mean-
ing only when it is related to what precedes and what follows. In other words,
one has to view it within a movement sequence or a context of phrasing. This
also points to the fact that most frequently qualities are present only for a
moment before they transform.

One movement quality seldom appears in isolation. A predominance of varia-


tions within one Motion Factor may, however, indicate a particular preference.
Thus for study purposes we will consider each Motion Factor and the contrast-
ing Effort Elements* separately, including clarification of:

(a) The significance of those instances where the predominance of one


Motion Factor is observed; descriptions of characteristics of the Effort
elements

(b) Quantitative and qualitative aspects of Effort qualities*

(c) Suggested ways of engaging the body to facilitate and enhance the
performance of Effort qualities

(d) Affinities between Effort elements and spatial areas

(e) Observations of Effort qualities in self and others (noting that qualities
can be experienced as thought or movement actions)

(f) Examples of instances where one quality changes to its opposite (in
recognition of the momentary value of these)

*In this description terms Effort elements, Effort qualities, and qualities are
used interchangeably.

ONE MOTION FACTOR / 13


S PA C E

(a) The emphasis on attitudes toward Space can be associated with the cognitive
capacities of orienting, attending, and organizing. The inner participation or
faculty of Attention can give movement a multi-focused, indirect, or flexible
quality; or channel the focus of movement into a direct, pinpointing quality. Its
mastery can give clarity to dance execution, including the dancers alignment
and his/her relation to the environment.

The two Effort elements of the Motion Factor Space are:

INDIRECT or FLEXIBLE DIRECT


accepting the 3-dimensionality of space resisting the plasticity of space
MANIFESTED AS MANIFESTED AS
encompassing narrowing down
multi-focused focused
with all-round attention pinpointing

YOUR DESCRIPTIONS

(b) A distinction from the measurable, quantitative aspects of space, i.e. shape and
size should be kept in mind:

INDIRECT or FLEXIBLE DIRECT

is not the same as wavy, curved, twisted does not mean a straight line, but does
design, but does coincide with a plastic, coincide with linear, one-dimensional
three-dimensional movement movement

(c) Ways of engaging the body can enhance the performance of

INDIRECT or FLEXIBLE D IR E C T

shows a tendency toward a combination shows a tendency toward aligning the


of twisting, bending-extending actions joints and performing bending and
of several parts of the body (Body flow* extending actions (Body flow* is more
tends to be more successive, sequential) likely to be simultaneous)

*Body flow refers to sequencing the movement either in a successive, sequential way, where one body
part moves after the other, or in a simultaneous way, where several parts move at the same time.
14 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(d) Affinities with areas in space:

INDIRECT or FLEXIBLE DIRECT

open movements into the unrestricted movements across the body as creating
areas of the sides of the body an obstacle to the three-dimensional use
of space

Y O U R D E S C R I P TI O N S

(e) Description of bi-polar qualities as observed in self and others:

INDIRECT or FLEXIBLE DIRECT

INSTRUCTORS EXAMPLES INSTRUCTORS EXAMPLES

I am alert to many points of view. I am zeroing in and pursuing the


Jane is an alert person. problem.
I am performing a spiral fall. He is really concentrating.
The Spinning of the Dervishes is I am moving through the space.
three-dimensional. Her arabesque is clearly designed.

[Note that examples include qualities experienced as thought or movement actions.]

YOUR EXAMPLES

(f) Examples of instances where one quality of Space changes to its opposite:
INSTRUCTORS EXAMPLES

From an all-round awareness of the classroom to spotting a particular student.


From a spiral fall into an elongated body shape on the floor.
[Note that examples include qualities experienced as thought or movement actions.]

YOUR EXAMPLES

ONE MOTION FACTOR / 15


WEIGHT

(a) The predominance of Weight qualities may indicate sensing or sensibility for
assuming light or firm Intention towards an action, ranging from lighthearted
to assertive. By monitoring various muscular tensions, the dancer can display
strength or delicacy in performance.

The two Effort elements of the Motion Factor Weight are:

LIGHT STRONG

accepting or adjusting to gravity resisting the pull of gravity


MANIFESTED AS MANIFESTED AS

fine touch firm


delicate solid
sensitive forceful

YOUR DESCRIPTIONS

(b) The measurable, quantitative aspects like light/weak and heavy, in terms of how
much you weigh, or exert energy, differ from qualities of weight, although the
quantitative aspects influence them:

LIGHT STRONG

is not the same as lighter weight or a is not heavy weight, but deals with
weaker, passive attitude, but is adjusting greater resistance to the pull of gravity
to a lesser pull of gravity

(c) Ways of engaging the body can enhance the performance of opposite qualities:

LIGHT STRONG
shows a tendency toward lesser mus- shows a tendency toward muscular
cular tension, engaging the center of tension, participation of the center of
levity, chest, upper body; movements weight, pelvic area, lower body support;
further extended; inhalation; peripheral movement closer to body, more con-
transitions tracted; exhalation; central transitions

16 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(d) Affinities with areas in space:

LIGHT/FINE TOUCH STRONG/FIRM

upwards directed downwards directed

(e) Observations of opposite qualities in self and others:

LIGHT/FINE TOUCH STRONG/FIRM

INSTRUCTORS EXAMPLES INSTRUCTORS EXAMPLES

I feel airborne. I feel grounded.


Jeff is handling this delicately. Pam intends to stick to her argument.
I am gently touching a kitten. I am gripping the wild dog.
The group gracefully performs a Ron warms up with push-ups.
sequence of ballet port-des-bras.

[Note that examples include qualities experienced as thought or movement actions.]

YOUR EXAMPLES

(f) Examples of instances where one quality of Weight changes to its opposite:
INSTRUCTOR'S EXAMPLES

Take care darlingand give up smoking!


Push the piano and gently pluck one cord.
[Note that examples include qualities experienced as thought or movement actions.]

YOUR EXAMPLES

ONE MOTION FACTOR / 17


TIME

(a) A great frequency of Time qualities may indicate an intuitive readiness for
Decision making, either in a sustained manner or suddenly. Its mastery gives
a calm or alert approach to thought or movement actions.

The two Effort elements of the Motion Factor Time are:

S U S TA I N E D SUDDEN

accepting the ongoingness of time resisting the duration of time


MANIFESTED AS MANIFESTED AS

calm or calming excited or excitable


prolonged immediate
lingering unexpected

YOUR DESCRIPTIONS

(b) A distinction from the measurable aspects of time, i.e., fast and slow in relation
to clock or metronome time should be kept in mind:

S U S TA I N E D SUDDEN
does not mean slow, but may coincide does not mean fast, but may coincide
with slow tempo of movement with fast tempo

(c) Ways of engaging the body can enhance the performance of:

S U S TA I N E D SUDDEN

shows a tendency toward large, total shows a tendency toward isolated


body movements; expanded movements gestures; smaller movements

18 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(d) Affinities with areas in space:

S U S TA I N E D SU D D E N

movements forward and outward movements backward and inward

(e) Observations of opposite qualities in self and others:

S U S TA I N E D SU D D E N

INSTRUCTORS EXAMPLES INSTRUCTORS EXAMPLES

There is a whole eternity. Now is the moment.


Ann is taking her time. Ron feels rushed.
I am leisurely stretching. Jims tabla playing is speedy.
The introductory dance is stately
stately.

[Note that examples include qualities experienced as thought or movement actions.]

YOUR EXAMPLES

(f) Examples of instances where one quality of Time changes to its opposite:
INSTRUCTOR'S EXAMPLES

Being calm and unexpectedly being startled.


Performing a developp followed by a series of frappes.
[Note that examples include qualities experienced as thought or movement actions.]

YOUR EXAMPLES

ONE MOTION FACTOR / 19


FLOW

(a) The emphasis on Flow can be associated with the emergence of feelings that,
depending on the interaction with self or others, free or bind the continuity of
movement and give either a controlled and careful or exuberant and outgoing
Progression.

The two Effort elements of the Motion Factor Flow are:

FREE BOUND

accepting the continuity of movement resisting the flux of movement


MANIFESTED AS MANIFESTED AS

easy, carried by controlled


outgoing inward pulling, restrained
fluent withheld

YOUR DESCRIPTIONS

(b) A distinction from the quantitative aspects of flow, i.e., continuity or stop
should be kept in mind:

FREE BOUND

is not the same as mechanical continuity does not necessarily stop the movement
but displays a tendency toward it but manifests a tendency for stopping

(c) Ways of engaging the body can enhance the performance of:

FREE BOUND

running, turning, jumping; swinging; balancing on small surfaces; center of


off-balance; initiation from the torso body held while limbs move; move-
and spreading out to the extremities; ments starting from the extremities
successive flow; total body movements towards the center of the body;
simultaneous flow

20 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(d) Affinities with areas in space:

FREE BOUND

movements into the area towards movements across


open-forward (and high) backwards (and low)

(e) Observations of opposite qualities in self and others:

FREE BOUND

INSTRUCTORS EXAMPLES INSTRUCTORS EXAMPLES

I feel with it, enthusiastic. I feel ambivalent, restrained.


Mary is finally communicating. Greg is still cut-off from his peers.
Running and whirling is refreshing. I hold my breath when handling
Tom enjoys diving. crockery.
Karl balances with command.

[Note that examples include qualities experienced as thought or movement actions.]

YOUR EXAMPLES

(f) Examples of instances when one quality of Flow changes to its opposite:
INSTRUCTORS EXAMPLES

I am carefully scrutinizing a new acquaintance until I am at ease in her presence.


Try running toward center stage, then stopping and balancing on one leg.
[Note that examples include qualities experienced as thought or movement actions.]

YOUR EXAMPLES

ONE MOTION FACTOR / 21


Combinations of TWO MOTION FACTORS

After having considered each of the four Motion Factors and their respective
Effort Elements, we will see how the combination of two Motion Factors can
create new qualities. These are observable in transitions between actions in
everyday life and are frequently elaborated in dance. There are six combinations
of two Motion Factors and Laban refers to them as incomplete efforts that
are expressive of a variety of inner attitudes.6 Bartenieff prefers to identify
them as inner states.7 Since the term attitudes is also used to denote atti-
tudes of yielding or resisting the Motion Factors, the term States will be used
in this text.

While the combination of Motion Factors SPACE and TIME (of thinking and
intuiting) and their respective Effort Elements create an alert, awake attitude,
the opposite combinations of WEIGHT and FLOW (of feeling and sensing) are
more dreamlike, unaware. Laban refers to the former combination as giving
information about where (S) and when (T), and the latter about what
(W) and how (F).

Whereas the combinations of SPACE and FLOW Elements (of thinking and
feeling) give a more abstract, remote mood, their opposites, the combinations
of W E I G H T and TIME Elements (of sensing and intuiting) create a rhythmical,
earthy, near attitude. The first combination indicates where (S) and how
(F), and the contrasting one what (W) and when(T).

As the combinations of SPACE and WEIGHT (thinking and sensing) are likely to
produce a stable, steadfast attitude, their opposite combinations of TIME and
F L O W (feeling and intuiting) can create a mobile, adaptable attitude. The first
combination gives information about where (S) and what (W), and the
contrasting one about when (T) and how (F).

Each of the six combinations has a potential for four variations. For example
the combination of WEIGHT and TIME includes:

L I G H T / S U S TA I N E D | STRONG / SUDDEN | STRONG / SUSTAINED | LIGHT / SUDDEN

There are thus twenty-four distinct qualities within this range.

TWO MOTION FACTORS / 23


S PA C E A N D T I M E / T H E AWA K E S TAT E

The four variables resulting from the combinations of Space/Time (of thinking
and intuiting) produce alert, aware, awake attitudes and actions, such as are
seen in Merce Cunninghams work in the 1950s and 60s. Here the information
about where and when is particularly evocative.

Laban approximates this inner attitude as awake in that awareness arises


suddenly or gradually and may be concentrated or embracing.8

M E N TA L A C T I O N MOVEMENT ACTION

DIRECT / SUDDEN (1) pinpointing darting gesture YOUR EXAMPLES

DIRECT / SUSTAINED (2) prolonged focusing slow linear path YOUR EXAMPLES

INDIRECT / SUDDEN (3) instantly adjusting to twirl YOUR EXAMPLES

all facets

INDIRECT / SUSTAINED (4) all-round lingering slow turning and twisting YOUR EXAMPLES

consideration

24 / DANCE DYNAMICS
The four S/T variables can be observed in various sequences, such as:

Here is a brief narrative for a scene of searching:

Where is it? Here? There?


Everywhere A quick glance around,
and another, here it is! I s l o w l y approach it . . .

Perform the scene with clear focus and shaping in gesture, turning, locomotion;
in addition small, isolated and large, total body movement may enhance the
time variables.

Read and perform the following sequence that includes the S/T variables:

Notice if your performance brought about any movement actions you described
on the previous page.

TWO MOTION FACTORS / 25


W E I G H T A N D F L O W / T H E D R E A M L I K E S TAT E

The four variables resulting from the combinations of WeightFlow (of sens-
ing and feeling) bring about a less conscious, almost dream-like attitudes and
actions; some Contact Improvisation sequences at times assume such attitudes.

Laban approximates this combination as dreamlike since the lack of aware-


ness may be bold or diffuse and exalted or gloomy.9

M E N TA L A C T I O N MOVEMENT ACTION

STRONG / BOUND (1) forced restriction supporting a heavy slippery YOUR EXAMPLES

partner

LIGHT / BOUND (2) slight apprehension delicately balancing YOUR EXAMPLES

STRONG / FREE (3) powerful outgoing swinging YOUR EXAMPLES

LIGHT / FREE (4) delicate ease suspension YOUR EXAMPLES

26 / DANCE DYNAMICS
The four W/F variables can be observed in various sequences, such as:

Here is a brief narrative for a scene about a nightmare:

I am hovering on a brittle cliff;


I fall into the water and emerge out of it; gradually I start enjoying a
light breeze but then I fall into a quicksand patch and struggle to get
out.

Perform the scene with suspension, falling and rolling, swings, and pulling
inward.

Read and perform the following sequence that includes the W/F variables:

Notice if your performance brought about any movement actions you described
on the previous page.

TWO MOTION FACTORS / 27


S PA C E A N D F L O W / T H E R E M O T E S TAT E

The combination of SpaceFlow elements (associated with attention and pro-


gression as well as the powers of thinking and feeling), bring about almost
airborne, more abstract attitudes and actions. These may be associated with the
image of dancers in the period of the Romantic Ballet.

Laban approximates this inner attitude as remote in which detachment may


include focus on self, together with restraint or abandon.10

M E N TA L A C T I O N MOVEMENT ACTION
DIRECTBOUND (1) restricted honing in strict linear shaping YOUR EXAMPLES

DIRECTFREE (2) straightforwardly projecting a linear move- YOUR EXAMPLES

streaming ment into far distance

INDIRECTBOUND (3) careful survey three-dimensional move- YOUR EXAMPLES

ment with control

INDIRECTFREE (4) released dissemination turning outward YOUR EXAMPLES

28 / DANCE DYNAMICS
The four S/F variables can be observed in various sequences, such as:

Here is a brief narrative for a scene about a nightmare:

In a scene from Giselle Albrecht is carefully looking for her;


seeing Giselles specter his heart goes all out to her and he turns
around in joy. But where has she disappeared? He searches again. . .

Perform the scene using predominantly torso, arm and leg gestures, balancing
and getting off-balance that leads into locomotion.

Read and perform the following sequence that includes the S/F variables:

Notice if your performance brought about any movement actions you described
on the previous page.

TWO MOTION FACTORS / 29


W E I G H T A N D T I M E / T H E N E A R S TAT E

Rhythm in movement and dance consists of groupings of accents (Weight) and


duration (Time). The four variables resulting from the combination of Weight
Time (of sensing and intuiting) thus create predominately rhythmical, down to
earth, engaged attitudes and activities, such as in Flamenco and Tap dancing.

Laban approximates this inner attitude as near in which a presence may have
a sudden impact or sustained consideration, or it may express strong attach-
ment or superficial touch.11

M E N TA L A C T I O N MOVEMENT ACTION
STRONG / SUDDEN (1) emphatic assertion stomp YOUR EXAMPLES

LIGHT / SUDDEN (2) delicate nod touch YOUR EXAMPLES

STRONG / SUSTAINED (3) enduring power drag YOUR EXAMPLES

LIGHT / SUSTAINED (4) persisting subtleness slide YOUR EXAMPLES

30 / DANCE DYNAMICS
The four W/T variables can be observed in various sequences, such as:

Explore one of the suggested sequences:

A sequence of tap dance in the style of Savion Glover

OR

If you are more familiar with Spanish Flamenco dancing orchestrate


your feet with a variety of stomps and touches

Read and perform the following sequence that includes the four combinations
of W/T:

Notice if your performance brought about any movement actions you described
on the previous page.

TWO MOTION FACTORS / 31


S PA C E A N D W E I G H T / T H E S TA B L E S TAT E

The four variables resulting from the combinations of SpaceWeight (of think-
ing and sensing) produce persevering, well-defined, more stable attitudes and
activities. Examples may be found in gymnastics, pedestrian activities, and
some court dances from the Renaissance.

Laban approximates this combination as stable in which steadfastness can be


resolute or receptive, as well as solid and encompassing or delicately pinpoint-
ing.12

M E N TA L A C T I O N MOVEMENT ACTION
DIRECT / STRONG (1) convergent firmness strong clear-cut locomotion YOUR EXAMPLES

DIRECT / LIGHT (2) delicate focusing tracing fine lines YOUR EXAMPLES

INDIRECT / STRONG (3) strong all-round strong twisting YOUR EXAMPLES

scrutinizing

INDIRECT / LIGHT (4) delicate all-round delicate spiraling YOUR EXAMPLES

scanning

32 / DANCE DYNAMICS
The four S/W variables can be observed in various sequences, such as:

Explore steps and shoulder-arm patterns in the style of a courtly processional


dance from the time of the Renaissance, such as the Pavane:

Advancing with two low steps, then two high transferences of weight
is followed by a retreat consisting of two small steps and closes. This
alternates with shoulder-arm gestures, displaying a splendid pelerine
and showing off the dagger, that are performed without locomotion.

