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How does effort contribute to your moving body?


How does effort contribute to your moving body? Effort: effort is a word introduced by Rudolph Laban. According to him, it is a mental impulse from which movement ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: How does effort contribute to your moving body?

How does effort contribute to your moving body?
  • Effort effort is a word introduced by Rudolph
    Laban. According to him, it is a mental impulse
    from which movement originates. There are four
    motion factors that constitute it SPACE (direct
    or indirect), WEIGHT (strong or light), TIME
    (sudden or sustained) and FLOW (bound and free).
    The dynamic of movement is the result of the
    combination of these factors and its effort

  • Effort economy although effort is a word
    associated with Rudolph Labans movement theory
    by the dancing community, it is also used with
    another meaning when talking about effort
    economy' in technical terms. It refers to a way
    of moving in which expenditure of energy is
    optimized by using only the parts of the body
    needed and relaxing the rest.

  • Effort qualities single effort elements or their
    combinations (direct, indirect, strong, light,
    sudden, sustained, bound, free).

  • Flow (free, bound or continuous) one of the four
    main factors that make up the dynamics of
    movement, according to the efforts theory by
    Rudolph Laban. When flow is free, the dancer
    would not have big control to stop movement
    immediately (like the arm of a country worker,
    when throwing and spreading rice seeds or when a
    dancer makes a grand jeté). When flow is bound,
    the dancer would have control to stop moving at
    any moment (common when moving slowly or when
    doing movements that require control, like a
    pirouette). Flow is also usually called as being
    continuous, which would mean that the stream or
    momentum of movement doesnt stop. (Look for the
    definitions above for DYNAMIC, EFFORT and EFFORT
    QUALITIES to expand)

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the spine
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Release the head
  • Bag of water
  • Heavy head
  • Shake

    VigmostadThis paper was originally written for
    a course at The University of Iowa, entitled
    Theories of Dance and the Body. This course
    explored varying theories and points of view on
    physical embodiment, and how our understanding of
    corporeality affects the way we view, experience,
    and utilize dance.IntroductionThe human body
    is inherently restricted in its ability to
    perform actions and each one unique in its
    degree of limitations. How do we, as dancers,
    performers, and choreographers, respect these
    boundaries while still pursuing an aesthetic
    goal?  How do intricate power relationships play
    into and complicate this issue in the dance
    world?  How do current dance training practices
    lend to the formation of a dancers identity, and
    how does this identity, in turn, inform dancers
    participation in and proliferation of these
    complex and often imbalanced power structures?  I
    believe these issues to be salient, and in need
    of exploitation in the practice and performance
    of dance, for their consequences yield
    considerable authority in the making and
    treatment of dancers and their subsequent
    relationship with their chosen profession. The
    power relationships established in the dance
    world have dominating tendencies, often cross
    ethical boundaries, and are rarely addressed in
    dance classrooms or rehearsal settings. I hope to
    reveal some of the mechanics of the complex
    relationships set up between dance
    teachers/choreographers and dance
    students/dancers, in the hopes that the awareness
    of such issues is capable of beginning a process
    of transition, leading to a more democratic and
    holistic approach to the practice, making, and
    performance of this art form. I will draw support
    from articles written by dance scholars and will
    try to focus my writing on 20th century concert
    dance and movement modalities, and draw from my
    own experiences in these disciplines.

  • Forming a dancers identityAs I grew up with
    dance, it has been an integral part of my
    identity, and my identification process. My
    identity has always included the statement I am
    a dancer a statement that bleeds into the way
    I see and respond to my surroundings I learn
    best through my kinesthetic sense, gaining
    insight and information through/from others
    bodies and their postures and movements. Andre
    Grau states that, identity is structured by
    otherness and vice versa and is bound to the
    dynamics of interactions. (Grau, 190-191).  Our
    identity, then, is continuously being constructed
    through the reflection and/or deflection of
    difference. I think this is key in the
    development of a dancers identity in particular,
    because the body, being the forms medium of
    expression, and a constant in the human
    experience, is so easily compared to others in
    the dance classroom and/or on stage. A dancers
    body must be trained, scrutinized, and
    controlled body ideals are clearly stated by the
    visibility of such canonical statures in dance
    performances. Isabelle Ginot writes,
    contemporary dancers memories have shown that
    one of the key guiding factors of their training
    is identity. The question is whether to succeed
    or not in becoming a dancer, in conforming to
    the real or fictional images of this being a
    dancer and its identity, perceived as both
    repressive and desirable. (Ginot, p. 251 252)
    A dancer who does not fit the mold physically
    is aware of their potential to succeed in the
    contemporary dance world because of this factor.
    Comparison with other dancers is encouraged from
    the beginning, and this early cultivation of
    what a dancer looks like into the minds of
    young dancers becomes an integral part of their
    notion of self-worth and, subsequently, their
    identity. The objectification of a dancer comes
    from teachers and spectators as well. Susan
    Foster reveals the early ballet establishments
    role in promoting this behavior. Foster states,
    Capitalist marketing strategies in the early
    nineteenth century supported and enhanced the
    objectified dancing body and the commodified
    female dancer. They pitted one ballerina against
    another in intensive, objectifying advertising
    campaigns. (The ballerinas phallic pointe, p.
    6) These tactics to increase ballets popularity
    drove dance companies to create the image of
    drama and competition within the walls of their
    organization. Eventually, these stories
    manifested into reality, and competitive dynamics
    are still prevalent and a driving force in the
    field of dance.

  • Disciplining a dancerA certain amount of
    masochism is built in to the training of a
    contemporary dancer. Pain is often explained as a
    sign of growing and getting stronger, and
    those who cannot endure it are not expected to go
    very far in the field I can remember being
    reprimanded many times in pointe class for
    wanting to take my shoes off when my feet were
    numb and bleeding. It is no question that dance
    training, like all sports and physical training
    endeavors, is physically, mentally and
    emotionally challenging. But these extreme and
    coercive training methods from such a young age
    instill into the minds of dancers extensive
    amounts of competition and insecurity, which will
    eventually travel with them into the rest of
    their lives, both within and without the dance
    world. Dancers are often asked to perform
    movements which are potentially injurious to
    their bodies, and, because of their ingrained and
    debilitating work ethic, usually do not contest.
    The average professional dancers career is
    approximately 10 15 years (according to the few
    articles I could find on the subject) the
    majority of which end due to severe injury or
    prolonged overuse. For a dancer, jobs are few and
    far between. Choosing to not oblige a
    choreographers demands based on physical limit
    or moral/ethical belief is nearly impossible
    without serious consequence. Not only will this
    behavior most likely guarantee a dancers firing
    from their current job, but their reputation will
    also be soiled, preventing future jobs from
    manifesting. I think this perception of dance
    being both repressive and desirable, as Ginot
    points out, is a key factor in the cycle of power
    relations built up around the dance medium, and
    plays an important role in our understanding some
    of these central and multivalent power-dynamics
    present in the practice and making of dances.
    The structure of dance training, in particular
    the study of Classical Ballet, seems to have
    developed from the disciplinary foundations set
    by institutions such as the military. The
    parallels are most apparent in the desire to
    control and dominate the body in the hopes to
    create a body that functions efficiently for the
    profit of the institution it serves. In
    Discipline and Punishment Michel Foucault writes
    about the evolution of institutionalized
    disciplines, and comments about the point in
    history when disciplinary modalities were
    becoming codified. Foucault explains,

  • What was then being formed was a policy of
    coercions that act upon the body, a calculated
    manipulation of its elements, its gestures, its
    behaviour... Discipline produces subjected and
    practiced bodies, docile bodies. Discipline
    increases the forces of the body (in economic
    terms of utility) and diminishes the forces of
    the body (in political terms of obedience.)
    (Docile Bodies, Foucault, p. 138) As the
    dance-pupil commits him or herself to the dance
    discipline their ability to conform to set
    standards grants them a certain amount of
    usability. It becomes the dance students goal to
    be desired by their teacher(s) and choreographers
    at large, and will most likely abandon their own
    needs/desires in order to achieve the others
    objectives. It is difficult for these cycles to
    be broken for many reasons. One may be that dance
    instructors and choreographers were taught in a
    similar way, and are propelling this mindset in
    the following generation through their classes
    and choreographic works. There is an expectation
    in most dance classrooms that the dance teacher
    at least for the few hours that they are in
    charge holds the power and should be respected
    to the point of tacit obedience from the pupil.
    This experience of self-repression becomes so
    ingrained in the student, that questioning the
    teachers knowledge of the subject becomes a
    taboo, and such questions of ethics (as far as I
    have seen in contemporary dance classes) are
    rarely raised. This paradigm then translates into
    the rehearsal process, where the choreographers
    will becomes the dancers mission and
    inspiration. It is a bizarre phenomenon that one
    day a dancer may suffer extreme physical pain,
    endure scrutinizing judgment based on their looks
    or lack of talent, yet they will still show up to
    a dance class or rehearsal the next day in an
    attempt to fulfill their own, and others
    projected, expectations/desires. The layers of
    power relationships in these classroom and
    rehearsal settings are extremely hard to
    understand and decipher, and I have only just
    touched the surface of such issues. A full
    disclosure of these relationships would certainly
    require an in-depth look into psychology, and
    other areas of pertinent human-dynamic research
    nevertheless, I have tried to reveal something of
    these dynamics from my own experience in the
    field of dance.

