Topic: Bending- Use of the Term
Following is a summary of one of the topics discussed at an informal in-house theory meeting held at the Dance Notation Bureau in June 2003. The meeting was attended by Sandra Aberkalns, Ray Cook, Ilene Fox, Ann Hutchinson Guest, Mira Kim, Sheila Marion, Valarie Mockabee, and Leslie Rotman.
In Labanotation and Motif Notation “flexion” and “extension” are overall basic family names. There are several forms of flexion, such as “contracting” and”folding.” Likewise, there are several forms of extension, such as “lengthening” and “unfolding.”
How does the term “bending” fit into this paradigm? Should it be used as an umbrella term (i.e., synonymous with “flexion), or refer to a specific form of flexion?
In the dictionary “bending” and “flexing” are synonymous.
Ann Guest feels the terms “flexion” and “extension” are good umbrella terms, because they seem to balance each other. “Bending” and “extending” do not seem to match as well.
However, some participants felt there may be good reasons to have “bending” as the overall, general word. For example, it seems less loaded with specific meaning than “flexion.” In teaching situations students sometimes find the word ‘bending” easier to understand. Also, in practice “flexion” is sometimes used as a specific term, e.g., we say “flex the foot.”
It was suggested that “flexing” and “bending” could be used interchangeably as the generic term.
Participants discussed the importance of having both general and specific terms.