Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies
In this engaging and practical text, author Colleen Wahl presents a detailed and clear discussion on how to best use Laban/Bartenieff movement analysis (L/BMA), a system for observing, teaching, and analyzing human movement.
Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies: Contemporary Applications offers a framework for understanding movement as it influences our perceptions of ourselves and others. In moving through that framework, Wahl explains what the movement analysis is, how it works, and how readers can use it in their lives.
“On the most fundamental level, L/BMA seeks to help you address how movement is relevant in your life,” Wahl says. “The text is designed to develop your knowledge of the Laban/Bartenieff lens and cultivate it in meaningful ways in your life.”
That knowledge is useful in a wide range of activities, passions, and pursuits—developing a fuller range of movement and expression in your moving body, developing choreography, coaching and teaching movement, observing and describing how movement is meaningful, and more.
Wahl has been practicing and teaching the L/BMA framework to undergraduate and graduate students since 2006, when she became a certified integrated movement studies analyst. In her book, she
• brings a contemporary voice to L/BMA in a way that evokes the senses and the felt movement experience;
• grounds readers in the theory and provides numerous practical applications, showing readers how to apply L/BMA in all facets of life and in any career;
• incorporates a rich diversity of experiences in the dance field and beyond from other certified Laban movement analysts who apply L/BMA in their careers and lives; and
• provides tried-and-true tips for applying L/BMA in your life.
The text is organized into three parts. Part I offers an overview and historical look at Laban/Bartenieff movement analysis and details the organizing themes and guiding concepts of L/BMA. You’ll also learn about the origin of the L/BMA concepts and how they have changed and grown over the years. Part II presents the five categories of the L/BMA framework: body, effort, shape, space, and phrasing. This section provides an understanding of the elements of movement and focuses on why each element is useful. Part III helps you take what you learned in parts I and II and use it in meaningful ways in your life. It includes chapters on integrating L/BMA into your life and on first-hand experiences from a diverse group of people who use L/BMA in the dance field and beyond.
“The process of using this material to shed new light on what you already are interested in and to expand your perceptive and expressive skills is challenging and exciting,” says Wahl. “You can make changes in how you move in your life to be more effective, easeful, and whole. You can become more skilled in movement observation and description. You can teach and coach others in movement with greater clarity and possible inroads.”
Throughout the text, Wahl offers suggestions for experiencing and cultivating L/BMA in your life. “I’ve designed it to help you perceive human movement with greater nuance and specificity, to talk about movement with greater clarity and precision, to coach movement with a greater rangge of possibilities, and to evoke the movement experience with a greater range of options,” she says.
“Ultimately, I’ve designed it to organize your perceptions of movement and shed new light on its role in your life.”
Text for undergraduate courses and certification courses such as Integrated Movement Studies (IMS) and Certified Movement Analyst (CMA). Reference for dance teachers and other dance professionals as well as physical and movement therapists.
Table of Contents
Part I. Foundations of Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies
Chapter 1. Overview of Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis
Movement is multifaceted and can be perceived in many layers and through multiple perspectives
Chapter 2. Guiding Concepts and Organizing Themes
L/BMA allows the underpinnings of desire, intention, and expression to be part of the frame of understanding human movement
Part II. The Lens of Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis
Chapter 3. Body
The physical body—the tangible, graspable body you live in, complete with its muscles, bones, and sinew
Chapter 4. Effort
The dynamic qualities, energy, or feeling tones present in movement
Chapter 5. Shape
The form and forming processes of the body; the edges and curves of the body and how they change in relationship to the environment
Chapter 6. Space
How the body moves through the space around it, and how that is meaningful
Chapter 7. Phrasing
Address individual uniqueness in movement, and see patterns and relationships in movement as they emerge and unfold over time
Part III. Integrating and Applying BESS
Chapter 8. Using L/BMA in Your Life
Shedding new light on your interests
Chapter 9. L/BMA in Action
Contributors share how they use L/BMA in diverse ways in their lives and careers
Reviews“In Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies: Contemporary Applications, Colleen Wahl offers readers a text that is richly informative as well as readily accessible. Theory and practice are woven together in ways that can speak to a wide array of people, ranging from established and emerging movement educators and dancers to choreographers and bodywork practitioners. As a result, the possibilities for effectively and creatively engaging in the study of the theories and practices of Rudolf Laban and Irmgard Bartenieff (L/BMS) become illuminated.”
—Sherrie Barr,Journal of Dance Education, doi:10.1080/15290824.2019.1627690
ExcerptsApplying L/BMA to Aerial Dancing
L/BMA and Physical Humor
Perceiving Movement Through Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis
Total Body Connectivity—Breath Patterning
Using Touch to Facilitate Body Connectivity
AncillariesAll ancillaries are free to adopting instructors and available online.
Presentation Package and Image Bank. The presentation package contains more than 200 slides that cover the main concepts in each chapter, including select figures and tables. The image bank contains all of the images and tables from the book, separated by chapter. Instructors can use these items in lecture notes and as student handouts.