This motif is repeated with variations of your own design.

Perform the sequence with predominantly downward and upward as well as


narrowing and widening movements.

Read and perform the following sequence that includes the four combinations
of S/W:

Notice if your performance brought about any movement actions you


described on the previous page.

TWO MOTION FACTORS / 33


T I M E A N D F L O W / T H E M O B I L E S TAT E

The four variables resulting from the combinations of TimeFlow (of intuiting
and feeling) create changeable, more mobile, at times agitated attitudes and
activities. They may appear in dramatic movement and dance scenes.

Laban approximates this combinations as mobile in that ones adaptability


may be sticky or easy, and abruptly changing or slow forthcoming.13

M E N TA L A C T I O N MOVEMENT ACTION
SUDDEN / BOUND (1) startled jerk YOUR EXAMPLES

SUSTAINED / BOUND (2) sustained control stalking YOUR EXAMPLES

SUDDEN / FREE (3) pleasant surprise fluttering gesture (when YOUR EXAMPLES

repeated)

SUSTAINED / FREE (4) unhurried ease calm advancing YOUR EXAMPLES

34 / DANCE DYNAMICS
The four TF variables can be observed in various sequences, such as:

Improvise the scene below:

Are we going to catch our flight? On a crowded airport we are jerked


several times toward the departing gatetrying to prevent falling we
continue to advance cautiously. Suddenly there is an announcement
about the planes delay. What a relief! Now we can take our time lei-
surely and even enjoy the forthcoming rush of checking in.

Perform the scene by alternating movement that pulls inwards with agita-
tion and control, and streams outward with ease and excitement; also include
moments of withholding balance in contrast to nearly falling off-balance.

Read and perform the following sequence that includes the four T/F variables:

Notice if your performance brought about any movement actions you described
on the previous page.

TWO MOTION FACTORS / 35


Recommended reading about Combinations of Two Motion Factors:

W E I G H T A N D T I ME
Laban, Rudolf. The Mastery of Movement (1980 edition) 7879.
North, Marion. Personality Assessment Through Movement (Macdonald & Evans, 1972)
252.
Preston-Dunlop, Valerie. A Handbook for Dance in Education (London: Macdonald &
Evans, 1980) 1516; 9 b.
Bartenieff, Irmgard. Body Movement: Coping with the Environment (New York:
Gordon & Breach, 1980) 5960.

S PA C E A N D F L O W
Laban 7879.
North 252253.
Preston-Dunlop 3537; 194.
Bartenieff 5960.

W E I G H T A N D F L OW
Laban 7879.
North 249251.
Preston-Dunlop 3536; 194195.
Bartenieff 5960.

TIME AND FLOW


Laban 7879.
North 254.
Preston-Dunlop 35; 195.
Bartenieff 5960.

S PA C E A N D W E I G HT
Laban 7879.
North 253.
Preston-Dunlop 36; 195.
Bartenieff 5960.

S PA C E A N D T I M E
Laban 7879.
North 251.
Preston-Dunlop 3637; 194.
Bartenieff 5960.

36 / DANCE DYNAMICS
EFFORT / SPACE (SHAPE) Affinities

Before elaborating on the variables of Combinations of three Motion factors,


Labans concept of affinities between the dynamic qualities or Effort and its
spatial unfolding are considered. The concept has already been hinted at in the
description of affinities of Space, Weight, Time, and Flow elements with the
areas in space around the body.

Laban found close correlation between Effort elements and the six dimensional
directions. These were based on his observation that a light movement has an
upward tendency, and a strong movement aims downward; a straight, direct
movement correlates with movement across the body, while a roundabout,
flexible or indirect movement is correlated with an opening outwards; a sudden
movement tends toward a backward direction, and a slow, sustained one reaches
forward. Elaborating compounds of these, Laban arrived at the eight variables
of the Action Drive or the eight basic Effort actions, which correspond with
the eight Diagonal directions. Accordingly, a light/indirect/sustained movement
is associated with the high-open-forward diagonal, and a strong/direct/sudden
one with the down-across-back diagonal, etc.14

A helpful visualization of the above can be seen in FIG. 2 (p. 38, overleaf) rep-
resenting the Effort cube with directional and Effort symbols.

EFFORT-SPACE AFFINITIES / 37
FIG. 2: THE EFFORT CUBE

(a) Along the edge transitions

(b) Across the planes transitions

(c) Diagonal transitions

38 / DANCE DYNAMICS
The scaffolding of the cube also presents a device for the exploration of transi-
tions among the eight basic Effort actions:

(a) over the edge transitions, indicated by the solid line, create sequences
with changes of one element, such as:

or

Y O U R EXAMPLE of another transition over the edges:

(b) across the planes or faces of the cube transitions, indicated by the arrows,
create sequences with changes of two elements, such as:

or

Y O U R EXAMPLE of another transition across two planes or faces:

(c) the diagonal transitions through the cube, indicated by arrows, can
embody contrasting transitions, such as:

or

Y O U R EXAMPLES of two other transitions through the cube:

EFFORT-SPACE AFFINITIES / 39
Labans concept of affinities was the point of departure for Warren Lambs elab-
oration of Effort and Shape relationships. Initially Labans student and assis-
tant in developing the Laban-Lawrence Effort assessment test for work study
purposes, Lamb evolved his own methodology. In Posture and Gesture Lamb
presents his scheme for observation and analysis of physical behavior in which
the emphasis is placed on degrees of affinity between Shape and Effort varia-
tions, including his elaboration of shape flow in addition to effort flow.15
The observation of actions such as posture, gesture, and their merging
is also a significant variable.16 In the 1960s Lambs Effort-Shape construct
contributed to the forming of Laban-Lamb-based methodologies in the U.S.A.
promoted by Irmgard Bartenieff and Dr. Judith Kestenberg. While Bartenieff
developed Effort/Shape with reference to research and teaching,17 Kestenberg
expanded some of its concepts in context of Freudian developmental phases and
observations of infants.18

40 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Combinations of THREE MOTION FACTORS

The combinations of three Motion Factors and their respective Effort Elements
bring about a more intense movement expression that Laban refers to as
drives. Taking the Action Drive as the point of departure, Laban identified
three additional drives in which Flow replaces the other three Motion Factors.
He gave them metaphorical names, such as Passion Drive (Flow replac-
ing Space), Vision Drive (Flow replacing Weight), and Spell Drive (Flow
replacing Time),19 and also labeled them as Transformation IIII.20 Marion
North elaborates on them in the context of personality assessment and refers to
the spaceless drive as an emotional stressed drive; timeless as a spell-like drive,
and, weightless as a visionary drive.21 Bartenieff subsequently describes them
as transformation drives and names them simply spaceless, weightless,
and timeless22

The A C T I O N DRIVE combines Effort elements of Space, Weight, and Time


(thinking, sensing, and intuiting), while Flow (feeling) remains latent. The eight
possible combinations of the above elements are also described as basic Effort
actions of thrusting, floating, pressing, flicking, gliding, slashing, dabbing, and
wringing.23

The PA S S I O N DRIVE arises when the Flow factor replaces the Space factor
and transforms the Action drive into a more emotionally emphasized drive. It
includes the eight possible combinations of Weight, Time, and Flow qualities
(sensing, intuiting, and feeling) that override the clarity of Spatial placement
and shaping (thinking).

The V I S I O N D RIVE emerges when the Flow factor substitutes the Weight factor
changing the movement into a more weightless drive. It includes eight possible
combinations of Space, Time, and Flow qualities (thinking, intuiting, and feel-
ing) that override the bodily import (the sensing).

The S P E L L D R I VE appears when the Flow factor replaces Time qualities, trans-
forming the movement into a timeless drive. It includes eight possible combina-
tions of Space, Weight, and Flow qualities (thinking, sensing, and feeling) that
override the sense for timing (intuiting).

Each of the four drives has a potential for eight variables, which provides for
thirty-two qualities in addition to twenty-four qualities of inner attitudes or
incomplete Efforts.

THREE MOTION FACTORS / 41


S P A C E , W E I G H T , A N D T I M E / ACTION DRIVE OR BASIC EFFORT ACTIONS

Functional actions such as work, gymnastics, and dance training require clear
spatial attending, an intentional use of weight, and a good sense for timing. In
these cases the emotional participation resulting in bound or free Flow is not
needed or even appropriate.

(In this drive Labans question of how associated with Flow is in the back-
ground, while whereS, whenT, and whatW are in the fore-
ground.)

The combination of Space-Weight-Time elements is therefore referred to as


action drive and to each of the eight variables Laban gave a work-like
descriptive term. His first inspiration for this terminology actually came from
traditional ways of describing basic forms of movement actions (steps) and
their qualities, such as the battu, fouett and gliss of the French ballet vocabu-
lary, that corresponds to thrusting, slashing and gliding.24

[The Action drive, like the other three drives, can be further analyzed with
regard to the inner attitudes that are embedded in each, such as S/W (stable),
S/T (awake), and W/T (near)25]

42 / DANCE DYNAMICS
BASIC EFFORT ACTIONS

M E N TA L A C T I O N MOVEMENT ACTION

(1) P U N C H ING/THRUSTING
DIRECT / STRONG / SUDDEN making an emphatic statement frapp action
YOUR EXAMPLE

(2) F L O AT I NG
INDIRECT / LIGHT / SUSTAINED eventually releasing gently scattering
YOUR EXAMPLE

(3) P R E S S I NG
DIRECT / STRONG / SUSTAINED strongly persistent slow tendu
YOUR EXAMPLE

(4) F L I C K I NG
INDIRECT / LIGHT / SUDDEN quickly dismissing toss of a hand/foot
YOUR EXAMPLE

(5) GLIDING
DIRECT / LIGHT / SUSTAINED easily pursuing glissade
YOUR EXAMPLE

(6) S L A S H I NG
INDIRECT / STRONG / SUDDEN reckless force whipping gesture
YOUR EXAMPLE

(7) D A B B I NG
DIRECT / LIGHT / SUDDEN pinpointing tap dancing
YOUR EXAMPLE

(8) W R I N G ING
INDIRECT / STRONG / SUSTAINED tortuous scrutiny twisting upper body against the lower
YOUR EXAMPLE

THREE MOTION FACTORS / 43


The eight combinations of S/W/T can be performed in sequences with changes of
one, two and three elements both with WORK-LIKE or DANCE-LIKE actions.

(a1) Perform the movement sequence of WORK-LIKE ACTIONS below using


four of the S/W/T combinations by changing ONE element each time:

FLOAT FLICK DAB GLIDE PRESS WRING SLASH PUNCH

(a2) Create and write down another sequence in which you change one
element.

(b1) Perform the movement sequence of WORK-LIKE ACTIONS below


using four of the S/W/T combinations by changing TWO elements each
time:

FLOAT PRESS DAB SLASH

(b2) Create and write down another sequence in which you change two
elements.

(c1) Perform the movement sequence of WORK-LIKE ACTIONS below


using all eight of the S/W/T combinations by changing T H R E E
elements every time:

FLOAT PUNCH GLIDE SLASH FLICK PRESS DAB WRING

44 / DANCE DYNAMICS
By performing the instructors examples of the S/W/T combinations within an
imaginary Effort cube around you (See Fig. 2), you can create a sequence with
more D A N C E - LIKE ACTIONS:

(a1) First perform the sequence with transitions ALONG THE EDGES of the
cube; see p. 38 Fig. 2 (a).

(b1) Second, perform the eight actions with transitions ACROSS THE
P L A N E S or FACES ; see p. 38 Fig. 2 (b).

(c1) Finally, perform the eight actions by connecting them with transitions
D I A G O NALLY through the cube; see p. 38 Fig. 2 (c).

THREE MOTION FACTORS / 45


F L O W, W E I G H T , A N D T I M E / PASSION DRIVE

There are instances in everyday life and dance when the feeling component
overrides thinking. This may happen in various situations, such as emotional
outbursts and in some tribal ritual dances. The passion drive also emerges in
climactic moments of Spanish Flamenco dancing. In such instances clear Spatial
attending becomes undifferentiated and the binding or freeing control of Flow
is coupled with an intentional use of Weight and a sense of Timing.

(In this drive Labans question of where associated with Space is in abeyance,
while whenT, whatW, and howF, are in the foreground.)

[Further analysis of embedded inner attitudes shows combinations of W/F


(dream-like), T/W (near), and T/F (mobile).]

In contrast to the Action drive, no set terms have been created for the eight com-
binations of Flow/Weight/Time (feeling, sensing, and intuiting). Following are
attempts to find descriptive words for the performance of these combinations.

To start with the transformations of the basic Effort actions may be helpful.29

M E N TA L A C T I O N MOVEMENT ACTION

(1) ( S PA C E L E S S THRUST)

BOUND / STRONG / SUDDEN shocked spasmodic contaction


YOUR EXAMPLE

(2) ( S PA C E L E S S FLOAT)
FREE / LIGHT / SUSTAINED vague daydreaming drifitng
YOUR EXAMPLE

(3) ( S PA C E L E S S WRING)
BOUND / STRONG / SUSTAINED hemmed in slow contraction
YOUR EXAMPLE

(4) ( S PA C E L E S S FLICK)
FREE / LIGHT / SUDDEN quizzical light jerk
YOUR EXAMPLE

46 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(5) ( S PA C E LESS SLASH)
FREE / STRONG / SUDDEN blurting out wild throw
YOUR EXAMPLE

(6) ( S PA C E LESS GLIDE)


BOUND / LIGHT / SUSTAINED cautious hovering precarious balancing
YOUR EXAMPLE

(7) ( S PA C E LESS DAB)


BOUND / LIGHT / SUDDEN light irritation a gasp
YOUR EXAMPLE

(8) ( S PA C E LESS WRING)


FREE / STRONG / SUSTAINED menacing intent forceful shoving
YOUR EXAMPLE

The W/T/F combinations can be performed in various sequences, such as:

Perform this study with actions you described above.

Here is a proposed sequence that may help you explore the Passion Drive:

Take the work-like action sequence (c1) from p. 44 with the change of
all three elements. By introducing repetitions within pairs of opposites,
and gradually replacing Space with Flow elements, transform the entire
sequence into emotionally charged movement in which you lose any
sense of a working-like situation.

Feel free to repeat the entire sequence until you get a sense that you went
through the transformation.

THREE MOTION FACTORS / 47


S P A C E , T I M E , A N D F L O W / VISION DRIVE

In this combination the feeling component manifest in the Flow of movement


overrides the bodily sensing that becomes undifferentiated. The physicality of
strong and light tension is transcended by the binding and freeing control of
Flow and coupled with a clear Spatial attending, along with a good sense of
Timing. One may suggest that Merce Cunninghams style of the 1960s predomi-
nantly uses a selection of Space (mostly direct), Flow (mostly bound), and Time
(both polarities) combinations.

[Here further analysis regarding inner attitudes embedded in the drive will show
that the gist of the Cunningham style has already been identified in the S/T
(awake) combination; the additional S/F (remote), and ballet-like T/F (mobile),
give a more complete account of the dynamic texture of his style.]

(It is also helpful to remember Labans reference to Flow with the question
how, Space where, and Time when.)

M E N TA L A C T I O N MOVEMENT ACTION

(1) ( W E I G H T L ESS THRUST)


DIRECT / SUDDEN / BOUND taken aback precise, fast lunge
YOUR EXAMPLE

(2) ( W E I G H T L ESS FLOAT)


INDIRECT / SUSTAINED / FREE indulging in fantasies slowly stirring water
YOUR EXAMPLE

(3) ( W E I G H T L ESS PRESS)


DIRECT / SUSTAINED / BOUND persistently precise drawing a smooth line
YOUR EXAMPLE

(4) ( W E I G H T L ESS FLICK)


INDIRECT / SUDDEN / FREE instant release quick and fluid twirl
YOUR EXAMPLE

48 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(5) ( W E I G HTLESS SLASH)
INDIRECT / SUDDEN / BOUND sudden unease quick, controlled wriggle
YOUR EXAMPLE

(6) ( W E I G HTLESS GLIDE)


DIRECT / SUSTAINED / FREE clearly considering striding purposefully forward
YOUR EXAMPLE

(7) ( W E I G HTLESS WRING)


INDIRECT / SUSTAINED / BOUND persisting overall tension precise shaping
YOUR EXAMPLE

(8) ( W E I G HTLESS DAB)


DIRECT / SUDDEN / FREE lively focusing lively darting jumps
YOUR EXAMPLE

The eight S/T/F combinations or selections from them can be performed in vari-
ous sequences, such as:

Perform this study with actions you described above.

The scene below may facilitate the exploration of the Vision Drive:

Perform the sequence of work-like actions (b1) from p. 44, with the
change of two elements. By repeating it several times see if you can
gradually replace Weight with Flow elements, and change from a man-
ual worker to a visionary leader who supports her/his ideas with arm
gestures and facial expression.

THREE MOTION FACTORS / 49


S P A C E , W E I G H T , A N D F L O W / SPELL DRIVE

There are rare instances in everyday life and dance that the feeling component
Flow replaces the sense of Timing, and combines with Space and Weight. When
we watch a horror movie we sometimes get spell bound. In dance, Japanese
Butoh and some of Eiko and Komas work convey predominantly such hypnotic
qualities.

(Here Labans questions show that when associated with Time is in abeyance,
while whereS, whatW, and howF, are in the foreground.)

[Further analysis of embedded inner attitudes shows combinations of W/F


(dream-like), S/W (stable), and S/F (remote).]

M E N TA L A C T I O N MOVEMENT ACTION

(1) ( T I M E L E S S THRUST)
DIRECT / STRONG / BOUND steadfast concentration strong, controlled resistance
YOUR EXAMPLE

(2) ( T I M E L E S S FLOAT)
INDIRECT / LIGHT / FREE nebulous yielding like blown by the wind
YOUR EXAMPLE

(3) ( T I M E L E S S PRESS)
DIRECT / STRONG / FREE powerful effusion strong, fluent advancing
YOUR EXAMPLE

(4) ( T I M E L E S S FLICK)
INDIRECT / LIGHT / BOUND restraint wavering delicate, controlled carving
YOUR EXAMPLE

50 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(5) ( T I M E L ESS SLASH)
INDIRECT / STRONG / BOUND overwhelmed but not voicing it contortion
YOUR EXAMPLE

(6) ( T I M E L ESS GLIDE)


DIRECT / LIGHT / FREE pursuing with light ease light, directed gestures
YOUR EXAMPLE

(7) ( T I M E L ESS WRING)


INDIRECT / STRONG / FREE firm, all-round influencing strong, fluent twisting
YOUR EXAMPLE

(8) ( T I M E L ESS DAB)


DIRECT / LIGHT / BOUND meticulous tight-rope walking
YOUR EXAMPLE

The eight S/W/F combinations or selections from them can be performed in


various sequences, such as

Perform this study with actions you described above.

The scene below may help you explore the Spell Drive:

You are working on a conveyor belt using work-like actions from the
sequence (a1) with the change of one element (p. 44). While repeating
it and replacing Time with Flow elements you gradually lose the objec-
tive work-like approach. Repeat the sequence as many times you need
to make a transition from the Action into the Spell drive.

THREE MOTION FACTORS / 51


Recommended reading for Combinations of Three Motion Factors:

/ Action Drive / Basic Effort Actions


S PA C E , W E I G H T, TIME
Laban, Rudolf. Modern Educational Dance, third ed. (1975
Rudiments of a Free Dance Technique) 5284.
North (1973) 255261.
Preston-Dunlop (1980) 6079.

F L O W, W E I G H T, T IME / Passion-like Drive


Laban (1980) 8081.
North 261, 263266.
Preston-Dunlop 197199.

S PA C E , T I M E , F L OW / Vision-like Drive
Laban (1980) 8081.
North 261, 263266.
Preston-Dunlop 197200.

S PA C E , W E I G H T, FLOW / Spell-like Drive


Laban (1980) 8081.
North 261, 263266.
Preston-Dunlop 197200.

52 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Combinations of FOUR MOTION FACTORS

The combinations of four Motion Factors are referred to in England as com-


plete Effort actions,27 in contrast to the combinations of two that Laban iden-
tified as incomplete Efforts. Bartenieff, on the other hand refers to the com-
bination of four as full Effort combinations, and describes them as extreme
survival responses.28 As dance audiences we can also get a glimpse of an active
engagement in all four Effort elements while watching peak-performances.

Each of the eight basic actions can be performed with either free or bound Flow.
There are only two basic actionsfloating and thrustingwhich due to
their predominant indulging and fighting structure, may have a natural
tendency toward free flow (floating) and bound flow (thrusting).

The combination of Space, Weight, Time, and Flow create further sixteen
distinct variations in addition to twenty-four incomplete Effort actions, and
thirty-two drives.

Additional considerations

This text has presented Labans classification of seventy-two observable move-


ment qualities. All these qualities can be further articulated in several ways.
They may be performed with a greater emphasis in one of the components.

This differentiation is referred to as ranking.29 For instance in emphasizing


Weight in a pressing action you change it into crush, with Space emphasis
it becomes a cut, and with Time it becomes a squeeze. The emphasis can be
notated by placing a dot at the end of the symbol. The Effort combinations may
also be varied through grading of the intensity of the performance which can
be diminished or exaggerated.30

An example can be a gliding action in which Space and Time may be diminished
while the Weight remains unaltered. In this case a minus sign would be placed
at the end of the symbols.

Another glide can have an exaggerated Time, while the Space and Weight
remain unchanged. A plus sign indicates this grading.

The significance of Effort qualities emerges through their placement in the


sequence of actions as well as their bodily performance. Singular qualities gain
meaning when they are related to what follows. As we saw (p. 39), transitions
or mutations from one quality to another can occur either with the change of
one element that is gradual, or more surprisingly with the change of two, or
they can create opposition with the change of all elements.

FOUR MOTION FACTORS / 53


Different movement styles are created through bodily performances of Effort
rhythms. A movement sequence can be performed with the whole body being
attuned to a particular Effort quality. On the other hand, various qualities can
be performed by different body parts at the same time. Brenda Dixon Gottschild
refers to the latter as polyrhythmic that characterizes the style of Africanist
movement. For example the feet may maintain one rhythm while the arms,
head, or torso dance to different drums.31 Polyrhythmy as well as polycen-
trismwhere two or more body centers may operate simultaneouslyare fea-
tures which have made a strong impact on American dance, and are visible not
only in movement styles of Trisha Brown and Twyla Tharp but also in some of
George Balanchines work.32

How various aspects of Effort transitions and bodily performances are reflected
in the eight types of Phrasing, will be discussed in Part B of this text.

54 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Notes for Part A: The Effort Theory

1. For full bibliographic information see Bibliography on pp. 125 / 129.


2. See Vera Maletic, "Emergence of Eukinetics" in Chapter II of Body-Space-Expression,
97 / 99.
3. Inner participation and its phases of Attention, Intention and Decision are first referred to
in Laban's Effort, (London: Macdonald & Evans, 1947, 60 / 62).
4. All four phases, including Progression, are listed and explained for the first time in R.
Laban's The Mastery of Movement, sec. edition 1960, 120-121; they are also referred
to in the 1980, ed., 114 / 115.
5. See Laban, The Mastery of Movement, 1960, 121; 1980, 115.
6. See Laban, The Mastery of Movement, 1960, 82-84; and 1980, 77 / 79.
7. See Irmgard Bartenieff, Body Movement: Coping with the Environment, 1980, 59 / 60.
8. Laban, 1960, 83; 1980, 79.
9. Laban, 1960, 83; 1980, 79.
10. Laban, 1960, 84; 1980, 79.
11. Laban, 1960, 84; 1980, 79.
12. Laban, 1960, 84; 1980, 79.
13. Laban, 1960, 84; 1980, 79.
14. See Laban Choreutics, 1966, 30 / 34.
15. Warren Lamb, Posture and Gesture. 1965.
16. Lamb, explains on p. 16 that Posture is an action involving a continuous adjustment of
every part of the body with consistency in the process of variation; Gesture, on the other
hand, is an action confined to a part or parts of the body.
17. See Bartenieff, 1980, Chapter 6.
18. Judith Kestenberg, The Role of Movement Patterns in Development. 1967.
19. Laban, 1960, 84-85; 1980, 79 / 81.
20. Laban, 1960, 122-125; 1980, 116 / 119.
21. Marion North, Personality Assessment through Movement. 1972, 261 / 263.
North worked with Laban on movement observation during the last years of his life.
22. See Bartenieff, 1980, 61.
23. See Laban, Modern Educational Dance, 1975 ed., 59 / 75.
24. See Laban, Choreutics, 1966, 30.
25. See North, 1972, the chart on p. 262.
26. See North, 1972, 263 / 266.
27. See Valerie Preston, A Handbook for Modern Educational Dance, 1963, 141.
28. See Bartenieff, 1980, 63.
29. See Laban, 1980,170 / 172.
30. See Laban, 1980, 173 / 181.
31. Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Digging the Africanist Presence in American Performance
Dance and Other Contexts, 1996, 14.
32. See Dixon Gottschild, chapters 4 and 5.

NOTES / 55
PA R T B / T H E O RY A N D P R A C T I C E O F P H R A S I N G

INTRODUCTION

Phrasing is an organizing factor underlying the performance and perception of


movement within the continuum of Space, Time, Weight and Flow. When we
choreograph or direct a work we articulate dance movement into various phras-
ing rhythms that enhances the theme of the dance. Clear phrasing also facilitates
the perception of dance for audiences, dance critics and researchers.

Is there a difference between the notions of phrase and phrasing in modern and
post-modern dance? Writings about these concepts are on the whole brief and
incomplete. Several authors, such as Elizabeth Hayes1 and Jacqueline Smith2 use
the term phrase or phrasing without defining it. Could that suggest that
dancers frequently depend on the theory of music to articulate and conceptual-
ize even those phenomena that are so fundamentally linked with movement?
In surveying handbooks for dance and dance composition, one can find only
a few descriptions of the terms, such as Doris Humphreys definition of the
phrase as the organization of movement in time-design, and phrased move-
ment as an expenditure of energy at various rates followed by a rest.3 Yvonne
Rainer, the exponent of post-modern dance points out the distinction between
a phrase and phrasing. While she sees the phrase as having several con-
secutive movements or as a metaphor for a longer duration containing a begin-
ning, middle, and end, she associates phrasing with the manner of execution
or the way in which energy is distributed in the execution of a movement or a
series of movements. Rainers view of the significance of phrasing is also seen
in her argument that what makes one kind of movement different from another
is not so much variations in arrangement of parts of the body as differences in
energy investment.4

Descriptions of the various structures of phrases or phrasing appear to have


some common denominators. Humphrey gives three simple categories accord-
ing to which phrases can have the high point or climax at the beginning or near
the end or near the middle.5 While recognizing that phrasing the flow of move-
ment reigns supreme in dance, Rudolf Laban in his English writings refers only
to two possibilities of phrasing depending on the unaccented part preceding and
leading up to the accent, or the unaccented part following and dissolving the
accent.6 However, in the tradition of his early teaching in Germany one can
PHRASING / 57
find references to movement performed with increasing or decreasing intensity,
impulse, and tension.7 Sylvia Bodmer (who first trained with Laban in Germany
during the twenties and subsequently in England in the forties), introduces four
types of dynamic phrasing, such as impulse, swing, counter-tension, and impact.
In addition, she refers to resilient or rebounding movement that is created by a
combination of two dynamic qualities.8 Marion North articulates the British
school of Labans teaching by distinguishing the length, development, rhythms,
and patterns of Effort phrases. Under developments she refers to increases,
decreases, resiliency, and evenness, and among rhythms she lists simple and
combined accents, impact and impulse.9 The common denominator in the
above descriptions is the consideration of phrasing as the patterning of energy
or stress, rather than the phrase as a compositional unit.

Two authors emphasize the significance of phrase and phrasing in investigat-


ing choreographic and cultural dance styles. In the seventies Yvonne Rainer
and dance anthropologist Anya Peterson Royce associate changes in attitudes
toward phrasing with changes in contemporary choreography; both also point
to the need for further investigation. Rainer sees phrasing as an indicator of
changes from modern to post-modern dance. She distinguishes the climactic
phrasing of traditional modern dance from the energy equality of minimalist
tendencies of the late 1960s and early 70s.10 Royce suggests that the length of
a phrase may indicate innovative trends in choreography. She sees the length-
ening or shortening of the dance phrase against its traditional conventions as
providing potentially fruitful research both for the study of creativity and the
cross-cultural variations in movement style.11 It seems as though such important
research should begin in the new millennium.

As to the issues of developments in the terminology of phrasing, two Laban


scholars in the 1970s describe the lack of its classification and analysis. In com-
piling a movement glossary about pattern features Martha Davis lists move-
ment phrases and gives the examples of two contrasting phrasing with intensity
building or diminishing. At the same time she also states that a terminology
of movement phrases is virtually underdeveloped.12 Cecily Dell maintains that
there is minimal research regarding a detailed analysis of phrasing.13

My own experience of teaching Labananalysis and Dance Dynamics/Effort at


The Ohio State University, and conducting research in choreographic style, has
motivated me to further develop the Laban-based classification and notation of
phrasing.14 Discussions with colleagues Odette Blum and Lucy Venable about
phrasing annotations of Labanotation scores greatly contributed to the follow-
ing elaboration.

58 / DANCE DYNAMICS
In summary, phrasing is an organizing factor underlying the performance
and perception of movement within the Space-Time-Weight-Flow continuum.
Within this framework the term refers predominantly to the qualitative rhythm
of movement, or as Rainer puts it, to the manner of execution of a movement
or a series of movements.15

CLASSIFICATION OF PHRASING

The proposed classification of phjrasing encompasses various groupings of


movement qualities (or Efforts) in which changing or unchanging, and repetitive
patterns can be identified. Eight main types of Phrasing can be distinguished.

(I) implies the performance of a quality that does not change;


E V E N P H R A S I NG
it therefore maintains the same intensity. This phrasing can have a variety of
Space, Weight, and Flow combinations. With regard to Time, the quality of sus-
tained, slow movement enhances the texture of evenness, while the intermittent
quality of sudden, urgent movement goes against its nature. The following two
examples have both sustained Time but different qualities of Space, and Flow:
traveling smoothly through the space with sliding steps can be performed with
a direct/sustained/free quality. On the other hand, in carefully weaving a design
pattern, we can use an indirect/light/bound quality.

(II) I N C R E A S I N G - I NTENSITY PHRASING implies the performance of a quality


that changes in that it increases in intensity. When it reaches a sudden accent,
we call it an Impact. Any single movement quality or combinations of qualities
can increase. For instance, when speeding toward a goal there is an increase in
directness and acceleration. On the other hand, an assertive statement, such as
pounding a table, will result in a strong/sudden impact.

(III) D E C R E A S I N G - INTENSITY PHRASING also changes the movement quality


in that it decreases its initial intensity. When initiated with a sudden accent
we refer to it as an Impulse. Any single movement quality or combination of
qualities can decrease. For instance, one can slow down ones pace in walking,
thus decelerate in time. One can also suddenly turn toward something with an
impulse to approach it, and then gradually relinquish this action, thus decreas-
ing from a direct/sudden quality.

(IV) In I N C R E A S I N G-THEN-DECREASING INTENSITY PHRASING quality changes


occur within one breath. The changes in the qualities that increase and decrease in
intensity can vary from single movement qualities or their combinations. For instance,
while singing a lullaby and gently swinging a baby there is an Increase-then-Decrease in
acceleration and weightiness.

PHRASING / 59
(V) In D E C R E A S I N G - T H E N - I N C R E A S I N G I N T E N S I T Y P H R A S I N G * quality
changes also occur during one breath, and can vary from single movement
qualities or their combinations. For instance, when gradually relaxing from an
intense tension and becoming tense again, there is a decrease from strength and
bound flow and then an increase toward it again.

* This phrasing type was included as a result of Robert Ellis Dunns observation that
decreasing-then-increasing phrasing is also existing as an archetypal shape both in move-
ment and music. (Letter of May 6, 1984.)

(VI) ACCENTED PHRASING consists of a repetition of intermittent, sudden


accents that form a rhythmic entity. While the quality of fast or sudden Time
is constant it can be combined with other qualities of Space, Weight, and Flow.
For instance, when tapping impatiently with fingers, a light/sudden quality is
repeated. In contrast, when stomping in anger a strong/sudden/bound quality
is repeated.

(VII) V I B R AT O RY P H R ASING consists of sudden repetitions that continue over


a shorter or longer period of time. While the quality of exaggerated sudden
Time is constant, it can be combined with other qualities of Space, Weight, and
Flow. For instance, when mime artists imitate a butterfly they perform light/sud-
den hand vibrations. On the other hand, in convulsive shaking the entire body
is engaged in strong/sudden/bound vibrations.

(VII) is a result of repetitive, rebounding qualities that can


R E S I L I E N T P H R A S ING
be performed with three different emphases. An Elastic, bouncy resiliency can
be experienced or seen when dribbling a ball. Buoyant resiliency can be experi-
enced or seen when jumping on a trampoline. Weighty resiliency can be experi-
enced or seen in shaking out a heavy rug.

See further movement and dance examples beginning on page 65.

PHRASING / 60
Writing of Phrasing and its usage

Phrasing signs can be annotated with two sets of dynamic symbols: signs from
Kinetography/Labanotation, or Effort signs.

(a) Phrasing annotated with dynamic signs from Kinetography/Labanotation


is used for the purpose of indicating an overall performance of move-
ment and dance energy. This less complex mode is appropriate in the
beginning stages of learning. Its shortcomings are due to the nature of
these signs that pertain only to selected combinations of Weight and
Time, i.e. strong/sudden and light/sudden accents, and to aspects of
resiliency.

(b) Phrasing annotated with Effort signs is used when movement qualities
need to be captured in greater detail. This more complex mode of
Phrasing notation presupposes an understanding of the Effort theory.
Since there are over seventy combinations of Space, Weight, Time, and
Flow factors, and innumerable transitions among them, there is a poten-
tial for a great amount of phrasing variations.

Phrasing can be written horizontally or vertically


vertically. The vertical notation includes
the use of the Motif Writing. In contrast to Labanotation, Motif Writing cap-
tures overall movement ideas, such as body actions, spatial directions, body
signs and relationship aspects. Symbols used most frequently in the context of
Phrasing, are action strokes, and signs for stillness, written on an open staff.

The usage of the classification and notation of Phrasing can be descriptive and
prescriptive:

(a) It can be used to describe performances viewed live, on film, or on


videotape for the purpose of clarifying the observations of movement
and dance sequences, or

(b) It can also be used to prescribe or set different types of phrasing


of movement qualities in order to heighten the performance in a dance
class, a rehearsal, or in the context of a Labanotation score. Its usage in
structured improvisation is also effective.

61 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Explicit and implicit references to Phrasing in dance

In addition to descriptions of dance qualities in dance writings (see pp. 45)


here are excerpts that refer more specifically to Phrasing. While the first two
quotations explicitly address Phrasing, the others implicitly refer to Phrasing by
describing the performers actions and interpretive images perceived. (Emphases
are the authors.)