  • Accepting the limits of corporealityWith the
    current acceptable dance training modality in
    place, it is clear that dancers are instructed
    and expected to apply techniques presented by the
    teacher without thought of its potential injury
    to their body. Sandra Fraleigh states, Whether I
    like it or not, my particular embodiment and my
    images of its powers and limitations condition my
    general comportment in life... Not only is my
    body mine but I belong to it. I experience
    myself as implicated by my body. (Dance and the
    Lived Body, p. 17) Fraleigh continues by
    illuminating the downfalls of a dualistic
    approach to dancing, drawing insight from
    existential phenomenology in her pursuit to
    reveal the separation of mind and body in the
    language and mindset of contemporary dancers. I
    think that this dualism, which is prevalent in
    the entirety of the western paradigm, is
    detrimental to all power-based structures. In the
    dance world, this dualistic viewpoint lends to
    the promotion of controlling the body the mind
    is viewed as the agency by which the body is
    moved and utilized. From this foundation, dance
    students are trained to objectify themselves in
    the learning process, leading to ignorance of the
    bodys functioning and inherent limits, and,
    therefore, unconsciously damaging themselves
    through their exertions.

  • I realize that I have painted a very grey image
    of a traditional dance career. I have not focused
    on beneficial aspects of concert dance, only so
    that I could raise and investigate salient issues
    in the dance field that are so oft overlooked. I
    am not interested in discouraging the progression
    and continuation of concert dance quite the
    contrary, I hope only for betterment and
    prospering to occur in the field (a field in
    which I am an active participant.) I think that
    with consideration of our treatment and training
    of dancers, education in the areas of movement
    analysis, biomechanics and anatomy, the dance
    world has potential to bloom into a new and
    exciting era of movement exploration. Dancers
    could become relatively injury-free,
    self-sufficient in remaining so, and capable of
    pushing the envelope of movement potential. This
    is an idealized vision, but one that I believe is
    (and have seen living proof of) possible. I do
    not think that it is possible to completely avoid
    injury, pain, or discomfort on all fronts
    accidents and disagreements always happen. But,
    the amount and degree to which one damages their
    body should and can be held at bay.

  • In my study of the human body, and its various
    ways of moving, I have progressed from Ballet to
    Improvisational dance, to Modern and Contemporary
    dance forms, to Yoga, and most recently the study
    of movement analysis - absorbed primarily by the
    Axis Syllabus (AS). Frey Faust, the main
    synthesizer of the AS and author of numerous
    dance articles on related topics, writes of he
    and the ASs goals in an article titled The
    Pedagogical Thesis of the Axis Syllabus,
    Consistent with the natural environment that
    produced us, nowhere in the human body is there
    any evidence of a straight line or flat surface.
    It follows then that the most logical way to
    train the body would be through non-linear,
    undulatory, tri-axial motion. We could consider
    this kind of movement as a neutral starting point
    for mechanical integrity and well-being. (Faust,
    Pedagogical Thesis, (http//
    d2) Faust, in his observation and experience of
    the body from various lenses of both dance and
    the sciences, has developed a method for training
    the body from a sensory, rather than aesthetic,
    orientation, with his students physical safety
    at the core of his endeavors. Using visual
    references, technical terms, and physical
    demonstration, Faust is able to lead his students
    through series of transition-specific movements,
    which allow joint-integrity to remain intact and
    a priority throughout the class. Giving weight to
    the salience of recognizing and honoring our
    inherent physical limits, the AS-ump reveals to
    its patient students a powerful movement logic
    that transforms preconceived limits into nurtured
    and choice opportunities, while remaining within
    physical safe-zone parameters. In this form of
    training the body each student is given the tools
    necessary to make movement choices based on
    knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics, and
    principles of applied physics granting them
    both freedom and responsibility in their own
    safety and health. I believe this and similar
    methods of training the body could greatly
    benefit the contemporary dance world, providing
    students and teachers with practical solutions in
    their movement making decisions, as well as
    setting up clear priorities for each.

