Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Items for DNB Theory Bulletin Board

New Items for DNB Theory Bulletin Board
Submitted by Ann Hutchinson Guest - January 10, 2003

As we progress with the revision of the basic Labanotation textbook, more items are coming up which need general discussion. Some arise from usages developed in Motif Notation. [For further items see Guest, Body Parts thread, January 10, 2003; Guest, Flexion/Extension thread, January 10, 2003]


For body parts shifting into a middle level direction, it has been the practice in Labanotation to leave out the dot; only the = sign appears in the direction symbol, as in 1a.

In Motif Notation a blank direction symbol means that the level is left open to choice, 1b. Choice of level can also be indicated more directly by adding a vertical ad lib. sign within the symbol, 1c.

In the revised Chapter 19 of the LN text, the Calaban drawing of the shifting indications came out as in 1d, the dot being very close to the = sign. More than one reader asked what this sign meant. The question also asked was why was the dot needed.

A compromise is needed. Can 1a, which indicates a particular type of movement, i.e. a shift, be understood to be in middle level (the previous LN understanding).

Can Motif always use 1c when level for any direction is to be free? Then in LN, 1e would be a forward shift in any level, linked to the meaning of 1c.


Which head symbol, the letter C or the boxed c, is best used for shifts of the head? Is 2a or is 2b more appropriate?

Since the change in how such shifts are written, this question has not been pinned down. Is the area sign more appropriate? Is the C sign understood more as the extension of the spine, inclining, like a ‘limb’, into different directions, 2c, or rotating, as in 2d? Does the idea of an area fit better the concept of the displacement, the straight path motion?


In 3a the meaning is motion toward the audience. Is it clear that the sign of 3b means "the audience"?

In 3c the instruction is to look to the Front, the forward Constant direction in the room. Does this also mean to look at the audience?

Wherever you are on stage, the orientation sign of 3b means "face the audience", i.e. that part of the audience that is in front of you. With this meaning, then 3c means looking at that part of the audience that is in front of you.

Therefore 3a must mean a movement toward that part of audience you are facing, or, if facing into another direction, that part of the audience toward which your gesture will be directed.

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