Dance Arts and Movement Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Laban Movement Analysis Method (LMA) is a method of teaching not only dance, but of explaining and interpreting human movement and interaction. The idea of movement, or Tanztheater, is central to the method and overall philosophy about teaching dance and movement. It is interdisciplinary in that it uses terminology and language from psychology, anatomy, medicine, and the study of muscle movement. In the contemporary world, it is used as a tool for athletes, therapists, actors, dancers, even anthropology, sociology and health and wellness systems. Music is not necessary, and the idea of Tanztheater combines with the relationship of dance as poetry -- a new way of thinking and expressing movement.

Laban's pedagogical methods became popular in the 1920s, perhaps as a reaction to the specifics and form of the 19th century Romantic Movement, or perhaps as a way to divorce dance from only being musical. Laban was concerned that dance had not specifically defined -- in other words, dance used vocabulary from other arts to define itself. Instead, Laban defined dance into the manner in which the body connects to itself and to other bodies, the effort required for movement, the way the body "fit" into space and time, and the structure and analysis of human movements. Movement, to Laban, was the language that tanztheater required in to be part of a pedagogical movement as well as formalized dance as an academic discipline. As a language, this looks at all the characteristics of human movement -- the way the body moves under different stimuli, the way humans react and interact with others through movement, and the emotional and intellectual reactions the audience has while participating in dance. For the dancer, "performance required the mastery of mind, body and soul" (71).

Laban pushed the bounds of the idea of dance by confirming that dance is analogous to being an actualized human being -- movement is natural, and it frees the soul, but it is also an abstraction and can elevate the human experience:…

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