In this volume

2012 Vol. 10 Nos. 1-2


This issue of Moving On focuses on writings related to Laban Movement Analysis (LMA), including some from dance movement therapists (DMTs) who are also Certified Movement Analysts (CMAs) and/or CMA’s with backgrounds in other somatic movement practices.

Read or Download PDF 136 KB

Laban Movement Analysis/Bartenieff Fundamentals

movement patterns, qualitative description, therapeutic relationship, intersubjective, attunement, Labanotation

Certified Movement Analysist and Psychotherapist Sandra Lauffenburger overviews the Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) and Bartenieff Fundamentalstm, and references the thinkers who have developed these systems. LMA is integral to a DMT in providing a means of describing someone’s movement in qualitative terms; in providing a basis for recording observations and analysis and a working movement language that enables them to communicate a person’s profile or movement signature and/or record change. (pp 2-4)



Laban – Space Harmony and Dance Movement Therapy

effort, kinaesphere, communication, planes of movement, space harmony, crystalline forms

This article is developed from an assignment completed for Laban/Bartenieff and Somatic Studies International in 2008 (see The assignment asked the question of ‘what is harmonic about Space Harmony’. The answer requires discussion of Laban’s philosophy and some contextual aspects that support the development of his theories. There is a focus on an article by Bodmer (1974), because it was a recommended reference provided during Jane’s LMA Certification Training. Practical applications related to Space Harmony – as used in Jane’s work, are presented.
(pp 5-11)





Being Educated in the Sense of Movement: A reflection on the legacy of Rudolph Laban

educational creative dance, school-based dance, special needs education, spontaneous, improvised

A reflection of an unfolding understanding and adaptation of Laban’s Modern Educational Dance, within teaching roles for children in mainstream and special needs education settings. Gives a historical overview of Laban’s influence on the authors’ understanding of how to teach dance in schools, as well as acknowledging early supportive dance education literature in this context. (pp 12-14)




Finding Common Threads: Autism and Laban Movement Analysis

Autism spectrum disorders, group therapy, relationships, movement analysis, psychophysical methods, games

This article is drawn from the Project Andrea submitted for Andrea’s certification in Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis. She presents two full LMA profiles of the children in the group and brief profiles of the other children involved, and even the brief information acts as a useful program planning guide. Andrea describes two group therapy sessions that result from her planning guided by her movement analysis, the children’s personal goals and their developmental needs. She works together with the dance movement therapist at ‘Common Threads’ to plan and run the group therapy activities developmentally, incorporating  activities under headings of Breath, Core-Distal, Head-Tail, Upper-Lower, Body-Half and Cross-Lateral movements. (pp 15-23)




Laban Movement Analysis of a Fundamental Movement in Hilal Dance – the Pendulum

embodied wisdom, traditional dance, Arabic culture, centering, connectedness, groundedness, kinesphere

This analysis of the ‘pendulum’ using Laban Movement Analysis was written during Natalie’s time as a student at RMIT and revised for this issue of ‘Moving On’.

Hilal Dance is a contemporary dance form, crystallised through the research and practice of Egyptian born dancer, Suraya Hilal. The Pendulum is one of the fundamental movements of Hilal Dance and provides a foundation for a variety of movements and expressions. The pendulum is simply a homolateral walk, or a movement connecting the sides or body halves. The result is a swinging of the pelvis from side to side, like the pendulum on a clock, as the weight changes from one foot to the other. This paper will use the interconnected components Body, Shape, Space and Effort from Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) to dissect the basic pendulum. (pp 24-28)



LMA as Training and Evaluation Tool in Nonverbal Communication

dementia, person-centred, quality of life, non verbal communication

In 2010, dance/movement therapist Donna Newman-Bluestein piloted an embodied approach to training caregivers of people with dementia in relationship-centered nonverbal communication. Newman-Bluestein used Laban Movement Analysis, Mettler-based creative dance, and dance/movement therapy as a theoretical framework and as modes of transmitting experiential learning. (p. 29)





