Monday, January 25, 2010

Whole Body Sign

Whole Body Sign
Submitted by Ann Hutchinson Guest and Peggy Hackney - November 15, 2001

[Following are excerpts from an e-mail correspondence between Ann Hutchinson Guest and Peggy Hackney in October and November, 2001.]

From Ann, October 20

I am writing to you about symbology for the body-as-a-whole sign. If you remember from the Motif discussions ["Symbols of our Community......Moving Forward with Motif," August 2-4, 2001, at The Ohio State University] with Charlotte [Wile], we have been using the miniature three-line-staff sign (what Sigurd Leeder used to call 'the trident', he loved nicknames!). [Ex. 1]

Jacou [Jacqueline Challet-Haas] expressed her concern that this was not an 'organic', appropriate sign for the idea. We want a sign which suggests that ALL the body, not a limb, a body area, etc. is to be involved in the movement.

It seems to me that it should be closer to your body signs, distal, core, cross lateral, etc. [signs for Patterns of Total Body Connectivity; see Peggy Hackney, Making Connections, page 218]. Do you have one for body-as-a-whole? I'm not aware of it for the need I am describing. Can we find a variant which would be just perfect? That would be great.

From Ann, November 3

I have come up with the following, which might just be it to fill the need for a more organic sign for body-as-a-whole. This would replace the "trident", the miniature three-line staff which has been serviceable but was not an 'organic' sign: See what you think of this:

A figure 8 sign surrounded by a O. In Labanotation, as you know, the circle is used to represent body aspects (versus the diamond for spatial aspects). By putting the 8 within the O the message can be "the whole body", i.e. what we usually term 'the body-as-a-whole' (to separate it from the idea of whole torso, the distinction between the words 'body' and 'torso' not always being clear).

Any good? This seems simpler than the 8 by itself (which basically is a number), or the 8 with all the Connectivity Signs. I am concerned that we still need to use numbers in our scores and the plain 8 may be needed as a number, and should be distinct.

From Peggy, November 4

My first response to your new idea for the body as a whole sign (i.e., surrounding a figure eight with a circle) is that it sounds like a good idea! I agree that we do need to have the use of our numbers, so a solo 8 might be confusing. My sense of design thinks that an oval might look better, but a circle is also fine with me. This is just my first response --obviously we would need a bit of time to fiddle with it and see how it goes.

From Ann, November 9

I thought we were THERE, then, when I discussed it with Jane Dulieu, she reminded me that the way of showing the number of people, the number of limbs to use, or whatever, is to put the number in a circle. This is usually a number floating within a circle, not touching each other, whereas our idea was to make the two signs into one sign. Jane points out that people are careless in drawing, and how will it be on the computer?

So, my friend, what do you think about that?

I groaned!

Jane came up with the idea of putting the sign for "any part of the body" (the vertical limb sign centered on a box for an area) within a circle. This "any part of the body" is a more complex sign (of which I am not that fond, though we were not able to find another) and placing this sign within a circle would be harder on the computer as well as for people to draw.

Thinking caps on!

From Peggy, November 11

No new thoughts as of now, if the figure 8 in a circle won't do. It seems so good to me.

From Ann, November 13

As I wrote you, I showed Jane Dulieu our Body-as-a-Whole sign and she pointed out that it would be confused with the indication for number of people, established by Knust - a number within a circle. We are using this indication for the number of limbs, or body parts to be involved, etc. After much mulling over (no mulled wine involved!) I came to the following conclusion:

If the 8 is larger and the circle touches it top and bottom, this is visually quite different from a smaller 8 floating within a larger circle.

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