The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Laban movement analysis
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
When Leigh mentioned this I sought it out via google and think she hits the spot with this.
Of what I saw of it, it seems to me that this is AND for people.

What struck me most was:

“Shape Qualities" describe the way the body is changing (in an active way) toward some point in space. In the simplest form, this describes whether the body is currently Opening (growing larger with more extension) or Closing (growing smaller with more flexion).”

If I had not known it was about humans I would have thought it was about horses.
This is about extension and collection! :yes:


PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
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Location: New York
Hey Josepha!

I'm so glad you started this topic! I love your connection to collection -- I think you're absolutely right.

By way of background...

Rudolph Laban was dancer and kinesiologist looking for a way to notate dance choreography, and developed a philosophy about how movement works that ended up being a lot more interest than notating choreography! :)

He worked with a colleague, Irmgard Bartenieff, who expanded his theories and defined some more tangible ways of defining the body and how it works.

Laban's Ideas

The characteristics of the body in movement

Dynamics of movement -- shaped by intension

Variations include four categories that each contain their opposite:
Space: Direct / Indirect
Weight: Strong / Light
Time: Sudden / Sustained
Flow: Bound / Free

Here's a really nice blog with a formal image of the Laban's 'efforts' along with some artwork that captures the sense of each efforts and how they can co-exist. ... c-efforts/

For example, what does a fast, light, indirect movement (what Laban calls a 'dab') look and feel like, versus a fast, light, indirect movement (what Laban calls a 'flick')?

Here are the eight basic efforts that he felt emerged from the categories:


Expanding on the sense of movement in the body

Looking at patterns in motion in connection with the environment the body is moving in (and the environment in the body)
Some really intriguing ideas about geometry and how our bodies live in it, sing with it, etc.

Bartenieff concepts include:
Breath Support
Center of Weight/Weight Transference
Core Support
Developmental Patterning and its Support for Level Change
Dynamic Alignment
Effort Intent
Initiation and Sequencing
Rotary Factor
Spatial Intent

I studied this when I was dancing and I think it offers some very intriguing ideas about movement that could help us refine our understanding and language of how our horses move -- and we move with them.

More soon -- I'm tired enough that I'm dribbling off into total incoherence... :yawn: Beddy-bye time!

This is the website for the Laban/Bartinieff Institute:

"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi

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