Through Laban’s work of creating a system of movement analysis, he began to promote that there exists this powerful connection between the mind and body. He realized that by changing the way that one moved, one could also change the way in which they felt, not only physically but also mentally. LMA has now developed into an extremely valuable tool in observing and assessing movement for a wide range of professions, one of which is theatre. By changing the way in which the body moves, an actor can intensify the emotions they are trying to display.
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This was a very beneficial experience for both of our departments, because it allowed for us as DMT & C students to test our skills of Laban Movement Analysis and allowed for the theatre students to receive some feedback on their movement repertoire. Through the knowledge that us DMT & C students have gained in Observation and Assessment of Movement I and II classes, we were able to observe and coach the theatre students through different movements that could be effective in helping actors to convey certain emotions.
First, each of us were divided into trios in which a first- and second-year DMT & C student observed one theatre student. We observed the theatre students as they took part in a movement experiential led by Stacey Hurst, a faculty member of the Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling MA program. Through watching the theatre students, we were able to employ the use of our movement assessment coding sheets (a tool used to help analyze movement) and apply our knowledge of LMA. After the experiential, the DMT & C students were able to give feedback to the theatre students they observed. Theatre students were then also able to consult with us and ask for help broadening their range of movement.
This experience was valuable to me as a first-year student, because I truly felt as though I began to better understand how to apply all of the information that I have been learning in my Observation and Assessment of Movement I class. It was an exciting day, because I finally felt this “aha!” moment. I gained recognition that I am retaining what I am learning and can apply it to real life situations! It was also a great experience to use LMA in a situation that was not DMT related. It allowed me to gain a new perspective on the many ways in which LMA can be applied.