Monday, February 18, 2008

Activity on the Theory Bulletin Board, Part 2

There's another excellent and educational addition to the Theory Bulletin Board: an essay by Ann Hutchinson Guest called "How Much Laban Is There in Labanotation?" The most recent entry in the "Names for What We Do" thread, Ann's essay examines the extent to which current Labanotation reflects Laban's original ideas.

The verdict: less than most people would probably assume.

Like so many systems in so many fields, Labanotation developed over time and includes others' contributions and well-reasoned revisions. This is not surprising in the least -- just easy to forget in the case of Labanotation because, well, "Laban" is so inextricable from "Labanotation."

One thing I didn't know (though it's not entirely surprising -- who doesn't somewhat possessively guard his work?) is that Laban resisted the changes. As Ann writes:

Laban was not happy about the changes that the DNB notators had to make. In Germany, Albrecht Knust also needed to make such changes in his development of Kinetography Laban (KIN); in doing so he also incurred Laban’s displeasure. It must be remembered that, in the field of dance, Laban only notated his own choreography, and did not personally encounter other needs.
Read the entire essay by going to the Theory Bulletin Board and clicking "Names for What We Do" or by clicking here.

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