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 range 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.”