"The main objective...is to suggest additional modes of perceiving yourself and the world around you, using your live body totally--body/mind/feeling--as a key to that perception." (Irmgard Bartenieff, 1979)
Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) gives us a scaffolding and a vocabulary to understand, observe, and describe human movement. Founded by Rudolf Laban, a dancer, choreographer, and dance theorist, and further developed by Irmgard Bartenieff, among others, the system is composed of four categories: Body, Effort, Shape, and Space. The Body category concerns internal connectivity, sequencing of movement, initiation, phrasing, and relationships between parts of the body. Effort is the category of intention--how is the movement of reaching across your desk for a pencil different from a boxer's punch? Effort is often considered the "emotional" category. Truly emotions can have an effect on the type and quantity of energy you invest, but it is best not to make assumptions about emotion when observing movement. Each person's movement signature, the movements they are most comfortable and familiar with, means something slightly different. The Shape category addresses the form and forming processes of the body. This category clarifies the appearance and structure of the body's movement.(Colleen Wahl, 2019) Lastly, the Space category explores how the mover is engaging with the space, revealing space, stirring it up, pushing against it, and so on. It also deals with where you are directing your movement in 3-D space: forward, back, left, right, up, down, a combination of several?
This is only the beginning! More specifics will come with video explorations of particular ideas and aspects of LMA and how it relates to playing the cello. Stay tuned!