  • Theory in motion choreographing boundariesIn
    our choreographic collaboration, my group
    discussed the various perspectives we each hold
    on the idea of integrity as dancers, and how we
    feel the dance world either supports or
    debilitates this quality in our own lives, and in
    the art form we both observe and interact with.
    We have discussed how we have been marked by
    different influences in our lives dance
    teachers/choreographers life experiences
    friends colleagues schooling belief systems
    ancestry and so on.  I believe these markings
    play a definite role in ones identity and
    particular manner of identification. I am curious
    about how I have been marked and how I, in turn,
    mark others. Our discussions have lead to a
    belief that you cannot always know how you are
    influencing those around you, and where or when
    others marks will show up in your own person. In
    our choreographic process, we extracted
    essences from the conversations we engaged in
    as a group, in order to produce movement from the
    core issues at hand. We chose to represent these
    markings with colored paint as a process of
    making visible the unconscious influences from
    the world around us. Throughout the piece we
    represent numerous influences/people for one
    another, and have endeavored to represent certain
    boundaries and our dance and genetic histories
    through movement vocabulary and interaction with
    the paint.

  • The way I engaged with our dance-concept was by
    using my writing/research as a springboard for
    movement exploration in terms of my viewpoint on
    integrity and the boundaries that I attempt to
    respect in my dancing. I wanted to show my
    position on the power relationships set up in
    dance classes/rehearsals between
    teacher/choreographer and dancer, and how these
    power structures inherent tendencies promote the
    abandonment of joint/structural integrity in
    dancers. The movement material I contributed to
    the piece was drawn from the defining of my
    physical body, and applying the paint in a way
    that illuminated these boundaries. I was also
    concerned with the boundaries around my body
    further clarifying my parameters for
    self-preservation. My first markings come from
    two other dancers, and these marks are placed on
    the sides of my arms. I asked the dancers to mark
    me on my skin to emphasize the physical boundary
    of my body. Having others mark me in this way is
    both a signifier of the action others take in
    helping to define who I am, and also the ability
    to manipulate a dancer through projected
    ideas/ideals/aesthetic agendas. When marking
    myself with the paint, I place it right on the
    front of my chest. This action is a symbol of my
    desire to be upfront and clear with myself, and
    those I work with, in my communication of my
    beliefs/boundaries/comfort zones. I also mark the
    other dancers in this same way deliberately
    encouraging a similar approach to communication
    and a rethinking of priorities. Towards the end
    of the dance, we all engage in a series of
    vigorous/sharp/harsh/exhaustive movements, which
    carry on in a series of permutations and shifting
    spatial arrangements. One by one, we eventually
    withdraw from the fervor, leaving one dancer to
    continue the cycle alone. An outside force is
    pushing the dancer in this motif an imaginary
    choreographer has given her this movement, and
    she performs with full force and conviction. I
    imagine the movement itself representing violence
    towards the dancer from this outside force. Her
    boundaries are being entreated upon, yet she
    continues to dance. As the other dancers
    dissipate, she continues, now internalizing the
    previously external force of the choreographers
    demands. She pushes herself now, struggling to
    rise to the expectations of the choreographer.
    She eventually quits due to utter exhaustion,
    falling back into line with the remaining
    dancers. This section represents my past my old
    habits of relating to and approaching dance. I
    was ignorant of my bodys needs,
    pushing/pulling/thrashing through my limits,
    wanting, at whatever cost to my well-being and
    physical structure, to please my
    teacher/choreographer, and to be rise above than
    my fellow dancers in terms of skill and

  • I believe there is a more conscious and healthy
    way to achieve aesthetic goals through dance
    one that does not stress the importance of
    suffering or engage in violent communication in
    order to succeed. Sondra Fraleigh states that,
    Human movement is the actualization, the
    realization, of embodiment. Movement cannot be
    considered as medium apart from an understanding
    that movement is body, not just something that
    the body accomplishes instrumentally as it is
    moved by some distinct, inner, and separable
    agency. (Dance and the Lived Body, p. 13) As the
    current paradigm of dance continues to objectify
    the body in this way, progress towards
    body-conscious development cannot ensue.  I hope
    that by bringing these issues to light it is
    possible to highlight and instigate the
    application of alternative ideas for, and methods
    of, training the body that engage a holistic
    approach to the bodys functioning and treatment
    of the individuals involved in the field of
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