In movement terms Bobovs phrasing swings along more evenly with


regular alterations of flow in contrast to the emphatic phrasing of
Satmar or the impulsive dynamic phrasing of Lubavitch. (Jill Gelerman.
Mayim Patterns in Three Hasidic Comunities, in Essays in Dance
Research, Dance Research Annual IX. CORD 1978. 129.)

Mr. Granados is a fine dancer with a distinctive style, which is as crucial


in flamenco as it is in tap. His phrasing is deft and witty. . . (Jennifer
Dunning. A Dancer Shows how Rhythm can Set Fire to Flirtation.
The New York Times, Nov. 28, 2003. B3.

Virtually all is flow, and continuous energy, punctuated with martial


thrusts amid repeated sinking and rising bodies. (Anna Kisselgoff. The
Syncretism of Tai Chi and Bach,by Lin Hwai-min and the Cloud Gate
Dance Theater, The New York Times, Nov. 20, 2003. B1.)

In response to the changing mood of the word and music, dancers


walked meditatively, gazed heavenward, trembled in desperation and
embraced and rejected one another. Most of all, they ventured boldly
into space like people leaning to transcend their rage against injustice
into a spirit of idealistic determination. (Jack Anderson. Rod Rodgers
Remembered: Lyric and Vivid Choreography, The New York Times,
Nov. 26, 2003. B15.)

Slides and brushing steps were punctuated by hearty stamps. Allegro


sequences resembled bursts of firecrackers. (Jack Anderson. Feet with
a Lot to Say and Ways to Say it, The New York Times, December 18,
2003.B3.) Dance review of Savion Glovers Improvography.

PHRASING / 62
Notes for Part B: Theory and Practice of Phrasing

1. Elizabeth R. Hayes, Dance Composition and Production (New York: The Ronald Press
Co., 1955) 31, 32, 70.
2. Jacqueline Smith, Dance CompositionA Practical Guide for Teachers (London: Lepus
Books, 1976) 28.
3. Doris Humphrey, The Art of Making Dances (New York: Grove Press, 1959) 67.
4. Yvonne Rainer, The Mind is a Muscle in Work: 196173. (New York University,
1974) 65.
5. Humphrey, 6870.
6. Rudolf Laban, The Mastery of Movement (London: Macdonald & Evans, 1980) 43.
7. See Vera Maletic, Body-Space-Expression: The Development of Rudolf Labans
Movement and Dance Concepts (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1987) 9497.
8. Sylvia Bodmer, Studies Based on Crystalloid Dance Forms. (London: Laban Centre for
Movement and Dance, 1979) 5.
9. Marion North, Personality Assessment Through Movement (London: Macdonald &
Evans, 1972) 2128.
10. Rainer, 6465.
11. Anya Peterson Royce, The Anthropology of Dance (Bloomington: Indiana University
Press, 1977) 189.
12. Martha Davis, Towards Understanding the Intrinsic in Body Movement (New York:
Arno Press, 1975) 4142.
13. Cecily Dell, A Primer for Movement Description (New York: Dance Notation Bureau,
1970) 92.
14. Vera Maletic, Dynamics of Dance (International Council of Kinetography Laban:
Proceedings of the Fifteenth Biennial Conference, 1987) 82101.
___________ , Issues in Phrasing and Effort Annotations of a Humphrey Score (ICKL:
Proceedings of the Sixteenth Biennial Conference, 1989) 105126.
___________ , Qualitative Annotations of Labanotation Scores (ICKL: Proceedings of the
Seventeenth Biennial Conference, 1991) 73103.
15. Rainer, 65.

63 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Note about the order of explications for each phrasing type

In sections entitled Eight Phrasing types annotated with signs for dynamics
from Kinetography/Labanotation, and Eight Phrasing types annotated with
Effort signs:

(1) Phrasing types are marked by Roman numerals (IVIII), followed by a


succinct description of their characteristics.

(2) Exemplars ( EX ) provide verbal and notational samples of ways in


which movement is patterned or phrased.

(3) Examples include movement that embodies the Phrasing under


consideration.

(4) The assignment


Be prepared to demonstrate your example is based on the assump-
tion that students performed the exemplars and some of the examples,
and had time to explore their own solutions and images.

(5) The summarizing assignment


Describe your experience of a particular phrasing refers both to stu-
dents experience of performing or observing various Phrasing types. It
may also lead to the identification of their own movement propensities.

PHRASING / 64
Eight PHRASING TYPES
Annotated with signs for Dynamics from Kinetography/Labanotation

(I) EVEN PHRASING

Same intensity is maintained while moving or keeping still.

EX 1 Same intensity during an action.

OR

Examples: ballet dvelopp;


dvelopp Tai-Chi sequences.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 2 Same intensity while pausing.

OR

Examples: holding the leg up after a dvelopp;


dvelopp balancing.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

Describe your experience of Even Phrasing:

PHRASING TYPES / 65
(II) INCREASING-INTENSITY PHRASING

Energy builds up from a lesser to a greater intensity; it may or may not reach a
climactic accent. The latter is referred to as IMPACTIVE PHRASING or IM PACT
[see EX 4a, b].

EX 3 The increase is achieved gradually.

OR

Example: a modern dance side fall.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

(IIa) IMPACTIVE PHRASING

EX 4a The increase builds up to a strong accent or Impact; this is also referred


to as I M PA CTIVE PHRASING.

OR strong accent =

Examples: striking as in martial arts; ballet frapp;


frapp lunge.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 4b The increase builds up to a light accent; this is also referred to as


I M PA C T I V E PHRASING.

OR light accent =

Examples: ballet piqu;


piqu typing.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

Describe your experience of both Increasing and Impactive Phrasing:

66 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(III) DECREASING-INTENSITY PHRASING

Energy diminishes from a greater to a lesser intensity. The decrease can


occur gradually or can follow an initial outburst. The latter is referred to as
I M P U L S I V E P H RASING or IMPULSE [see EX 6a, 6b].

EX 5 The decrease can occur gradually.

OR

Examples slowing down a walking pace; gradually releasing from a


Examples:
tensely held position.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

(IIIa) IMPULSIVE PHRASING

EX 6a A light sudden outburst is followed by decreasing energy; this is also


referred to as IMPULSIVE PHRASING
PHRASING..

OR

Examples: tossing the sleeve in Asian dance; throwing a small ball.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 6b A strong sudden outburst or Impulse is followed by decreasing energy.

OR

Example: a ballet sissonne ouverte;


ouverte throwing a sandbag.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

Describe your experience of Decreasing and Impulsive Phrasing:

PHRASING TYPES / 67
(IV) INCREASING-THEN-DECREASING INTENSITY PHRASING

The increase and decrease is gradual. The length of the increase and decrease
can be the same [EX 7a] or different [EX 7b].

EX 7a The energy builds in intensity in the middle of the phrase and gradually
diminishes towards its end. (When associated with Effort elements of
Weight, Time and Flow it becomes swing-like.)

OR

Examples: a ballet grand jet


jet; modern dance swing; golf swing.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 7b The increase and decrease may vary in length.

OR

Example: Breathing exercise in which inhaling is shorter than the exhal-


ing, followed by a longer inhaling and shorter exhaling.

Be prepared to show your example.

Describe your experience of Phrasing with Increasing-then-Decreasing inten-


sity:

68 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(V) DECREASING-THEN-INCREASING INTENSITY PHRASING

The decrease and increase can be gradual or be initiated with an impulse and/
or end with an impact. Each phase can have a different length [EX 8b].

EX 8a Energy decreases from and builds toward greater intensity gradually.

OR

Examples: arm circling upwards-backwards-forwards-upwards decreas-


es from, and builds toward greater intensity; your anxiousness is gradu-
ally released but then it again builds-up.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 8b The decrease and increase may vary in length.

OR

Example: a variation on the breathing exercise in that you exhale brief-


ly and inhale longer, followed by a long exhalation and short inhalation.

Be prepared to show your example.

Describe your experience of Phrasing with decreasing-then-increasing intensity.

PHRASING TYPES / 69
EX 9a Decreasing from a strong Impulse, the energy builds up to a strong
Impact. Each phase has equal length.

OR

Example: from ballet sissonne to assembl; jumping from two feet to


one, followed by a jump from one foot to two.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 9b Energy changes ffrom a light impulse to a light impact.

OR

Example: picking and tossing some lint.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 10a A gradual decrease is followed by an impactive build-up.

OR

Example: releasing from a ballet relev into a tomb.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 10b An impulse is followed by a gradual increase.

OR

Example: a sprinters startsudden response to the start signal followed by


a gradual acceleration.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

70 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Describe your experience of Phrasing with Decreasing-then-Increasing intensity:

(VI) ACCENTED PHRASING

Created with a series of accents together forming an entity. It implies exertion


of energy that can be repeated and/or followed by a shorter or longer stillness.

EX 11a Five strong accents.

OR

Examples: tap-dancing; Flamenco dancing.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 11b Five light accents.

OR

Examples: ballet battements, jets points; typing.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

Describe your experience of Accented phrasing:

PHRASING TYPES / 71
(VII) VIBRATORY PHRASING

Created by a series of sudden, repetitive movements.

EX 12a It can be performed with sudden-strengths.

OR

Example: Savion Glovers sequences of very fast and hard tapping;


drum roll.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 12b It can also be performed with sudden-lightness.

OR

Examples: jazz shimmy, nerve tap; fluttering arms in Chinese Peacock


dance.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

Describe your experience of vibratory phrasing:

72 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(VIII) RESILIENT PHRASING

Created by several rebounding movements which form an entity. Its weight


activation can have different emphases, such as:

oscillating between strength and lightness with ELASTICITY


rebounding with BUOYANCY thus emphasizing lightness
releasing into gravity with WEIGHTINESS and a shorter recovery into lightness

The signs for the three emphases of Resilient phrasing used here are:

ELASTIC, bouncy quality

B U O YA NT quality

W E I G H TY quality

EX 13a Four E L A S T I C movements oscillate between downward strength and


upward lightness.

OR

Examples: shoulder and arm movements in some ethnic dances;


dribbling a hand ball.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 13b Four bouncy jumps in which the light aerial phase and that of the
stronger take-off or landing take an equal amount of time.

OR

Examples: square dancing; four consecutive ballet changements.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

PHRASING TYPES / 73
EX 14a Four B U O YANT movements which emphasize the upward lightness and
briefly recover into the downward heaviness.

OR

Examples: arm movements in some ethnic dances; tossing a ball high


into the air from one hand to another

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 14b Four B U O YANT jumps in which the airborne time of elevation predom-
inates while the stronger take-off and landing are brief.

OR

Examples: jumping on a trampoline; four consecutive ballet pas de


chats.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 15a Four W E I G H T Y movements: there is an emphasis on a downward giv-


ing-in to gravity while the rebounding upward into lightness is brief.

OR

Examples: four grapevine steps; four releasing arm swings.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

74 / DANCE DYNAMICS
EX 15b Four W E I G H T Y jumps: longer time is spent sinking downward with
heaviness while the rebounding into the air with lightness is brief.

OR

Examples: four consecutive ballet contretemps or assembls; hopscotch.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

Describe your experience of ELASTIC, bouncy Resilient Phrasing:

Describe your experience of BUOYANT Resilient Phrasing:

Describe your experience of WEIGHTY Resilient phrasing:

PHRASING TYPES / 75
SEQUENCING OF PHRASING

The above eight types of Phrasing can be performed consecutively or concur-


rently or they can overlap.

(A) CONSECUTIVE PHRASING

Can be performed by the same or by different body parts.

EX 16a The sequence starts with Even phrasing, followed by Increasing-then-


Decreasing phrasing, and ends with an Impactive phrasing.

OR

EX 16b Three light Accents are followed by three Buoyant movements, and end
with light Vibratory phrasing.

OR

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

76 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(B) CONCURRENT PHRASING

Occurs when different body parts perform different types of phrasing at the
same time.

EX 17a Accented phrasing performed by the legs occurs at the same time as an
Even phrasing performed by the arms.

OR

EX 17b Even phrasing performed by the legs occurs at the same time as light
Vibratory phrasing performed by the arms.

OR

Be prepared to show your example.

SEQUENCING OF PHRASING / 77
(C) OVERLAPPING PHRASING

Occurs among movements of various body parts when one action begins
before the phrasing of the previous one has ended.

EX 18a The Impulsive Phrasing performed with the right arm starts before
the Impulsive Phrasing of the left arm has terminated.

OR

EX 18b While the sequence starts with three Accents performed by the right leg,
an Even Phrasing performed with the right arm overlaps with it;
this is followed by an overlapping Vibratory Phrasing of the left arm.

OR

Describe your experiences of Consecutive, Concurrent and Overlapping


Phrasing:

78 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Eight PHRASING TYPES annotated with EFFORT SIGNS

(I) EVEN PHRASING

Can be associated with any Effort element or combination of elements except


suddenness. (The intermittent quality of suddenness does not create evenness
in movement.)

EX 19a A direct/sustained quality is maintained during an action.

OR

Examples: ballet dvelopp


dvelopp; Tai-Chi sequences.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 19b A direct/bound quality is maintained while pausing.

OR

Examples: holding the leg up after a dvelopp;


dvelopp maintaining a lunge.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

Describe your experience of Even Phrasing performed with Effort qualities of


your own choice.

PHRASING TYPES WITH EFFORT SIGNS / 79


(II) INCREASING-INTENSITY-PHRASING

Can be performed with any Effort element or combination of elements without


reaching a climactic accent.

EX 20A A gradual change toward SINGLE EFFORT ELEMENTS :


EX 20A S P A C E becoming increasingly direct is followed by becoming
(a) increasingly indirect or flexible.

OR

Examples: a forward reaching gesture; opening to the side.

EX 20A WEIG H T becoming


W E I G HT firmer is followed by becoming lighter.
(b)

OR

Examples: moving into a deep pli; ascending to a relev.

EX 20A T I M E gradual acceleration is followed by gradual deceleration.


(c)

OR

Examples: from walking to running; reducing the speed to a walk.

80 / DANCE DYNAMICS
EX 20A F L O W becomingmore controlled is followed by increasingly freeing
(d) the flow of movement.

OR

Examples: approaching something dangerous; approaching something


joyful

Describe your experience of Increasing Phrasing toward a single Effort


Element of your own choice:

PHRASING TYPES WITH EFFORT SIGNS / 81


EX 20B Gradual increase toward C O M B I N AT I O N S O F T H R E E E F F O R T
E L E M E N T S:
EX 20B Becoming stronger/faster/more direct.
(a)

OR

Examples: a modern dance side fall; becoming more assertive

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

Describe your experience of Increasing Phrasing toward a combination of


Effort Elements of your own choice:

82 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(IIa) IMPACTIVE PHRASING

When the increase reaches a climactic accent or Impact, it is referred to as an


I M PA C T I V E or E M P H AT I C P H R A S I N G . The accent implies suddenness that
can be combined with any other Effort elements.

EX 21a The increase builds to an impactive direct/strong/sudden accent.

OR

Examples: striking as in martial arts; ballet frapp; lunge.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 21b The increase builds to an impactive direct/light/sudden accent.

OR

Examples: ballet piqu;


piqu lightly pointing to a person.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

Compare your experience of Impactive phrasing when associated with strong,


in contrast to light qualities:

PHRASING TYPES WITH EFFORT SIGNS / 83


(III) DECREASING-INTENSITY PHRASING

Can be performed with decrease in an Effort element or combination of elements.

EX 22 The initial strong-bound quality decreases gradually.

OR

Example: gradually releasing from a strong tension.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

(IIIa) IMPULSIVE PHRASING

The decrease can follow an initial outburst or Impulse. The latter is referred to
as I M P U L S I V E P H RASING in which the initial sudden accent can be combined
with any other Effort element.

EX 23a The Impulsive Phrasing starts with a strong/sudden quality which


gradually decreases.

OR

Example: a ballet sissonne ouverte; throwing a sandbag.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 23b The Impulsive Phrasing starts with a light/sudden quality which gradu-
ally decreases.

OR

Example: tossing the sleeve in Asian dance; throwing a light ball.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

84 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(IV) INCREASING-THEN-DECREASING INTENSITY PHRASING

Can be performed in relation to any Effort quality. The length of the increase
and decrease can be the same [EX 24a, 24b] or different [EX 24c].

EX 24a The action increases then decreases in the qualities of directness/speed/


free flow.

OR

Examples: accelerating run for a long jump (ballet grand jet;) and
gradual recuperation.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 24b The action increases then decreases in the quality of weightiness*/speed/


free flow in a Swing-like manner.

OR

Examples: front-back leg swings; whole body swings from side to side.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

* = The sign for weightiness or a weighty quality uses a variation of the sign for
Weight: the strong symbol changing into lightness which is drawn much shorter.

PHRASING TYPES WITH EFFORT SIGNS / 85


The phases of increasing and decreasing may very in length.

EX 24c After a short increase toward weightiness/acceleration/free flow, follows


a longer decrease;
crease; when repeating the increase takes longer than the
decrease.

OR

Example: performing two arm sideway swings; one with short increase
and longer decrease, the second with longer increase and shorter
decrease.
Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

Describe your experience of Increasing-then-Decreasing Phrasing in relation to


two different Effort qualities of your own choice:

86 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(V) DECREASING-THEN-INCREASING INTENSITY PHRASING

Can be performed in relation to any Effort quality. The decrease-then-increase


can occur gradually; it can also follow or precede an accent. As seen before [EX
21a, b; 23a, b], both Impulsive and Impactive Phrasing can combine their sud-

den quality with any other Effort element. Further, the two above Phrasings
can be combined with a gradual Decrease and Increase, and the Phrasing may
vary in length.

