Submitted by Jimmyle Listenbee - December 1, 1999
I like Charlotte Wile's thinking, and support the need to notate general non-travelling movement. Lucy Venable's contribution, with her references to Anne Green Gilbert, moves us closer to the center of the problem, which is (I think): What Changes and What Remains the Same?
Gilbert's language comes from the science of Anatomy, referencing the Axial skeleton (as opposed to the Appendicular skeleton.) Dance educators who appropriated this term probably were seeing changes in spinal relationships. Laban's Space Theory uses the conceptual vocabulary of plane and solid Geometry, where the relationship of axis to orbit is so fundamental and germinal that it would not make sense to exclusively associate the term "Axis" with any particular set.
The design of Wile's suggested symbol seems akin to Ann Guest's sign for "a shape" shown below. Both of them make me think of place middle, space holds and floor plans. I myself have recently been thinking on how/when/why to signify the still Form of a static Volume vs the Process of changing Shape. I view the Laban-Literacy community as being of two, mutually inclusive but not well-differentiated, frames of mind on these issues. I believe we need to return to, perhaps reexamine, our basic grammar for indicating movement vs. position. In the meantime, why don't we seek to align our language with that of anatomy & math, our two most intimately related disciplines of body and space. This would improve its academic credibility and its potential for interdisciplinary communication. I know everyone is tired of reinventing the wheel, but certainly not its axis.