Laban Movement

Inner vs. Outer Connetivity

Laban movement analysis is the language of dance and is considered to be sacred geometry that uses five crystallized forms that calculate movement and offers equations through symbols to make sense of everyday movement . By using laban motifs/symbols in an equation, the end product is almost always a dance or a deliberate movement sequence.

The ability to use the laban system has made me aware of how I both observe and understand dancing in every sense of the word and idea of movement as I study as a performing arts major at Raritan Valley. The concept of inner vs. outer connectivity is what intrigues me the most so far out of they many interesting facts and ideas taught and spoken about within this semester taking into account that we were exposed to was only the tip of a giant ice berg that is LMA and all that it offers. The simple concept of thinking about, and emotionally feeling a movement and where that movement is intended to go through space before actually moving it is something I feel that I have been knowingly over analyzing in all of my years of dancing both in and out of class. Learning about inner vs. uter connectivity brought an awareness and a validity to my understanding of dance along with developing my ability to put inner states into outer expressions. In order to portray a specific emotion or gesture through movement, one must consider their Spatial Intent.

“Spatial Intent is a clarity and specificity of outer destination in movement that has the effect of promoting and organizing inner connectivity”

For example, to execute a movement with a heavy intent such as stomping your feet on the ground, thinking of a heavy mass or emotion will allow that stomping to be perceived as an undeniably heavy, weighed action. When dancers have not been introduced to laban’s inner and outer connectivity concept, they are only achieving the technical aspect of the movements that they are taught, failing to connect with the inner dynamics that bring life and intent to performance. An example of how simply this can be taught to even the youngest of dancers would be to have them imagine that they are holding a beach ball in their arms, giving them a mental visualization of the correct placement of where their arms should be. By using laban’s method, this will eventually become an intrinsic component of their movements thereby developing muscle memory and natural inner and outer connectivity. Within one of the books that assisted me throughout my research, “Body Movement: Coping With The Environment” it states, “ When, however, a specific spatial intent is added, such as a gathering movement of embracing or a scattering movement of repelling particular objects, a new tension is created between the object and the initiation of the movement in the body, and a particular, rather than a general, spatial shape is produced as the movement proceeds.

This book was a collaboration of Irmgard Bartenieff, the man who created the basic six exercise’s and the BF principals taught in LMA and Dori Lewis from the 19th century. This along with several other quotes and passages once again validated my original thoughts on the simplicity and efficiency of these methods for teaching and ways of thinking of movement.

Aside from form and spatial points as well as technique being what makes dance, emotion comes first in order to authenticate and embody what that dance really means to you.Without emotion and purpose behind a dance, there is no inner connectivity to transcend out onto those watching you move. It is not hard to tell the difference between watching a dancer who is committed and invested in the movements they are making from head to toe and seeing the purposeful look in their eyes as they follow the direction they are moving, compared to a dancer who seems to appear somewhat jumbled up in their movement, displaying lack of directional intent and body connectivity with a blank look on their face and without emotion in their eyes. Audiences universally go to see performances with the intention of having an emotional experience whether it be happy, sad, funny, ect. It is up to the performers to fulfill those expectations. It is through the skill and inner and outer connectivity of the performers that these expectations can be met. It is with the knowledge that I have gained through learning about Laban’s theories and concepts that will allow me to have a new level of awareness and sense of connection.

I will apply what I have learned with a conscious effort to implement my body connectivity both inner and outer as well as how I portray my movements as I go forward in dance. Studying Laban theories and concepts has given me a deeper appreciation of both performance and everyday movement. I look forward to continuing my understanding of this amazing language of dance that was created by Rudolph Laban, who made an intangible art from, tangible.

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