Mei and Charlotte are very intrigued by Ann Hutchinson Guest's article "Early Development and Publications in Kinetography Laban/Labanotation," which was published in the DNB Library News Volume 10 Number 1. We approached Ann again and also Valerie Preston-Dunlop, two pioneers in Motif Notation, regarding how Motif Notation started. Each provided insightful information.
*Note from Mei: Charlotte Wile's Motif Notation book Moving About was already published in 2010.
I had experience of using the notation in new ways from 1947/8 when Warren Lamb and I were sent into Pilkington’s tile factory to assist Laban in his analysis of the workers’ movement patterns on the power press machines. My task was to write the women’s movement in notation and that was not at all straightforward. The prime question was “where was centre”? from which all directions might be judged. Centre was not in any of the places centre normally is for a dancer. For the worker it was the centre of her work area about a foot or so in front of her waist with her press, her handle, her pedal, her conveyor belt, her pile of sand and her stick situated in relation to that centre. From there she judged all directions. Was I writing exactly what her body parts did or how she conceived of what she was doing? So for me the distinction between intention and action raised an issue for a movement notation as early as 1948.