EX25a The decrease-then-increase occurs in relation to a light/bound quality.


Both phases have equal duration.

OR

Example: gradually releasing from a light/bound balancing on one foot,


and preparing to balance on the other foot with the same quality.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX25b The decrease occurs slower than the increase in relation to a light/
bound quality.

OR

Example: a timing variation of the example for 25a.


Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

PHRASING TYPES with EFFORT SIGNS / 87


EX 25c A decrease, initiated by a strong/sudden Impulse builds to a strong/
sudden Impact. Both phases are of equal duration.

OR

Example: from sissonne to assembl;


assembl in other words jumping from two
feet to one is followed by a jump from one foot to two; the first
accented take off initiates the decreasing phase that subsequently
increases toward the accented landing.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 25d Decreasing after the Impulse takes longer than the increase towards the
Impact.

OR

Example: in a fencing exercise you deflect your partners blow with an


indirect/strong/sudden Impulse that decreases, and then you build
towards a short attack with a direct/strong/sudden Impact.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

88 / DANCE DYNAMICS
The following two examples combine gradual increase or decrease with
Impactive or Impulsive phrasing.

EX 26a A gradual decrease from a light/bound quality builds to a direct/


sudden impact.

OR

Example: releasing from a ballet relev into a tomb; releasing from


balancing and falling into a lunge.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 26b A strong/sudden impulse increases towards a direct/acceleration.

OR

Example: a sprinters start: the sudden/strong response to the start signal


is followed by gradual acceleration towards the goal.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

Describe some of your experiences with Decreasing-then-Increasing Phrasing


in three variations of your own choice:

PHRASING TYPES with EFFORT SIGNS / 89


(VI) ACCENTED PHRASING

Is associated with suddenness but can vary in elements of Weight. With regard
to the Elements or Space and Flow it can be performed more efficiently with
directness and bound flow.

EX 27a The group of five accents is performed with a strong/sudden/bound


quality.

OR

Example: in the style of Flamenco dancing; the ringleader stamps the


tempo for the line-dance.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 27b The same rhythm is performed with a direct/light/sudden quality.

OR

Examples: ballet battements


battements, jets points; sending Morse code signals.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

Describe your experience of Accented Phrasing with two different Effort quali-
ties of your own choice:

90 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(VII) VIBRATORY PHRASING

Is created by a repetition of exaggerated suddenness.* It also can be associated


with elements of Weight and Flow.

* = exaggerated suddenness
+

EX 28a A strong/exaggerated sudden/bound vibration.

OR

Example: Savion Glovers sequences of very fast and hard tapping;


drum roll.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 28b A light/exaggerated sudden vibration.

OR

Examples: jazz shimmy; mime artists representing a butterfly.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

Describe your experience of Vibratory Phrasing with two different Effort qual-
ities of your own choice:

PHRASING TYPES with EFFORT SIGNS / 91


(VIII) RESILIENT PHRASING

Is associated with rebounding* Weight and Time qualities in several combina-


tions.

* The following signs for rebounding use a variation of the Effort graph: Effort elements
which serve as a preparation for rebounding or releasing from it are drawn shorter and ele-
ments which are emphasized maintain their normal lengths.

Light releasing from strong

Strong or heavy releasing from light

Sudden rebounding from sustained

Sustained rebounding from sudden

The combination of light/sustained rebounding from strong/sudden


creates a B U OYANT quality

The combination of heavy/sustained being released from light/sudden


creates a W EIGHTY quality

A strong/sudden sign linked vertically with light/sudden denotes an


E L A S T I C , bouncy quality

92 / DANCE DYNAMICS
EX 29a A group of four E L A S T I C , bouncy movements oscillating between
downward and upward.

OR

Examples: shoulder and upper body movement in some ethnic dances;


dribbling a light hand ball.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 29b A group of four E L A S T I C springs in which the aerial phases and the
take-off or landing take an equal amount of time.

OR

Examples: square dancing; four consecutive ballet changements.

Be prepared to demonstrate your example.

EX 30a A group of B U O YA N T movements which emphasize the upward


lightness and briefly recover into the downward heaviness.

OR

Examples: a motif of arm movements in some ethnic dances; tossing a


ball high up into the air four times.

Be prepared to show your examples.

PHRASING TYPES with EFFORT SIGNS / 93


EX 30b Four B U O YANT jumps in which the time in the air predominates while
the take-off and landing are brief.

OR

Examples: four consecutive pas de chats; jumping on a trampoline.

Be prepared to show your examples.

EX 31a Four W E I G H T Y movements: there is an emphasis on a downward


giving-in to gravity with a brief recovery upward into lightness.

OR

Examples: four grapevine steps; a weary walk.

Be prepared to show your examples.

EX 31b Four W E I G H T Y jumps: longer time is spent releasing downward with


heaviness while the light recovery in the air brief.

OR

Examples: four consecutive jumps from one leg to two or ballet assembls;
hopscotch.

Be prepared to show your examples.

94 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Describe your experience of ELASTIC , bouncy Resilient phrasing:

Describe your sequence of BUOYANT Resilient phrasing:

Describe your experience of WEIGHTY Resilient phrasing:

PHRASING TYPES with EFFORT SIGNS / 95


SEQUENCING OF PHRASING

Different types of Phrasing with various Effort qualities can be performed con-
secutively or concurrently or they can overlap.

(A) CONSECUTIVE PHRASING

Can be performed by the same or by different body parts.

EX 32 The sequence starts with Even Phrasing consisting of a direct/light/


sustained quality, followed by Increasing-then-Decreasing Phrasing
toward and away from indirect/strong quality, and ends with direct/
strong/sudden Impactive Phrasing.

OR

EX 33 A sequence of Accented phrasing consisting of direct/light/sudden


qualities is followed by Resilient Buoyant phrasing, and ends with light/
sudden Vibratory Phrasing.

OR

96 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(B) CONCURRENT PHRASING

Occurs when different body parts perform actions with different types of
phrasing and Effort qualities at the same time.

EX 34 Strong/sudden Accented phrasing which is performed by the legs occurs


at the same time as sustained/bound Even Phrasing performed by the
arms.

OR

EX 35 An Even strong/sustained quality performed by the legs occurs at the


same time as light/sudden Vibratory Phrasing performed by the arms.

OR

SEQUENCING OF PHRASING / 97
(C) OVERLAPPING PHRASING

Among movements of various body parts, one action may begin before the
phrasing of the previous one has ended.

EX 36 The light/sudden Impulse performed with the right arm starts before the
light/sudden Impulsive Phrasing of the left arm has terminated.

OR

EX 37 While the sequence starts with three strong/sudden/bound Accents


performed by the right leg, an Even direct/sustained/bound Phrasing
performed with the right arm overlaps with it; this is followed by an
overlapping sudden/bound Vibratory Phrasing of the left arm.

OR

98 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Make up a sequence with Concurrent Phrasing and describe your experience of
performing it. How successful are you in observing it in performances of oth-
ers?

Make up a sequence with Overlapping Phrasing and describe your experience


of performing it. How successful are you in observing it in performances of
others?

SEQUENCING OF PHRASING / 99
SUMMARY: Phrasing and Effort interdependencies

Although we examined Effort and Phrasing separately, these two aspects of


movement and dance dynamics are interdependent, even united. While Phrasing
can be seen as a macrostructure of dynamic patterns, Effort elements and
their combinations constitute their microstructure.

As shown on the chart on p. 101, Phrasing integrates Effort qualities in vari-


ous ways. For instance, Even Phrasing embraces unchanging Effort qualities,
and maintains their intensity under the same breath. With the exception of
sudden Time, all single elements and their combinations can be performed with
Even Phrasing. Increasing or Decreasing Phrasings and their combinations blend
Efforts that either gradually change their intensity or start with emphatic accents
(Impulses) or end with climactic accents (Impacts). All single Effort elements
and their combinations can be integrated in the above types of phrasing.

While Accented Phrasing is intermittent and repetitive, Vibratory Phrasing is


continuous and repetitive. All Effort qualities except sustained Time can be
performed within these two kinds of Phrasing. The three modes of Resilient
Phrasing are rebounding, continuous, and repetitive, and explore the interplay
between active and passive attitudes to Weight and variations in Time.

100 / DANCE DYNAMICS


MACROSTRUCTURE MICROSTRUCTURE

PHRASING/GROUPING/PATTERNS MOVEMENT QUALITIES/EFFORTS

selected examples:

EVEN direct
light/sustained
direct/strong/bound

INCREASIN G toward light


toward indirect/light
toward direct/strong/bound

DECREASIN G away from bound


away from strong/sustained
away from direct/light/bound

INCREASIN G - t h e n - D E C R E A S I N G toward and away from


strong
direct
bound

DECREASIN G - t h e n - I N C R E A S I N G away and toward


strong
direct
bound

IMPULSE decreasing from sudden


decreasing from light/sudden
decreasing from sudden/strong/bound accents

IMPACT building to strong/sudden


building to direct/sudden
building to direct/strong/sudden accents

ACCENTED sudden/light
sudden/strong/bound

VIBRATORY several repetitions of


sudden
sudden/strong
sudden/light/free

RESILIENT ( E l a s t i c ) oscillating between strong/sudden and light/sudden

SUMMARY / 101
APPENDIX I

[A] METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS

VERA MALETIC

I first conceived the Workbook in the '90s as the text for my classes in Dance
Dynamics. Due to my professional background the text is informed by the tradi-
tion of Laban's teaching as it was originally formulated and re-formulate by the
master and his students, as well as by the development of Laban's framework in
the USA. I first trained in the former Yugoslavia with my mother Ana Maletic,
who was one of Laban's disciples, and subsequently with Lisa Ullmann, Warren
Lamb, Marion North, and Valerie Preston Dunlop. After visiting and moving
to United States, I interacted with Irmgard Bartenieff, Martha Davis, and Bob
Dunn, and was a member of the Theory Network Coordinating Committee of
LIMS (Laban-Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies) in New York. At The
Ohio State University Department of Dance I established a close collaboration
with Melanie Bales who assisted with my courses and contributed to the mate-
rial in the Workbook.

(a) The demands of teaching/learning Dance Dynamics

The synchrony of bodily practice and theoretical conceptualization, makes the


teaching/ learning process of dance dynamics quite complex. Several simultane-
ous actions are required from the student:

to attend to and focus on proprioceptive sensations, particularly the kinesthetic


feedback during the performance of assigned sequences and the students own
short studies;
to understand the links between emphases on various Effort qualities and the
attitudes toward the powers or capacities of thinking, sensing, intuiting, and
feeling;
to identify performance characteristics while observing others;
to identify performance variants while observing videotapes of ones own stud-
ies and assigned sequences;
to become increasingly aware of ones own propensities;
to demonstrate an active willingness for expanding this habitual range.

APPENDIX I / 103
Motivating students to engage in these processes of active learning and discov-
ery is vital. Linking the material to individual student interests, such as coach-
ing, performance, choreography, teaching, directing from scores, and other
vocational interests may stimulate involvement.

(b) Suggested approaches to the teaching of Dance Dynamics

Movement and dance professionals teaching Labans concept of Effort present


the content in a way that is congruent with their own experience and ideas.
They sequence it according to the context in which they are teaching, such as
type of students within colleges, universities, and other institutions. The length
of the course or workshop, and the frequency of contact hours also play an
important role in the choice of content and methodology to present it.

Deductive or inductive: choices of approaches

Two approaches can be taken to any complex subject, such as dance dynamics:
either from the general to the particular, or from the detailed to the overall. In
the summary on p. 101, Phrasing was seen as the macro-structure of dynamic
patterns grouping the detailed Effort qualities. On the other hand, the latter can
be seen as the micro-structure identifying individual Effort elements and their
particular combinations.

Here are two examples of the deductive or general-to-the-particular approach:

(1) When comparing the execution of a Tai-Chi sequence it may be easier


to notice first the EVEN , uninterrupted Phrasing of two performers, than
the individual Effort qualities, such as direct/bound versus light/bound.

(2) The most noticeable feature of the Galliarde (dance from the Renaissance)
are groups of accented steps or ACCENTED Phrasing. The distinction
of qualities among the performers, such as sudden/strong or sudden/
bound, may require longer training. Thus where the length of the course
in Dance Dynamics is short, it may be more effective to start with the
Phrasing aspects.

Following are two examples of the inductive method, i.e. from detailed descrip-
tions to the overall dynamic patterns; these approaches that are drawn from
working with combinations of two or three Effort elements.

(1) The performance of a direct/light/sustained quality may feel and look


differently if maintained in an EVEN pattern or when gradually emerg-
ing in an I NCREASING Phrasing.

104 / DANCE DYNAMICS


(2) The execution of a strong/sudden/bound quality may gradually dissolve
in a D E CREASING pattern, or may bring about a temper tantrum-like
expression in a VIBRATORY Phrasing.

(c) The choice of modalities

[In the following text, quotations from student papers in 199899 are inter-
spersed in italics.]

A combination of work in and out of class is effective. It can include the fol-
lowing aspects:

Physicalizing, i.e. exploring and subsequently composing movement sequenc-


es as well as short studies on assigned topics.

I frequently introduce a particular phrasing type or a movement quality by


either describing it in word images and sounds or by giving movement exam-
ples. After this directed introduction I ask students to explore this particular
aspect of dynamics and proceed with problem solving in their own way. As a
homework assignment I can ask them to select movement material from their
explorations and compose sequences that they can show in class and teach to
others. I see bodily experience as a vital initial stage of learning.

The aspects of class I found most enjoyable and stimulating are the improvisation explo-
rations at the introduction of the new concept, and also the showing of our studies.

Another important mode of learning is Observing and recording movement


sequences and studies.

To sharpen the aspects of performance and of observations one can use both
videotaping and notating of sequences and studies.

dance dynamics can have its limitations, as well as advantages.


V I D E O TA P I N G
While the limitations lie in the loss of some nuances of movement qualities and
in recording one singular performance, the advantage of observing videotapes
is the opportunity to compare the proprioceptive feedback during the perfor-
mance with the visual perception of the performer/spectator. The reliability
of the inner perspective of the performer in movement and dance (where
the performer and the performed are in one person) varies according to the
degree of kinesthetic feedback during the performance. Therefore distancing
oneself from ones work, and looking at it from the spectators point of view
can be more effective than only comments by the teacher and classmates. The
use of both, the kinesthetic and the visual perception, the outer and inner
perspective, can provide a good synergy of critical self-observation and lead to
subsequent revisions.
APPENDIX I / 105
Evaluating my final studies is the most interesting assignment. This process sheds the
light on how a phrasing type feels, in contrast to how it looks in performance.

N O TAT I N G sequences by means of simple Motif Writing, Phrasing and Effort


signs can serve as a means for clarifying students own compositional and
performance intents. If students have had no instruction in Motif Writing it
is helpful to give a general introduction to the basic staff, action, and stillness
signs. Additional symbols can be introduced when the need arises. [See Ann
Hutchinson-Guest Your Move: A New Approach to the Study of Movement and
Dance, New York: Gordon & Breach, 1983, as a reference book.]

Creating studies and notating sections of them was enjoyable, interesting, and
stimulating.

Describing the lived experience of performing various phrasing types and


movement qualities.

In general, the process of generating adjectives that describe the bodily experi-
ence of performed sequences brings about the awareness of how particular
combinations of Effort Elements give different moods, expressions or feelings
within particular Phrasing types. Such descriptions are suggested throughout
the Workbook in both, the Effort and the Phrasing sections. In the latter stu-
dents are asked to describe how the performance of a particular phrasing type
makes them feel.

Such descriptions serve several functions:

They can create a resource that simultaneously engages the kinesthetic sense as
well as the verbal representation of a particular Phrasing and Effort quality. In
other words, they creates the link between the physical and mental component
of movement qualities. This has been succinctly described by two students:

I liked the worksheet descriptions because it helped me to form my impressions


or ideas more concretely. By putting into words how a dynamic makes me feel,
I have a resource to go back to when I am trying to achieve a certain quality
in movement.

The colorful imagery used in class is interesting and helpful in defining the
phrasing types.

In addition, the synonyms and descriptions of personal experiences, draw atten-


tion to the link between particular Efforts and various aspects of our conscious-
ness. As described in Workbook, predominant attitudes to Space are linked with
thinking or attending, those to Weight are linked with sensing, those to Time
with intuiting, and those to Flow with feeling. Various emphases of these Effort
106 / DANCE DYNAMICS
elements and their combinations significantly contribute to the expression of
meaning in dance. Furthermore, these emphases also point to the dual aspects
of Effort qualities that are present both in physical and mental actions.

One of the most useful results of taking this course is a resource of imagery in
words & ideas to help access the various Effort Qualities. This helps not only
my performance when emboding notated movement, but will help in future
when coaching other dances.

I also see a strong link with my interest in dance criticism and anal
analysis.
Observing and understanding choreographic and performance choices in
Dynamics and Phrasing will inform my interpretation of the work and ground
that interpretation in something tangible/quantifiable.

Viewing video excerpts from a variety of dance pieces.

The DVD companion provides an opportunity for creating an objective distance


between ones own performance of various components of dance dynamics, and
that of the choreographers and performers. Thus movement and dance excerpts
selected from dance pieces, studies, and improvisations can be viewed on two
levels:

(1) an experiential, non-analytical mode (while turning down the voice-


over text), and
(2) as another source of information about a particular aspect of dance
dynamics.

The non-analytical mode can be enhanced with descriptions of the lived expe-
rience of what was seen. Descriptive adjectives can encapsulate the kinesthetic
or emotional feel. On the other hand, reviewing the text in the DVD guide and
the Workbook can support the cognitive mode. Both modes are essential com-
ponents of the perception of movement and dance.

Follow-up reading and discussion serve to complement all the above described
modalities.