Stemming from Laban Movement Analysis: Hand Movementgrams: A Connection between Verbal Concepts and Motor Learning

Dr. Judith Kestenburg, sensory motor learning, movement repertoire, representational, pre-symbolic, mental symbolism

The hand is in many ways a microcosm of human movement potential.  This project explores the expressive potential of the human hand.  It attempts to tap the embodied pre-symbolic motional substrate of words. All Laban effort and shape components can be seen in, as well as be demonstrated by, the hand. A discussion of the project includes an outline of individual hand gesture responses to keywords, which led to the creation and exploration of the term: “hand movementgrams”. Some applications to practice and further research possibilities are also presented. (pp 30-31)




Not All in the Mind

hand gesture, spatial visualisation, spatial problem solving, mind-body-feeling, intentional, language

This article creates connections where years ago none would have been recognised – between movement/gesture and language, and movement and thinking. Promising research studies that draw links between the connection of hand gestures; to improved thinking and spatial problem-solving are cited, and new teaching practices that enhance learning a language are over viewed. (pp 34-35)


When a Gesture Was Expected: Restoring a Powerful Theatre Craft

performance, theatre, Helga Hill, Arts guild of Victoria, classical, body language

A discussion is presented, on the historical roots of the art of gesture and it’s evolving significance – through to the contemporary place that gesture powerfully plays in performance. Painting the scene, conveying the passions and empowering chosen words are three important aims of Gesture. And finally, from time to time, gestural poses provide glimpses of classical beauty that seem to come straight from ancient statues. (pp 36-38)


Creativity, Resilience, and Chaos Theory

transform, complexity, entropy, unconscious power, artists, pain, emotions

Human resilience is always a creative act, chosen in response to challenges and adversity in life whilst compared to the entropy that results when systems deteriorate. It is discussed with reference to famous artists’ creative responses to: illness, disability, pain and psychological struggles. The author proposes that both making and looking at art stimulate a resilience that is within us all the time. (pp 39-41)


Reflections on Resilience in the Arts

dementia, person-centre care, children with disabilties, psychiatric, coherance, flow, flexibility

This article is a reprint from: Psychotherapy and the Arts Newsletter, March 2010.

Drawing connection with Tobi Zausner’s article: “Creativity, Resilience, and Chaos Theory”, Heather contributes her perspectives on resilience through her DMT work with people with dementia and with adults and children with mental health issues or disabilities. Concepts of resilience are drawn from theorists and discussed, along with the embodied potentials to concretise resilience in an embodied way, with illustrative examples from DMT sessions. (pp 42-44)


Book Review: ‘Arts Therapies in Schools – Research and Practice’

evidence-based practice, efficacy, early intervention, treatment, collaboration

Vicky Karkou



A Reflection: Amber Gray in Australia 2011. Returning Home – Continuum for the Uninitiated

Emilie Conrad, bio-intelligent, breath, cellular, fluid movement, trauma, supervision

Reflecting on attendance at Amber Gray’s workshop: Deep Roots: An Immersion in Continuum Movement in Melbourne, Elise touches on profound experiences for her in the workshop and discovers new knowings and resources for her personal and professional life. Exploring the initiation of an awakening communion with her cells, Elise describes the workshop focus on the use of breath and sounds. Continuum was founded by Emilie Conrad – her teachings are woven in to this reflection and have also been adapted by Amber Gray into her global DMT work in war-torn, disaster ravaged countries. (pp 56-59)



Authentic Movement Retreat in Taranaki

Mary Whitehouse, witness, kinaesthetic attunement, empathy, Long Circle, countertransferance

A descriptive piece about the authors’ engagement in an authentic movement retreat in Taranaki, New Zealand. Phases of moving, witnessing, responding verbally and journalling with keywords are shared – to expand upon and express aspects of this Jungian inspired psychotherapeutic process. (pp 59-62)

Members may log in to read this article. Non-members can buy a copy of this article: