Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Holding and Cancelling Supports, part 1

Holding and Cancelling Supports, part 1
Submitted by Lu et al. – November 9, 2009

[Following is a reprint of a private e-mail correspondence between Mei-Chen Lu, Ann Hutchinson Guest, Leslie Rottman, and Lucy Venable.]

E-mail #1 - Mei-Chen Lu
October 22, 2009

Rose Anne Thom asked us to clarify the hold sign cancellation rule. Her students asked her why the big hold sign is needed in example a). If neither a step nor a gesture occurs, the hold sign in the left should be valid as shown in b).

My initial instinct is that reader can get confused if the hold sign is only placed in the right support column. Example a) has been the conventional way to retain the weight on both feet to avoid the confusion on which foot holds the weight. However, Rose Anne's students did bring up this interesting topic that is worth of theory discussions.

Do you think a) and b) are the same?

Is my rational of using the big hold sign (to avoid the confusion) correct?

What do you think Ray's idea of applying the release sign in example d)? 

E-mail # 2 - Lucy Venable
October 22, 2009

I wouldn't say that b) is "incorrect". It is just harder to understand/read because you have to look backward to see that you are on two feet. With a) you know right away that you are on two feet - no questions asked. So I say that a and b are the same end result but I prefer a). c) says there is either a specific forward low gesture or a gesture of your choice - any level, any direction, any flexion, etc. This gesture of choice cancels the hold weight for the left foot. In d) I would just release the left foot which would mean to shift my weight a little forward so I was only on the right leg then I would step left on count 3. But if the idea was to keep shifting the weight throughout count 2 then I would write a shift of weight forward. Using just the release sign makes me think this is something special to do like just release the left leg and then shift forward onto the left leg at the last minute, thus making more of the pause.

Will be interested in what others say.

E-mail #3, Ann Hutchinson Guest
October 22, 2009

Here is my understanding of the questions in hand:

Ex. b) correctly indicates that on count 2 weight is on both legs. Nothing has occurred to cancel the hold sign on the left foot.

Ex.a) visually reinforces this fact; it is not wrong, it could be said to be redundant, but it is visually helpful for the person in doubt.

Ex. c) shows the left leg making a gesture on count 2 before the step on count 3.

Ex. d) states that exactly at the start of count 2 the left foot is picked up enough to clear the floor, this swiftly shifts the weight completely onto the right foot. The release sign shows the moment of release; it could occur slightly later during count 2. If it needs slower timing, then a duration line is needed. I won't go into that here as it is really another topic.

Thank you, Rose Anne, Ray and Mei, I enjoy these brief discussions. When they are short, it is possible to reply to them right away.

Happy Labanotating everyone!

E-mail #4 - Leslie Rottman
October 23, 2009

I agree with Ann and Lucy. The large hold sign is equivalent to two small holds, one in each column. a) and b) are the same but a) is preferable, as already stated. As for Ray's suggestion, I agree with Ann. But, in practice, there will be some sort of leg gesture which I would choose to write. Even if the leg is relaxed and unimportant, the dancer holds it in some specific way. Within the context of a score, it is important to include these details which all add up to "style".

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