notes from laban's book: choreutics, rudolf laban. annotated and edited by lisa ullmann (2011)

systematic survey of the grammatical elements of space-movement

laban's lifework consisted in developing frameworks for analyzing, notating and creating (human) movement.


there are 26 directions in the kinesphere that radiate from its center (a 27th point of direction).

they establish three planes at different levels.

the directions come from combining these 3 levels with the 9 possible point directions in each level.


point directions

spatial crosses

three-dimensional cross

formed by the six principal directions:

four-diagonal cross

formed by the eight diagonal directions:

six-diametral cross

formed by the twelve deflected directions (?)

dynamosphere / effort

basic training:

combining these we get the "eight fundamental dynamic actions", that correspond in the dynamosphere to the eight diagonal directions of the kinesphere (see four-diagonal cross above).

they can be indicated by using the directional signs of the kinesphere and adding the letter "S".

the eight fundamental dynamic actions

aka the eight efforts:

when using a right limb:

octal encoding

possible encoding in octal:

pressingslow, strong, straight0000
wringingslow, strong, roundabout0011
glidingslow, light, straight0102
floatingslow, light, roundabout0113
punchingquick, strong, straight1004
slashingquick, strong, roundabout1015
dabbingquick, light, straight1106
flickingquick, light, roundabout1117


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