Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Use of the Body Columns Without a Pre-Sign

Use of the Body Columns Without a Pre-Sign
Submitted by Ann Hutchinson Guest - December 2, 2002

In times past the body columns were called ‘the third column’ and direction symbols placed in those columns without a pre-sign meant upperbody movements.

This usage came from KIN and the old days when upperbody movements were written with an analysis different from our usual direction symbols for parts of the body.

The upperbody movement was understood to be that movement which would occur if an arm gesture had taken the upperbody with it. This view, this analysis can apply to folk dance movements, and to free arm-and-body movements.

It is not an analysis nor a usage which is a basic part of Labanotation. It is difficult for Labanotation trained people to understand this upperbody usage.

For unification with KIN it was agreed that in LN a direction symbol in the body column would mean an upperbody movement. Therefore carets were always needed to link subsequent direction symbols to the body part indicated earlier.

A special sign for upperbody movements was invented (Ex. a), to be used when that usage needed specifically to be stated. This indication is not used by LN people (to my knowledge) and also not used in KIN as they understand an unspecified direction symbol in the body column automatically to mean such usage.

Present Situation

With the recent decision that it is not necessary to use carets all the time when use of the column has been stated and the reference is quite clear, we now face the meaning established at the ICKL conference that, without a caret, a new direction sign will revert to meaning an upperbody movement.

In Ex. b) the chest tilts to the right and then forward. A caret has been used to confirm the forward indication is also for the chest.

In c) no caret has been used. With our desire to eliminate unnecessary carets, can this be understood to mean a forward chest tilt?

In d) the upperbody sign has been used to clarify how the forward high sign should be interpreted. It will produce a one-sided forward, twisted tilt.

While ideally this matter should be brought up at ICKL and voted upon, we need a decision sooner than two, or four years. This matter needs urgently to be decided soon so that the revised LN textbook can go forward to meet the publication deadline.

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