Me and Laban Dance

As a child gymnast I was advised to go to the Laban Art of Movement Studio because I was introducing dance moves into my routines, before it was allowed. I acted on trust and found myself, under the tutelage of Lisa Ullman, in the perfect place to get a foundation for what was to become a life journey through a variety of different movement forms. First I had to undo my ballet and gymnastic training, so that my body could respond from a natural and neutral place. Then I was stretched and toned into an expressive being, and able to begin the process, through movement, of releasing old dramas locked in my body armour. I left the studio with versatile teaching skills, a keen desire to ask and explore questions both simple and profound and a capability to easily identify movement styles. At the time I was too young to understand what I had learned, but the body remembers and gradually the enormity of the treasure I had received began to dawn on me, like a series of orgasmic explosions. The rest is history and will be the future…

About Rudolf Laban

Laban was a visionary, humanist, teacher and theoretician, whose revolutionary ideas bridged the gap between the performing arts and science. Laban’s life story is rich in discovery; he was a charismatic and creative genius. He is often dubbed, “the father of modern dance”. He paved the way for a freeing of the “feeling body.” Freed to find its own rhythms, dream up its own steps, and delight in the medium of its own space. His work grew into an expressive form of theatrical dance, and a notation system.

In 1953, in partnership with Lisa Ullman he moved the Art of Movement studio to a donated country estate in Addlestone. His intense research in movement analysis culminated in a concentration on movement as behaviour, studying the behavioural needs of industrial workers and psychiatric patients. This enabled him to lay the technical basis for what is now a basis for the expressive movement training of actors and initiating movement and dance therapy. Today thousands of teachers, therapists, performers and researchers continue to evolve his concepts and ideas. However, Laban maintained that he had no “method” and had no wish to be presented as having one.