Overview and summary papers (such as midterm and particularly finals) are an
important aspect of the learning process.

A quarter system, and even semester system, are a relatively short period for
introducing and assimilating the material. Thus the final assignments give an
opportunity to review and summarize both the experience and knowledge.

APPENDIX I / 107
The synthesis from the final study and paper were extremely helpful. In many
ways this is where it all comes together for me and can therefore be carried forth
into my work beyond this term. Thus, this final discussion may be the most
important modality for me.

DESCRIBE class modalities that worked best for you:

108 / DANCE DYNAMICS


[B] SELECTED TEACHING APPLICATIONS

M E L A N I E B A L ES

I was first introduced to Laban study at the University of Illinois while work-
ing on my MFA, through the teaching of visiting choreographer Bill Evans.
In 1982, I participated in an Evans summer workshop in Port Townsend,
Washington, taking introductory courses in Space Harmony, Effort and
Bartenieff Fundamentals with CMA Gregg Lizenberry. I immediately found
a place for the ideas in my teaching, especially ballet. While teaching at The
Ohio State University, I organized a Certification Program in Laban Movement
Analysis (LMA) through the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies
(LIMS). I completed the course in 1994, studying with Ed Groff, Peter
Madden, Elizabeth Kagan and Eleanor Weisman. I have taught summer intro-
ductory workshops to students with backgrounds in dance, theatre, and music.
For several years, I assisted in Vera Maletics courses, and I continue to enjoy
learning and exchanging ideas with Professor Maletic. Currently, I teach Dance
Dynamics (Effort) and Foundations of Labananalysis (LMA). I have also writ-
ten through the lens of the Laban framework in articles that bring recent dance
writing into dialogue with issues about dance training.

The theoretical nature of Labans Effort study allows for great variety and
imagination in terms of application. It also necessitates continual and fluid
referencing to human experience in order for it to be understood in context.
Sometimes the reference or illustration can be more general, or abstract; other
times, more concrete or specific. For example, introducing the Phrasing Types
(macro-structure) before delineating the individual Effort Elements (micro-
structure) is effective for dancers who will recognize and easily physicalize pat-
terns like swingy or resilient movement. Later, more discrete units of movement
or individual qualities can be extracted from the larger, more general patterns
of the Phrasing Types. It is also effective to establish links to other content areas
(in dance, for our purposes). A student might create a sequence out of one or
two Phrasing Types that could be used in teaching beginning dancers, or look
at a sequence from a recent technique class in terms of those same patterns.
A composition course developed by Vickie Blaine (at the OSU Department
of Dance) asks the mover to examine and isolate his/her relationship to body
weight and gravity, and is a pre-requisite to Dance Dynamics. Because the
studies for the course center around three themesResiliency (Weight sensing,
Resilient Phrasing), strength (strong Weight, and individual variations in Time,
Space and Flow), and lightness (light Weight and Time, Space, Flow variations,
often the indulging Efforts in contrast to strength)students come to Dance
Dynamics with physical knowledge related to the Weight Factor. A next step
can be the development of descriptive language pertaining to experiences and
observations from the composition class. Descriptive phrases, movement illus-
trations and characterizations can also be ways of evoking or eliciting Effort or
APPENDIX I / 109
dynamic patterns that are less familiar, or outside a dancers habitual qualitative
range. Words or phrases can be useful and provocative for the performer who
wants to expand his/her movement palette, and also for the budding writer,
critic, coach or director.

As outlined above under The Demands of Teaching/Learning Dance Dynamics,


the student learns through several modes, including observation, analysis, self-
reflection, improvisation, visualization. In making the connections between a
movement experience or an inner state and the various dynamic configurations
as espoused in the theory, individuals will choose whatever mode that works
best for them at the time. Exercises and assignments can be designed so that
students expand both the modes they use and the connections they make. Two
examples of class assignments follow.

Example 1

At the beginning of the quarter, we filled in the answers for strong and light
Weight as a group, drawing from experiences in the composition class dealing
with Weight mentioned above. As we learned about the other Motion Factors,
we continued adding to the chart, reflecting on the studies from class. The chart
could then be helpful for accessing a particular quality through its relationship
to body use or spatial content.

EFFORT QUALITY BODY SPACE

Strong (WEIGHT) Wide stance Low level


Direct
irect (SPACE) Simultaneous sequencing Linear, spoking
Bound (FLOW) From periphery to center Confined, small
kinesphere
Sudden (TIME) Simultaneous sequencing Inward/backward
Confined gesture
Light
ight (WEIGHT) Peripheral body parts Upward
Indirect/Flexible (SPACE) Successive movement Spirals, twists
Free (FLOW) From center outwards Expansive
Sustained (TIME) Successive sequencing Forward direction
Horizontal

This chart shows how a particular Effort quality has a tendency to associate
with certain bodily and spatial configurations.

110 / DANCE DYNAMICS


Example 2

The following words can be starting points for: developing group or individual
movement sequences that illustrate the quality or inner state; finding which
Effort Elements or qualities are most predominate and which are not active for
each word; developing a character or situation based on the word and having
the class guess the word.

Calm
Controlled
Careful
Agitated
Hesitant
Overbearing
Sloppy
Paranoid
Resilient
Perky
Confident
Stuttering

A D D Y OUR OWN

The following illustrations also provide opportunites to extract the various


Effort Elements and discuss which in the foreground. They may lend themselves
to an examination of certain States (Near, Remote, Dream, etc.).

Walking on eggshells; on hot coals


Walking on a tightrope
Brushing something off a childs eyelash
Big lazy fanning on a hot day
Crossing a room after seeing someone you know
Typing furiously
Playing tug o war
Tiptoeing into a class late

APPENDIX I / 111
Example 2 (cont.)

Below, the student provides the illustration. The movement issuing from the
directions might be either mimetic as in the illustrations above, or more abstract
as in dance movement.

A strong/sudden action resolving into light


light//sustained
/sustained (Weight and Time)

A direct
direct///bound
bound action changing into indirect
indirect//free
/free (Space and Flow)

A strong
strong///sustained
sustained action becoming light
light//sudden
/sudden (Weight and Time)

A direct
direct///sudden
sudden action transforming into directness/sustainment
/ (Space
and Time)

A bound
bound///light
light action becoming free/strong
/ (Flow and Weight)

112 / DANCE DYNAMICS


APPENDIX II

OPEN-ENDED CONSIDERATIONS OF C. G. JUNGS INFLUENCES ON LABAN

Psychologist Carl Gustav Jung started developing his theories during the first
decades of the 20th century in the cultural milieu of his native Switzerland.
Among his early publications is Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (1912)
that was translated into English in 1916 as Psychology of the unconscious:
a study of the transformations and symbolisms of the libido.1 Besides some
loose references to what would become Jungs theory of introvert and extravert
personalities, the book draws from mythology, religion, ethnology, art, and lit-
erature, and announces Jungs break from Freudian psychoanalysis. Underlying
the concept of personality types, Jung proposed four psychological functions
by which consciousness obtains its orientation. As he writes in his Man and his
Symbols, 1964: 61, Sensation (i.e. sense-perception) tells you that something
exists; thinking tells you what it is; feeling tells you whether it is agreeable or
not; and intuition tells you whence it comes and where it is going.2

In order to establish a meaningful correlation between some concepts developed


respectively by C.G.Jung and by Laban, further research is required concerning
Labans assimilations of some of Jungs notions.

During and after WW I, Laban resided in Switzerland, and was aware of some
of Jungs ideas. In Die Welt des Tanzers (The Dancers World, 1926),3 he lists
Jungs Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido among the literature that could
expand dancers insights. Apparently Laban did not take further interest in
Jungs work until the forties.

About Labans contacts with a group of Jungian psychologists in England in


the 40s and 50s, one can glean information from John Hodgson & Preston-
Dunlop (1990),4 Preston-Dunlop (1998),5 and Hodgson (2001).6 Laban was
invited to establish movement therapy at the Withymead Centre, an establish-
ment based on Jungian approaches to psychotherapy. Though Laban chiefly
delegated this task to his assistants, exchanges with one of the founders of the
Centre, Dr Champernowne, gave him the opportunity to get acquainted with
Jungs psychological types and the four main functionsthinking, feeling,
sensation, and intuition. These contacts may explain the appearance of related
terms in the 1960 edition of The Mastery of Movement.7 On Table VII: Survey
APPENDIX II / 113
of the Type and Meaning of Motion Factors and their Combinations, Laban
presents for the first time the link between the Motion factors and what he calls
mans powers: the Motion Factor of Space affect mans power of Thinking,
of WeightSensing, of TimeIntuiting, and of FlowFeeling. On the
same table, there also is a link between Inner Participation with Attention
and Space, Intention and Weight, Decision and Time, and Progression and
Flow. While Laban elaborated on the association of Inner Participation with
Motion factors, he did not explain the link between mans powers and the
four Motion factors. This hiatus is unfortunate since it obfuscates the origins of
this significant concept in his thinking. One can speculate that the fact the four
powers are put in quotation marks may be a tacit reference to Jungs four func-
tion types. It is as though we are presented with the results of Labans thinking
but not with the origin and process that led to them.

Several documents, however, hint at permutations in his thinking that must


have preceded associating the four functions with the four Motion factors. By
permission of Warren Lamb, I have had the opportunity to inspect a letter and
graph that Laban sent him in 1952. (At the time, Lamb was Labans assistant
in his work in industry and started developing his own methods of movement
assessment.) In Labans letter and graph, Inner Participation of attention,
intention, decision, an precision are linked interchangeably with intuiting, feel-
ing, thinking, and sensation. Further, Laban collaborated with Bill Carpenter
(associated with the Withymead Centre) on an unfinished manuscript titled
Movement Psychology; it was written between 1952 and 54. In Hodgsons
(2001) summary of its content, there is a reference to four mental factors of
sensing, thinking, intuiting, and feeling and their associations with Weight,
Space, Time, and Flow. Like in the 1960 edition of The Mastery of Movement,
there is no mention of Jung.

To gain a more complete picture of Labans process of assimilation and appro-


priation of Jungs concepts further research is needed. Additional analysis of
Movement Psychology, and an investigation of Warren Lambs archive appear
as viable points of departure. The Laban-Carpenter manuscript is housed at the
Laban Archives at University of Surreys National Resource Center for Dance
(NRCD). Lambs archives are in the process of classification and will be avail-
able at NRCD at a later time.

114 / DANCE DYNAMICS


Notes

1. Carl Gustav Jung, Psychology of the Unconscious: a Study of the Transformation and
Symbolisms of the Libido (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991).
2. _______________, Man and his Symbols (London: Aldus Books Ltd., 1964).
3. Rudolf Laban, Die Welt des Tanzers (Stuttgart: Walter Seifert Verlag, 1920).
4. John Hodgson & Valerie Preston-Dunlop, Rudolf Laban: An Introduction to his Work
and Influence (Plymouth: Northcote House Publishers, 1990).
5. Valerie Preston-Dunlop, Rudolf Laban: An Extraordinary Lif
Life (London: Dance Books,
1998).
6. John Hodgson, Mastering Movement: The Life and Work of Rudolf Laban (New York:
Routledge, 2001).
7. Rudolf Laban, The Mastery of Movement (London: Macdonald & Evans, 1960).

APPENDIX II / 115
APPENDIX III

PHRASING OF DANCE QUALITIES IN LABANOTATION SCORES

Not unlike music scores, the general purpose of dance scores is the documen-
tation of dance works within their artistic, cultural, and social context. The
analysis of features, such as body movement in space and time, and the progres-
sion through the performance area, provides components for the synthesis in
restaging various choreographies. In this process, the notator and/or the direc-
tor attempt to capture the expression of embodiments, or the corporealization
of choreographic images and ideas.

Although the Labanotation system does not have many signs for dynamic quali-
ties, the scores, however, contain information about dynamics and phrasing, in
an implicit and explicit manner.

Ways in which particular movement motifs and/or sequences are written can
imply their performance qualities. For instance while jumping normally implies
Resilient Phrasing, a slow balancing motif is likely to be performed with Even
Phrasing maintaining the same quality. Furthermore, a tomb-like move-
ment connotes increasing speed and energy, and a swing usually implies an
Increasing-then-Decreasing Phrasing.

A few explicit signs, such as accents and phrasing bows, have been used when
particular qualities or phrasing in the score need to be enhanced. Effort signs
are also used, though not in a consistent way.

I have been interested for some time in elaborating on such explicit signs that
can be used in annotating dance scores. (See annotated bibliography at the end
of this Appendix.) As referred in the introduction to my Phrasing classifica-
tion, discussions with colleagues Odette Blum and Lucy Venable about Phrasing
annotations greatly contributed to my investigations in this area.

This appendix contains excerpts from a paper I presented at the Conference of


the International Council for Kinetography Laban (ICKL) in 1991. It is titled
Qualitative Annotations of Labanotation Scores, and published in ICKL:
Proceedings of the Seventeenth Biennial Conference. The intent of the paper
was to examine the rationale for annotations of Labanotation scores using
APPENDIX III / 117
Phrasing and Effort symbols, and to point out the need for an acquaintance
with the Effort theory on the part of notators.

The examples selected for this appendix illustrate two resources for qualitative
annotations of scores. These include descriptions from the choreographer of the
notated piece, and descriptions from a notator and performer with an in-depth
knowledge of the works choreographic style.

Samples representing descriptions from the choreographer are excerpts from


Victoria Uris Breakers. The work was originally created in 1986, and restaged
with the University Dance Company in the 1990/91 season. The excerpts are
from two sections: the Mans Solo, and Harmonious Assault ISextet.
The piece was notated by Wendy Mang Ching Chu, MFA candidate at the OSU
Department of Dance, in Winter and Spring 1991, under the supervision of
Odette Blum. During the process of notating Breakers, Uris pointed out sections
that required additional Phrasing and Effort annotations.

Lucy Venable, who performed in Jos Limns There is a Time, subsequently


notated the work. She was the resource for annotations of Phrasing and Effort
presented here. She danced the womans part in A Time to be Silent which
she learned from Lavinia Nielson who danced it in the first cast. Limn created
the work in 1956, and Venable staged it with the University Dance Company
in 1983. Having a thorough knowledge of the style of the piece, she considers
Phrasing and Effort annotations of this score to be a historical resource for
future directors.

118 / DANCE DYNAMICS


The first example shows a Phrasing annotation coupled with ONE SINGLE
E F F O RT E L E M ENT . Since one Effort quality seldom appears in isolation, such
annotations are appropriate only at times when the Labanotation provides the
context.

In measure 28 from Limns A Time to be Silent the dancer flicks her leg
with a sense of urgency, and touches the floor with precision. While urgency
is conveyed with the sudden quality of Time, the associated quality of Space
flexibility or indirectness can be seen from the rotation of hip and pelvis. The
suddenness including the innate quality of indirectness create a short Impulsive
Phrasing. The direct quality of Space that denotes precision is associated with
a slight deceleration resulting in the touchthus an Impactive Phrasing.

APPENDIX III / 119


Annotations consisting of qualities that result from COMBINATIONS OF TWO
M O T I O N FA C T O RS and their respective Effort elements describe the inner
attitudes motivating the dance sequence. (Each of the six inner attitudes have
four combinations that amount to twenty-four qualities with distinct charac-
teristics.)

In the first measure of Limns A Time to be Silent stillness is maintained


with a direct and bound quality that is one of the six combinations of Space
and Flow. While the Space/Flow combinations tend to create a remote, abstract
mood, the particular direct/bound quality shows a restricted honing in. The
phrasing sign indicates that this quality does not change throughout the dura-
tion of the stillness.

120 / DANCE DYNAMICS


In the second measure of A Time to be Silent the direct/bound quality changes
into sustained/boundboth combinations of Time and Flow Flow. Since Time/Flow
combinations are generally characterized by a more adaptable attitude, the sus-
tained/bound is maintained while turning and gesturing that one can interpret
as remaining in control.

APPENDIX III / 121


Another example of annotations with a COMBINATION OF TWO MO TION
FA C T O R S can be found in the score of Victoria Uris Breakers, in measures
710 from Harmonious Assault ISextet. The strong/sudden quality is a
combination of Weight and Time characterized as rhythmical involvement
with activities. Placed within the Increasing-then-Decreasing Phrasing sign
this quality becomes stronger and faster and gradually fades out. The dancers
preparation for a hop emphasized by sweeping arm gestures is described by the
choreographer as seagulls diving into water.

122 / DANCE DYNAMICS


Annotations consisting of qualities that result from COMBINATIONS OF
T H R E E M O T I ON FACTORS and their respective Effort Elements, describe
externalized drives which motivate parts or sections of a dance. (Each of the
four drives has eight combinations, and their qualities amount to thirty-two
combinations that have particular characteristics.)

In measure eight of Uris Mans Solo the dancer advances over three beats
while building up to an impact in the first half of the fourth beat. The direct/
strong/sudden quality of the Impact is one of the combinations of the Action
drive or eight Basic Effort Actions, referred to as punch-like.

The Impactive Phrasing from the Harmonious Assault ISextet section is


created by the recurring motif of a sisonne enhanced by a torso and tossing
arm gesture. The quality of the Impact that is strong/sudden/free belongs to
one of the eight combinations of the spaceless Passion drive. In contrast to
the action-like punch, this combination in which the Flow factor (which Laban
associates with Feeling) replaces the Space factor (that Laban associates with
Thinking), expresses an emotional outburst.

APPENDIX III / 123


The final example shows several Phrasing and Effort annotations that occur
S I M U LTA N E O U S LY or CONCURRENTLY . In measure 56 from Limns A
Time to be Silent the light/sudden Vibratory Phrasing maintained in the legs
is juxtaposed to two short Impulses of the head and arms performed with a
direct/sudden quality, terminating with a light/sudden Impulse.

