Friday, January 22, 2010

Response to "A Question About Hold Signs"

Response to "A Question About Hold Signs"
Submitted by Charlotte Wile - October 18, 2000

Re: Hold signs in Motif Description.

Hold signs are used in Motif Description to specify retention. This idea is illustrated in 1a-d below.

Unless stated otherwise, the result of a movement is irrelevant in the subsequent movement. For instance, in 1a the forward position attained by the arms in unit 1 is no longer important during the step in unit 2. Whether the arms remain forward or go in another direction is inconsequential. In other words, in unit 2 the reader should focus on the step and not be concerned with the arms. The hold sign in 1b shows that the arms remain forward during the step.

Similarly, in 1c the flexion of the arm that occurs in unit 1 is inconsequential in unit 2; the flexion may be retained or cancelled (disappear). The hold signs in 1d shows that the arm flexion remains when the arm turns.

I should point out that some people might disagree with my interpretation of 1a and 1c. In Guest, Your Move, p. 295, it says that " automatic cancellation is the rule in Motif Description -- do not retain the results of a previous activity." According to this rule, in 1a the arms' forward position would be cancelled during the step, and in 1c the arm flexion would be cancelled when the arm turns. I feel this "automatic cancellation" rule creates problems, and would prefer the rule to be as I've stated above. I plan to discuss my ideas on this topic in a future posting. 

Re: Hold signs in horizontal Effort Phrase Writing.

I must admit that I've not had much experience using horizontal Effort Phrasing Writing, and therefore am uncertain about its rules of usage. As I understand it, a hold sign by itself, as in 2a, indicates a pause in the movement. A hold sign placed over an Effort action stroke indicates an Effort quality that occurs during stillness. For instance, at the end of 2b the mover is motionless while he expresses Light-Direct Effort. A hold sign may also be placed on an Effort Element sign to indicate that an Element is maintained. For instance, in 2c the Lightness in the first State is carried over to the second State. In other words, the Lightness in the Light-Indirect State is not recreated, while the Lightness in the Light-Sustained-Free Drive is recreated (Jan Pforsich, Notating Movement, 1985, pp. 1,10).

Re: A Blank Space in Motif Description

A blank space across all the columns indicates a pause, as in 3a; stillness is indicated with the stillness sign, as in 3b. (See Ann Hutchinson Guest's March 22, 1999 posting in this thread.) In 3b the attitude expressed during the stillness is left open to interpretation. The attitude can be specified with an intention bow, as in 3c. (See my March 22, 1999 posting in this thread.)

Perhaps Effort during stillness could be indicated with a hold sign on the Effort action stroke, as in 3d. However, I like the idea of using an intention bow better because then other attitudes can be indicated, as in 3e.

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