Applying Analysis

I must admit that I was extremely nervous about taking Dance Analysis at the beginning of this semester. I had deep concern that it would be entirely too much like a geometry or algebra class, and that the numbers and symbols would overwhelm me to a point of effortgraphlabeledfrustration. I quickly realized that this did not have to be my experience as I fell in love with the ability to communicate descriptions of movement with exactness. As a choreographer, I am most interested in Laban Movement Analysis concepts, especially those that are categorized under effort qualities. The four motion factors provide a method of describing movement qualitatively, while action drives further this ability by combining motion factors to specify multiple representations of quality. The effort graph, aside from having a visually pleasing layout, provides a method of written communication for effort qualities.

When brainstorming ways in which Laban Movement Analysis would be beneficial in a choreographic setting, I first consider the ability to clearly communicate with the dancers I will be working with. When I am setting a phrase on a dancer, I want them to be able to grasp the space, time, weight, and flow qualities of the material. By providing them with a specific effort element, I can efficiently transfer my vision to their bodies. For example, if I wanted a dancer to repeat a phrase that has already been established in the piece, but give the effect of physical or emotional pain, I could ask them to focus on bound flow and strong weight. This could also be done with specific movements within a phrase through action drive. If I wanted a dancer to embody a broad sweeping motion, I would ask them to consider gliding—or moving sustained, direct, and light. Have a valid method of communicating with a cast of dancers would prove to be very helpful in a rehearsal process.


I am also interested in utilizing LMA in a material-creation setting. In order to generate new ways of moving, I could ask my dancers to improvise within a specific action drive for a period of time and select particular sections of that improvisation to re-establish and set within a work. By providing the cast with an action drive, they will maintain similar qualities and therefore similarities in their movement will develop, allowing for a satisfying overlap of movement concepts. I could also counter this idea by having dancers move in separate drives during an improvisation and identify the contrasts in qualities as interesting and worth re-setting within a piece.


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