-
5 - ( 4
'
A 5
- TK -
B$ JT K
( & 5" - $B - "4 .' `4 \
(
'
. . K
[ 4
# - #
& . K
Z
i
56 - ` T T
i i =
A 5
W Z - - - [ j

Conclusion

The purpose of the qualitative annotations of a work by Jos Limn and Victoria
Uris is to show the inner motivation for particular movement sequences. The
annotations were based on discussion about motivating imagery and qualities
with choreographer Uris, and on insights into Limns motivation behind the
movement vocabulary from performers Nielson and Venable.

124 / DANCE DYNAMICS


Annotated Bibliography of V. Maletics articles on Dynamics and Phrasing

Dynamics of Phrasing in Movement and Dance (International Council of


Kinetography Laban [ICKL]: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Biennial Conference,
1983) 110126. The paper contains the nucleus of my classification and nota-
tion of phrasing, developed further in Workbook for Dance Dynamics: Effort
and Phrasing (1999). In addition to an excerpt from Jos Limns There is a
Time (with Lucy Venable), an excerpt from Anna Sokolows Odes is annotated
from coaching points given by the choreographer to dancers from The Ohio
State University Department of Dance.

Dynamics of Dance (ICKL: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Biennial Conference,


1987) 82101. The paper gives a historical account of the status of dynamics
in Kinetography/Labanotation and presents a revised classification of phrasing.
Of particular interest is a report on initial stages of a joint research project with
notator Ray Cook, assisted by Lucy Venable and graduate associate Amanda
Tom (8990; 101102). Questions, such as how do various ways of notation
enhance the desired quality of the dance, and how do we interpret various
dynamic symbols used in the score have been examined in segments from
Sokolows Moods.

Issues in Phrasing and Effort Annotations of a Humphrey Score (ICKL:


Proceedings of the Sixteenth Biennial Conference, 1989) 105126. Several ver-
sions of the performance of Doris Humphreys Invention are analyzed from the
point of view of characteristics of Humphreys dance vocabulary, her concepts
of breath rhythm and fall and recovery, and the dynamics captured in the
Labanotation score. Additional phrasing and Effort annotations are proposed
as a resource for directors and performers that are historically removed from
Humphreys style.

Qualitative Annotations of Labanotation Scores (ICKL: Proceedings of


the Seventeenth Biennial Conference, 1991) 73103. In addition to excerpts
included in the Appendix III, the paper includes four examples of folk dances
from Croatia, annotated by V. Maletic (91, 92, 97, 101).

Qualitative Annotations of Labanotation Scores revisited (ICKL: Proceedings


of the Twenty-Second Biennial Conference, 2000) 87100. The paper includes
new examples of excerpts from dance scores, such as Lester Hortons The
Beloved, and Don Redlichs Passin Through, and Croatian folk dances anno-
tated by V. Maletic.

APPENDIX III / 125


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bartenieff, Irmgard with Dori Lewis. Body Movement: Coping with the
Enviroment. New York: Gordon & Breach, 1980.

Bodmer, Sylvia. Studies Based on Crystalloid Dance Forms. London: Laban


Centre for Movement and Dance, 1979.

Cooper Albright, Ann. Auto-Body Stories: Blondell Cummings and Autobio-


graphy in Dance. Meaning in Motion. J. Desmond ed. Durham,
NC: Duke University Press, 1977.

Cohen, Selma Jeanne. Dance as an Art of Imitation. What is Dance?


Copeland, Robert & Cohen, Marshall., eds. New York: Oxford
University Press, 1983.

Davis, Martha. Towards Understanding the Intrinsic in Body Movement. New


York: Arno Press, 1975.

Dell, Cecily. A Primer for Movement Description New York. Dance Notation
Bureau, 1970.

Dixon Gottschild, Brenda. Digging the Africanist Presence in American


Performance Dance and Other Contexts. Westport, CN.: Greenwood
Press, 1996.

Duncan, Isadora. My Life. New York: Garden City Publishing Co., 1927.

Gellerman, Jill. Mayim Patterns the Three Hassidic Communities. Essays in


Dance Research. Dance Research Annual IX., CORD 1978 120.

Hawkins, Alma. Creating Through Dance. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall,


1964.

Hayes, Elizabeth R. Dance Composition and Production. New York: The


Ronald Press Co., 1955.

BIBLIOGRAPHY / 127
HDoubler, Margaret. Dance: A Creative Art Experience. Madison, WI.:
University of Wisconsin Press, 1966.

Hodgson, John. Mastering Movement: The Life and Work of Rudolf Laban.
New York: Routledge, 2001.

Hodgson, John & Valerie Preston-Dunlop. Rudolf Laban: An Introduction to


his Work and Influence. Plymouth: Northcote House Publishers, 1990.

Humphrey, Doris. The Art of Making Dances. New York: Grove Press, 1959.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Man and his Symbols. London: Aldus Books Ltd., 1964.

_______________. Psychology of the Unconscious: a Study of the Transform-


ations and Symbolisms of the Libido. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Press, 1991.

Kestenberg, Judith. The Role of Movement Patterns in Development. New


York: The Dance Notation Bureau, 1967.

Laban, Rudolf. Die Welt des Tanzers. Sttutgart: Walter Seifert Varlag, 1920.

____________. Modern Educational Dance. London: Macdonald & Evans,


1948.

____________. Rudiments of a Free Dance Technique. Modern Educational


Dance, third ed., 1975.

____________. The Mastery of Movement on the Stage. London: Macdonald


& Evans, 1950.

____________. Principles of Dance and Movement Notation. London:


Macdonald & Evans, 1956.

____________. Choreutics. London: Macdonald & Evans, 1966.

____________. The Mastery of Movement. London: Macdonald & Evans,


1980.

Laban, Rudolf & Lawrence, F. C. Effort. London: Macdonald & Evans,


1947.

Lamb, Warren. Posture and Gesture. London: Duckworth, 1965.

128 / DANCE DYNAMICS


Langer, Susanne K. Problems of Art. New York: Scribners, 1957.

Maletic, Ana. Knjiga o Plesu. Zagreb: Kulturno-prosvjetni sabor Hrvatske,


1986.

Maletic, Vera. Body-Space-Expression: The Development of Rudolf Labans


Movement and Dance Concepts. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1987.

Maletic, Vera. Dynamics of Dance. International Council of Kinetography


Laban: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Biennial Conference. 1989.

____________. Issues in Phrasing and Effort Annotations of Humphrey


Score. ICKL: Proceedings of the Sixteenth Biennial Conference.
1989.

____________. Qualitative Annotations of Labanotation Scores. ICKL:


Proceedings of the Seventeenth Biennial Conference. 1991.

____________. Qualitative Annotations of Labanotation Scores revisited.


International Council of Kinetography Laban: Proceedings of the
Twenty-Second Biennial Conference, 2000.

Moore, Carol-Lynne and Kaoru Yamamoto. Beyond Words: Movement


Observation and Analysis. New York: Gordon and Breach, 1988.

Murgiyanto, Sal. Seeing and Writing about World Dance: An Insiders View.
Dance Critics Association News, Summer 1990.

Myers, Gerald. Do You See What the Critic Sees? Philosophical Essays on
Dance. New York: Dance Horizons, 1981.

Ness, Sally Ann. Body, Movement and Culture: Kinesthetic and Visual
Symbolism in a Phillipine Community. Philadelphia: University of
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North, Marion. Personality Assessment Through Movement. London:


Macdonald & Evans, 1972.

North, Marion. The Language of Bodily Gesture. Main Currents of Modern


Thought, Vol. 31, no.1, September-October 1974.

Novack, Cynthia. Sharing the Dance: Contact Improvisation and American


Culture. Madison, WI.: University of Madison Press, 1990.

BIBLIOGRAPHY / 129
Noverre, Jean-Georges. Letters on Dancing and Ballets. Transl., C. W.
Beaumont. London: Beaumont, 1951, first published 1930.

Peterson Royce, Anya. The Anthropology of Dance. Bloomington: Indiana


University Press, 1977.
Preston, Valerie. A Handbook for Modern Educational Dance. London:
Macdonald & Evans, 1963.

Preston-Dunlop, Valerie. A Handbook for Dance in Education. London:


Macdonald & Evans, 1980.

_____________________. compiler, Dance Words. Choreography and Dance


Studies Vol. 8, 1995.

_____________________. Rudolf Laban: An Extraordinary Life. London:


Dance Books, 1998.

Rainer, Yvonne. The Mind is a Muscle. Work: 196173. New York University,
1974.

Satin, Leslie. Movement and the Body in Maya Derens Meshes of the
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Vol. 6, no.2, 1993.

Shawn, Ted. Every Little Movement. Pittsfield, MA: Eagle Printing and Binding
Co., 1927.

Siegel, Marcia B. The Tail of the Dragon New Dance, 19761982. Durham,
NC: Duke University Press, 1991.

Smith, Jacqueline. Dance CompositionA Practical Guide for Teachers.


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Stebbins, Genevieve. Delsarte System of Expression. New York: Dance


Horizons, 1977, originally published in 1902.

Taylor, Paul. Down with Choreography. The Modern Dance: Seven Statements
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130 / DANCE DYNAMICS


Dance reviews

Anderson, Jack. Rod Rodgers Remembered: Lyric and Vivid Choreography.


The New York Times, 26 Nov. 2003.

_____________.Feet with a Lot to Say and Ways to Say It. The New York
Times, Dec. 18, 2003. B3.

Dunning, Jennifer. A Dancer Shows How Rhythm can Set the Fire to a
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_______________. Images of Light and Dark Connect East to West. The


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Jowitt, Deborah. How Many Ways To Twist It? Review of Ballet Frankfurts
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BIBLIOGRAPHY / 131
DVD VIEWING GUIDE

The companion DVD provides opportunity for observing short movement and
dance sequences that can be viewed repeatedly without changes in performance,
unlike live performance that may change from time to time. Making distinctions
between various components of dance dynamics, such as Phrasing types and
Effort qualities can facilitate a conscious awareness of these strands of move-
ment. It is as though the elusive medium of dance can be temporarily captured
by means of classification and terminology. Such identification, in turn, leads
to a descriptive language.

The video excerpts on the DVD emphasize the visual modality and enlist kin-
esthetic feedback. Music accompaniment is deliberately left out as it may bring
up unnecessary issues, such as contrapuntal or complementary dynamics, and
interfere with the focus on movement itself.

The DVD examples have been donated courtesy of choreographers and per-
formers that are acknowledged after each excerpt.

Some suggestions for viewing

In addition to the sequencing and the voice-over provided by the DVD you
also may explore the following approaches:

View examples while turning off the voice-over to find out what you actually
saw.
Before trying to identify various movement dynamics and qualities just
imitate or mimic what you saw.
Jot down a few descriptive adjectives about the feel of the sequence without
using any technical terms.
Stop the DVD to repeat viewing an excerpt that appears complex to you.
Reviewing related aspects of dynamics and movement qualities in the
Workbook, may also be helpful.
The DVD Chapter Menu gives an overview and the opportunity for additional
viewing of any aspect of dance dynamics that you choose.

NOTE: While the voice-over descriptions are reproduced in this guide, a more
extensive analysis is added to some video excerpts.

DVD VIEWING GUIDE / 1


DVD CHAPTER MENU

The DVD provides you with the choice of playing the chapters and sub-chap-
ters in the order they have been recorded or of selecting sections of your own
choice.

(1) PERCEPTION OF DANCE DYNAMICS IN GENERAL TERMS


Variety
Repetition
Contrast

(2) DYNAMICS OF PHRASING

PHRASING TYPES
Even
Increasing
Impactive
Decreasing
Impulsive
IncreaseDecrease
DecreaseIncrease
Accented
Vibratory
Resilient
Elastic
Buoyant
Weighty

SEQUENCING OF PHRASING
Consecutive
Concurrent
Overlapping

PHRASING ANALYSIS OF TWO EXAMPLES


Contrast
Variety

2 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(3) EFFORT QUALITIES

ONE MOTION FACTOR


Direct and Indirect Space
Strong Weight
Light Weight
Sudden Time
Bound Flow
Free Flow

TWO MOTION FACTORSSTATES


Weight/FlowDreamlike & Space/TimeAwake
Space/FlowRemote & Weight/TimeNear
Space/WeightStable & Time/FlowMobile

THREE MOTION FACTORSDRIVES


Space/Weight/TimeAction Drive
Flow/Weight/TimePassion
Space/Flow/TimeVision
Space/Weight/FlowSpell

SYNTHESIS: EFFORT and PHRASING ANALYSIS OF TWO EXAMPLES


Contrast
Variety

DVD VIEWING GUIDE / 3


ACCOMPANYING TEXT and listing of video sources

(1) PERCEPTION OF DANCE DYNAMICS IN GENERAL TERMS


The following video excerpts show some easily observable features.

Variety of dynamics
Variety is one of the general features of dance dynamics that can be seen at
first glance. Three performers interact with percussive, more languid, and some
changing movement qualities.

FROM: Six Tangos (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER : Melanie Bales
PERFORMERS : Robin Anderson, Ama Codjoe, Christina Providence
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

Repetition
Repetition of the same movement quality is another feature that can be noticed
with ease. While the first example showed a repetitive elastic walk, the second
presented a repetition of jerky movements performed with different arm and
body gestures.

FROM: Composition study (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER: Michael Estanich
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

FROM: Tracking (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER: Kristin Hapke
PERFORMER: Michelle Stortz
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

Contrasting dynamics
Contrasting qualities enhance each other. The smooth interaction between the
two dancers contrasts with their more agitated outbursts. The two qualities
clearly stand out from one another.

FROM: African Funeral Song (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER : Susan Hadley
PERFORMERS : Lauren Bisio, Keren Ganin-Pinto
Videotaped by Victoria Uris

4 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(2) DYNAMICS OF PHRASING
The following set of excerpts will be observed from the point of view of
Phrasing of movement energy.

PHRASING TYPES
[Also refer to Workbook pp. 5960.]
The author has classified Phrasing into eight main types.

Even
In this Phrasing type the movement energy does not change.

(1) The right arm and subsequently the head of the performer move with an
unchanging, Even intensity from the beginning till the end.

FROM: Figuring (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Chad Hall
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

(2) In the next excerpt three Even Phrasings follow one another in the per-
formance of the two dancers.

FROM: African Funeral Song (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER : Susan Hadley

Increasing
The performance energy increases in its intensity.

(1) During the turning sequence the momentum and the speed of the move-
ment gradually increases until abruptly stopped.
(2) In the second short sequence the momentum of the performer's move-
ment becomes increasingly controlled as though approaching something
dangerous.

FROM: Tornado (1993)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Jeanine Thompson
Videotaped by Rosalind Pierson

Impactive
An Impact occurs when the Increase builds to a climax.

(1) Two leg kicks and the performer's final lunge create three Impacts.

FROM: Composition study (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Scott Lowe
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

DVD VIEWING GUIDE / 5


(2) In the second example two motifs with a series of Impacts are performed
with arm, torso and leg gestures, as well as a lunge. The somewhat agi-
tated mood eases with a slide, which is Increasing in released fluency.

FROM: Garras dos Sentidos (1999)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Balinda Craig-Quijada

Decreasing
Energy can decrease from a greater to a lesser intensity.

(1) The dancer's turning gradually decelerates creating a Decreasing phras-


ing.

FROM: Lachrymae (1997)


CHOREOGRAPHER / VIDEOGRAPHER : Rosalind Pierson
PERFORMER: Susan Sanborn

(2) In the second example the tense, taut pull between the two dancers
gradually Decreases.

FROM: Directed improvisation (2004)


PERFORMERS : Kristina Isabelle, Christina Providence
Videotaped by Shawn Hove

Impulsive
The Decrease can follow an initial outburst.

(1) Most movement actions in this sequence are initiated with a light
Impulse after which the energy gradually diminishes.

FROM: Figuring (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Chad Hall

(2) In the second example a series of strong Impulses conveys an unsettling,


agitated mood.

FROM: Directed improvisation (2004)


PERFORMER: Kristina Isabelle
Videotaped by Shawn Hove

6 / DANCE DYNAMICS
IncreaseDecrease
This Phrasing can occur in a variety of movement qualities and body actions.

(1) In this sequence all the arm swings are performed with IncreaseDecrease in
speed and weightiness. Leaps and turning jumps also are performed with
IncreaseDecrease in speed and lightness.

FROM: Chairs (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER: Zvi Gotheiner
PERFORMER: Scott Lowe
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

(2) The second example includes a sequence of exercise-like lateral swings that
precede a dance excerpt. In it a series of fast paced IncreaseDecrease
swings is performed with arms and torso gestures and a roll.

FROM : Boxed In (2003)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Kristina Isabelle
Videotaped by Shawn Hove

DecreaseIncrease
Decreasing-then-Increasing Phrasing can occur gradually or more abruptly with
an Decreasing Impulse and Increasing Impact.

(1) In this sequence the dancer gradually releases from an arching tension
and returns to it.

FROM : Variation based on material from Boxed In (2003)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER: Kristina Isabelle
Videotaped by Shawn Hove

(2) In the second example the Impulse in the torso can be seen as a prepara-
tion for an Increasing side fall that is repeated several times.

FROM: Directed improvisation (2004)


PERFORMER: Kristina Isabelle
Videotaped by Shawn Hove

(3) The third excerpt shows both dancers performing two Decrease
Increase Phrasings as an Impulse into an Impact.

FROM: African Funeral Song (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER : Susan Hadley

DVD VIEWING GUIDE / 7


Accented
A sudden exertion of energy that can be repeated and/or followed by stillness is
referred to as Accented Phrasing.

(1) In the first sequence intermittent sudden stomps form several rhythmic
entities of Accented Phrasing.

