Move­ment isn’t designed to be “effi­cient.” It’s designed to be expres­sive, com­mu­nica­tive, socially mean­ing­ful, adap­tive, and (to some degree) effi­cient, all at the same time.

Excerpts from Dr. Lavine's article  - "A tribute to Irmgard Bartenieff"

" Few peo­ple have even heard of her. 

But of all the teach­ers, men­tors and inspi­ra­tional peo­ple I’ve been exposed to, Irm­gard Barte­ni­eff has had the biggest influ­ence on the way I under­stand human move­ment and health.

She was born in Berlin in 1900, stud­ied with Rudolf Laban and other nota­bles of Ger­man Expres­sion­is­tic mod­ern dance, fled the Nazi regime for New York, stud­ied phys­i­cal ther­apy, and was a pio­neer in polio treat­ment, dance ther­apy, and dance ethnog­ra­phy. She was the founder of the Laban Insti­tute of Move­ment Stud­ies (later renamed the Laban/Bartenieff Insti­tute of Move­ment Stud­ies), one of the world’s fore­most train­ing pro­grams for schol­ars, teach­ers, chore­o­g­ra­phers, prac­ti­tion­ers, ana­lysts, non-verbal com­mu­ni­ca­tion spe­cial­ists, ethno­g­ra­phers, and all those who work in the move­ment field.

Though she died in 1981, she’s still decades ahead of her time in her views of movement. For exam­ple, she grasped that move­ment is adap­tive, that it forms the inter­face between the human being and the envi­ron­ment. Par­tic­u­larly the social envi­ron­ment.  That means that move­ment sys­tems (like the Alexan­der Tech­nique or Feldenkrais) that empha­size “effi­ciency” or “ease” in motion are miss­ing at least part of the point.  Move­ment isn’t designed to be “effi­cient.” It’s designed to be expres­sive, com­mu­nica­tive, socially mean­ing­ful, adap­tive, and (to some degree) effi­cient, all at the same time.

She also devel­oped a keen under­stand­ing of the “three-dimensionality” of move­ment, par­tic­u­larly through her pio­neer­ing work dur­ing the polio epi­demic of the 1950’s.  These chil­dren suf­fered from mus­cle con­trac­tures; the treat­ment of the day con­sisted in try­ing to stretch their mus­cles to main­tain their length. Irm­gard dis­cov­ered that a more effec­tive approach involved mobi­liz­ing her patients’ limbs and trunk through all their pos­si­ble ranges of motion while at the same time fos­ter­ing “verticality.”

These and sim­i­lar insights led to the devel­op­ment of “Barte­ni­eff Fun­da­men­tals,” an evolv­ing group of ther­a­peu­tic and body aware­ness exer­cises that embody core move­ment prin­ci­ples. I use them every day in my practice.

I value the con­tri­bu­tions she’s made to my work and that of many others"

 - Full text, and others articles from Dr. Lavine, can be found at http://www.yourbodyofknowledge.com/a-tribute-to-irmgard-bartenieff/