FROM: Improvisation on the image of a toreador teasing an imaginary bull (2004)


PERFORMER: Scott Lowe
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

(2) In the next excerpts several jerky Accents are performed with the right
arm and head; the subsequent Even sinking is punctuated with one more
gentle accent.

FROM: Kristen Come Home (1997)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER: Susan Sanborn
Videotaped by Rosalind Pierson

Vibratory
An uninterrupted series of sudden repetitions creates Vibratory Phrasing.

(1) In the first example fast, repetitive hand movements shaking an imagi-
nary red cloth in front of a bull, create a series of Vibratory move-
ments.

FROM: Improvisation on the image of a toreador teasing an imaginary bull (2004)


PERFORMER: Scott Lowe

(2) The second example shows that Vibratory Phrasing also can be per-
formed by the entire body.

FROM : R.E.M. (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER: Joe Alter
PERFORMER: Luke Gutgsell
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

8 / DANCE DYNAMICS
RESILIENT
[Also refer to Workbook pp. 7376; 9294.]
Repetitive, rebounding qualities make up Resilient Phrasing. It can have three
emphases.

Elastic
In this Resiliency there is an equal emphasis on strength and lightnessa kind
of oscillation between these qualities.

(1) Several rebounding or bouncy steps create Elastic Resiliency conveying


a happy-go-lucky mood.

FROM: Composition study (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Michael Estanich
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

(2) In the second example Elastic, springy Resiliency can be seen in the
performer's rebounding jumps.

FROM: Is a Woman (1987)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Susan Van Pelt

Buoyant
The emphasis in this Resiliency is on lightness.

(1) In the first excerpts performer's hops and leaps have an airborne Buoyant
resiliency.

FROM : Composition study (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Robin Anderson
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

(2) In the second example the juggler's manipulations also have a Buoyant
resiliency.

FROM: Improvisation (2004)


PERFORMER : Jason Hedden

DVD VIEWING GUIDE / 9


Weighty
The emphasis in this Resiliency is on heaviness or weightiness.

(1) The first hip-hop sequence starts with Weighty Resiliency and then
becomes more bouncy, elastic.

FROM: Improvisation in the style of hip-hop dancing (2004)


PERFORMER : Marc Woten
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

(2) The performer appears bogged down with Weighty resiliency.

PERFORMER : Michael Estanich


Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

SEQUENCING OF PHRASING
[Also refer to Workbook pp. 9698.]
Phrasing of movement actions can be performed in three different ways.

Consecutive
In most of the sequences observed the Phrasing was performed one after the
other, i.e. Consecutively with various body parts or the entire body. The types
of Phrasing can be the same or different.

(1) In the first excerpt two Increasing drops of the right arm and head are
followed by a Weighty Resilient lowering and rising of the entire body
and continuing with a brief DecreaseIncrease, ending with an Impactive
squat.

FROM: The Touch (1995)


CHOREOGRAPHER: Irene Hultman
PERFORMER: Melanie Bales

(2) The second sequence starts with Even movements of the legs rising that
follow each other; a slight Accent precedes an Increasing drop which
reverberates with some elastic Resiliency; a slight Impulse leads into the
Even lowering of one leg.

FROM: Kristen Come Home (1997)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Susan Sanborn.
Videotaped by Rosalind Pierson

10 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Concurrent Phrasing
Different parts of the body can perform different phrasing types at the same
time, i.e. Concurrently:

(1) The first excerpt shows fast turning steps that produce Vibratory
phrasing, while at the same time the right arm raises and lowers with
Impulsive phrasing; the sequence ends with an IncreaseDecrease fall of
the whole body.

FROM: Wild Mushrooms in North America (1989)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER: Karen Eliot

(2) After three Consecutive moves the performer's head leans backwards
Evenly while Concurrently the foot repeats several short Increase
Decrease rotations and the leg lowers Evenly; finally the entire body
collapses with an Increase.

FROM: Tick (2002)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER: Susan Sanborn
Videotaped by Rosalind Pierson

Overlapping Phrasing
When actions of various body parts begin before the Phrasing of the previous
action has finished, Overlapping Phrasing occurs.

Here is an example of Overlapping Phrasing that also includes Consecutive and


Concurrent Phrasing:

(1) After a fast IncreaseDecrease torso movement, two Even arm ges-
tures Overlap with the torso recovery. Even Bending and stretching of
the foot initiates Overlapping eye, head, arm and finger movements.
All Overlapping movements are Even except for Vibratory fingers, and
a slight Impact of the hand. Consecutive leg rotations continue with
Vibratory movement of both legs that is Concurrent with Increasing
Decreasing arm gestures that end with an Impact of the entire body.

FROM: Girl Blue (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER / CAMERAPERSON: Noel Reiss
PERFORMER : Balinda Craig-Quijada

DVD VIEWING GUIDE / 11


PHRASING ANALYSIS OF TWO EXAMPLES
After having considered Phrasing types and their sequencing separately, we will
observe aspects of Phrasing in two longer excerpts that have been seen before.

Contrasting Dynamics
Contrasting Phrasing types alternate in this sequence.

(1) The unfolding of the first gestures and the subsequent lowering and ris-
ing of both dancers is performed with Even Phrasing. This is punctuated
with the dancer in the background performing an IncreaseDecrease
scooping turn, while the dancer in the foreground Increases downwards.
Their respective launching onto the floor is performed with Decrease
Increase phrasing, and two faster Impulses followed by Impacts; this is
interspersed with Even turning over and looking around at the end. The
sequencing of Phrasing by each dancer is Consecutive.

FROM: African Funeral Song (2004)


CHOREOGRAP HER : Susan Hadley

Variety of Dynamics
V
This example has four different types of Phrasing.

(1) Three Performers move first one after the other with differing types of
Phrasing: an Impact with Even recovery, two Accents followed by Even
moves, then at the same time with Even Phrasing punctuated with knee
initiated Impulses by two performers that changes the initial grouping.
The third performer then establishes herself with two pelvic Accents and,
gains momentum for two subsequent Impactive Phrasings that again cre-
ate changes in the grouping. The sequencing of Phrasing by each dancer
is Consecutive.

FROM: Six Tangos (2004)


CHOREOGRAP HER : Melanie Bales

12 / DANCE DYNAMICS
(3) EFFORT QUALITIES
Rudolf Laban developed the Effort theory that considers various movement
qualities and describes specific coloring or texture of the movement.

ONE MOTION FACTOR


[Also refer to Workbook pp. 1321.]
Single movement qualities seldom appear in isolation. The following examples
will show the predominance of qualities in one Motion Factor, and subsequently
in one Effort quality.

Direct & Indirect Space


(1) The performer alternates direct, straight reaching gestures with indirect,
flexible ones. Some changes in Time are also noticeable.

FROM: Six Tangos (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER : Melanie Bales
PERFORMER : Christina Providence

Strong Weight
(1) The dancer exerts all the actions with strength or firmness while the
strand of bound Flow is also noticeable.

FROM: Composition study (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Scott Lowe
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

Light Weight
(1) This example shows a predominance of light, fine touch qualities that
are associated with varying Time, Space, and Flow variables.

FROM : Composition study (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Robin Anderson
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

Sudden Time
(1) Repetitive sudden leg gestures also show some light and direct quality.

For this excerpt, Christina Providence has recalled her performance experience in the
Croatian folk dance Ensemble Zivili in Columbus, Ohio.
Videotaped by Shawn Hove

DVD VIEWING GUIDE / 13


Sustained Time
(1) In this example the sustained quality is maintained over an Even
Phrasing while the performer is advancing.

FROM : Tracking (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER: Kristin Hapke

Bound Flow
(1) In this scene, predominant bound Flow is coupled with sustainment and
some instances of sudden Time.

FROM: Breaking the Current: Ms. Toads Wild Ride Through the Twists and Turns of
the Psychedelic Journey Called Life (1999)
CHOREOGRAP HER / PERFORMER: Jeanine Thompson
Videotaped by Janet Parrott

Free Flow
(1) Free Flow and fast tempo are generated by most of the movement
actions in this example.

FROM: Tornado (1993)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER: Jeanine Thompson
Videotaped by Rosalind Pierson

TWO MOTION FACTORSSTATES


[Also refer to Workbook pp. 2335.]
Laban identified incomplete efforts as the emergence of a combination of
two Motion factors elements. Bartenieff referred to them as inner states.
Such combinations are observable in movement transitions and in some dance
sequences.

Weight/FlowDream-like & Space/TimeAwake


(1) This scene shows a brief Dream-like or daydreaming State in which the
performer engages Weight and Flow elements that oscillate between
their polarities. From it she changes into an Awake sudden and direct
pauncing, thus engaging elements of Space and Time, though some
strength and bound Flow also are noticeable. Finally she returns to the
Dream-like State again.

FROM: Directed improvisation (2004)


PERFORMER / CHOREOGRAPHER: Kristina Isabelle
Videotaped by Shawn Hove

14 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Space/FlowRemote & Weight/TimeNear

Remote
(1) This ballet adagio-like sequence displays aspects of Space and Flow.
From a direct/bound to more direct/free reaching, changing into indi-
rect/free and continuing with fluctuations between direct/indirect, and
bound/free qualities.

FROM: Directed improvisation (2004)


PERFORMER: Kristina Isabelle
Videotaped by Shawn Hove

Near
(1) In contrast here is a tap dance sequence that shows rhythmic variations
in qualities of Weight and Time. Some stronger and lighter taps alternate
with sudden and sustained qualities. At times, though, some Flow quali-
ties appear in the arms.

FROM: Directed improvisation (2004)


PERFORMER: Kristina Isabelle
Videotaped by Shawn Hove

Space/WeightStable & Time/FlowMobile

Stable
(1) In this ritualistic sequence, variations of Space and Weight qualities are
noticeable. The predominant combinations are direct/light, direct/strong
with some sustained Time, and some indirect/sustained. The quality of
bound Flow is also noticeable in direct/strong combinations.

FROM: Directed improvisation (2004)


PERFORMER: Kristina Isabelle
Videotaped by Shawn Hove

Mobile
(1) The excerpt shows Flow and Time fluctuations that create a Mobile
State. Predominant free Flow coupled with sudden Time, occasion-
ally changes into bound Flow and sustainment. Towards the end some
Spatial directness appears.

FROM: Figuring (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Chad Hall

DVD VIEWING GUIDE / 15


THREE MOTION FACTORSDRIVES
[Also refer to Workbook pp. 4151.]
In movement and dance expression, clear combinations of three Motion Factors
are frequently noticeable. Such combinations are referred to as Drives.

Space/Weight/TimeAction Drive
In dance actions and everyday activities as well, emotional participation that
manifests in the Flow factor is not required. Rather, Space/Weight/Time combi-
nations are most appropriate.

(1) In the first excerpt kneading the imaginary dough includes transitions
from Gliding to Pressing actions, interspersed with some Dabbing
actions.

FROM: Is a Woman (1978)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Susan Van Pelt

(2) The second example shows some Basic Effort Actions performed with
the entire body, such as Slashing, Pulling, Punching, Wringing, Floating,
Flicking-Dabbing, and Gliding.

FROM: Directed improvisation (2004)


PERFORMER: Kristina Isabelle
Videotaped by Shawn Hove

Flow/Weight/TimePassion Drive
In emotionally emphasized Drives the Flow factor replaces qualities of Space.

(1) The dancer lashes out wildly as though chasing some nightmares. Free
Flow, strength and sudden Time are prominent while Spatial clarity is in
abeyance.

FROM: Composition study (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER : Michael Estanich
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

(2) In the second excerpt frantic tilting of the chair, temporarily loosing one's
bearings, followed by vigorous gesturing and coming full tilt against the
chair, shows an emotional state in which components of Flow, Weight,
and Time are in the foreground.

FROM: Chairs (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER: Zvi Gotheiner
PERFORMER: Kamilah Levens
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

16 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Space/Flow/TimeVision Drive
In this Drive Space/Flow/Time are emphasized while bodily Sensing associated
with the Weight factor is in the background.

(1) The dancer appears pursuing an imaginary path with a direct/free Flow/
light quality and some additional Time changes in terms of acceleration
and deceleration.

FROM: Lachrymae (1997)


CHOREOGRAPHER / VIDEOGRAPHER: Rosalind Pierson
PERFORMER : Susan Sanborn

(2) In the second example the performer stares at a situation that causes
direct/sudden/bound arm and torso jerks.

FROM: Tracking (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER: Kristin Hapke
PERFORMER: Michelle Stortz

Space/Weight/FlowSpell Drive
A more timeless Spell-like Drive emerges when the Flow factor replaces qualities
of Time.

(1) In the first scene the performer's tentative gestures show bound Flow,
lightness, and predominant directness, as though under the Spell of a
nightmare.

FROM: Breaking the Current: Ms. Toads Wild Ride Through the Twists and Turns of
the Psychedelic Journey Called Life (1999)
CHOREOGRAPHER / PERFORMER: Jeanine Thompson
Videotaped by Janet Parrott

(2) In the second duet the couple is fascinated with each other as though
there is an eternity for their interactions that show predominantly Space,
Weight and Flow variations.

FROM: Six Tangos (2004)


CHOREOGRAPHER: Melanie Bales
PERFORMEERS: Teena Custer, Marc Woten
Videotaped by Emily Lawrence

DVD VIEWING GUIDE / 17


SYNTHESIS: EFFORT and PHRASING ANALYSIS OF TWO EXAMPLES
Finally let us observe Phrasingas a dynamics macrostructure, together with
Effortits microstructure. The examples of Contrast and Variety are analyzed
further.

Contrast
(1) Two dancers stand next to each other facing stage right. At the start, the
Even Phrasing sections of both performers are colored with sustained
Time, some Spatial directness, and while turning on the floor with some
bound Flow. Interrupting these sections are an IncreaseDecrease in
weightiness and free Flow in the turning of one dancer, and Increase
in weightiness in the sinking of the other. Follow the performance of
sudden/free DecreasingIncreasing into sudden/bound by both dancers.
When repeated in a faster tempo some strong Weight is added, creating
an ImpulseImpact. The final raising, looking, and lowering of the head
and upper body by the dancer in the foreground is performed with a
direct/sustained/bound quality.

From the predominant combination of Effort variables one can deduce


two contrasting Drives: Passion in all the outbursts, and Vision in the
beginning and at the end.

FROM: African Funeral Song (2004)


CHOREOGRAP HER : Susan Hadley

Variety
(1) Three dancers stand in a tight group, linked by arms. Starting with a
downward arm gesture of a sudden/strong Impact that recovers with
Even sustained quality, the first mover triggers two sudden/bound
Accents from the second one, motivating all three performers to change
grouping with Even sustained qualities; in this process the first and sec-
ond performer turn with a light/sudden Impulse initiated by the knee.
The third performer takes her initiative with two sudden/strong/bound
Accents performed by the pelvis and gains momentum to pull both com-
panions with an strong/sudden/free Flow Impact, followed by another
sudden/strong/bound Impact that results in another change of grouping.

From the predominant combinations of Effort variable one can notice


that performers in this scene are coming in and out of Passion Drive with
some instances of the Near State, and the Mobile State.

FROM: Six Tangos (2004)


CHOREOGRAP HER : Melanie Bales
PERFORMERS : Robin Anderson, Ama Codjoe, Christina Providence

18 / DANCE DYNAMICS
NOTE: The observation of the two strands of dance dynamicsPhrasing and
Effort have been the main focus of the Workbook and DVD companion. As it
can be seen in the paragraph below, the descriptions also refer to other impor-
tant movement and dance components, such as BODILY ACTIONS, BODY
PA RT S , GROUP FORMATIONS, INTERACTION/RELATIONSHIPS, and SPATIAL
DIRECTIONS.

Three dancers stand in A TIGHT GROUP, LINKED by ARMS . Starting with a


DOWNWARD ARM GESTURE of a sudden/strong Impact that recovers with
Even sustained quality, the first mover TRIGGERS two sudden/bound Accents
from the second one, MOTIVATING ALL THREE PERFORMERS to CHANGE
GROUPING with Even sustained qualities; in this process the first and second
performer TURN with a light-sudden Impulse initiated by the KNEE . The third
performer takes her initiative with two sudden/strong/bound Accents performed
by the P E LV I S and gains momentum to PULL both companions with a strong/
sudden/free Flow Impact, followed by another sudden/strong/bound Impact that
results in another CHANGE OF GROUPING.

While aspects, such as body parts, body actions, interaction or relationships,


group formations, and spatial directions, are more readily identified and
described, the qualitative area of dance dynamics is more subtle in its manifesta-
tions and continues to provide challenges in the study of movement and dance
performance.

Write adjectives describing the feel of the video excerpts illustrating:

(1) P H R A S I N G T Y PES

Even

Increasing

Impactive

Decreasing

DVD VIEWING GUIDE / 19


Impulsive

IncreaseDecrease

DecreaseIncrease

Accented

Vibratory

Elastic Resilient

Buoyant Resilient

Weighty Resilient

(2) S E Q U E N C I N G O F PHRASING

Consecutive

Concurrent

Overlapping

20 / DANCE DYNAMICS
Write adjectives describing the feel of the video excerpts illustrating:

(3) E F F O RT Q U A L ITIESONE MOTION FACTOR

Direct and Indirect Space

Strong Weight

Light Weight

Sudden Time

Bound Flow

Free Flow

T W O M O T I O N FACTORSSTATES

Weight/FlowDreamlike & Space/TimeAwake

Space/FlowRemote & Weight/TimeNear

Space/WeightStable & Time/FlowMobile

DVD VIEWING GUIDE / 21


T H R E E M O T I O N FACTORSDRIVES

Space/Weight/TimeAction Drive

Flow/Weight/TimePassion

Space/Flow/TimeVision

Space/Weight/FlowSpell

22 / DANCE DYNAMICS