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/
The Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS) has been partnering in a cutting-edge research in the rapidly growing field of arts and technology design including motion capture, human-machine interaction, robotics, and animation. The four-year project, called "Moving Stories: Digital Tools for Movement, Meaning and Interaction," is being funded through a grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
The team is led by Thecla Schiphorst, a LIMS' Certified Laban Movement Analyst, who is Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University's School of Interactive Arts and Technology. Other participants include:
- The University of Illinois' eDream Center (Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media Research)
- The Emily Carr University of Art and Design
- The University of British Columbia Department of Theatre
- Credo Inc., specializing in developing digital tools for human movement and dance
"We are very excited to be a member of this cross-disciplinary partnership," says Karen Bradley, LIMS' Interim President and a principal researcher for the project. "Studying the role of human movement in all aspects of society is the heart of our work at LIMS. The understanding of the complexities of somatic movement will significantly enrich this effort to create new methods and new technologies for communication and creative interaction."
Currently, Bradley and Karen Studd are the lead investigators from LIMS. Bradley also directs the graduate program in dance at the University of Maryland's School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies. Studd is a faculty member at LIMS and at George Mason University. Both are LIMS Certified Movement Analysts and teachers of Laban Movement Studies internationally.
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The BANNER PHOTO is an artistic work based on Labanotation that Thecla developed collaboratively with Sara Fdili Alaoui and Karen Bradley for LIMS' Partnership with the exhibition "Coding the Body", at ApexArt, 2014.
THIS PAGE WELCOMES MATERIALS FROM PROFESSIONALS AND STUDENTS OF THE LABAN & BARTENIEFF FIELD. WE WILL BE HAPPY TO POST YOUR ARTICLES AND NEWS! PLEASE SEND THEM TO MN EDITOR AT
Invited by Karen Bradley, Director of Graduate Studies in Dance, at the School of Theater, dance and Performance Studies of the University of Maryland, Regina Miranda, LIMS' Executive Director / Director of Arts & Culture, had a full agenda at the University of Maryland! She gave a conference on "Creative Cities: Development of Cultural Processes and Competences"; shared her long research on homeless women, which led to different outdoor performances in socioeconomically deprived neighborhoods; introduced "Body-Space Connections - BSC", her theoretical contribution to the Laban field, and met with scientists, architects and faculty members, who are developing amazing new ventures in the field!
September 254th at 7:30PM at MMAC - Manhattan Movement & Art Center
MOSAIC will present choreographies by Ellen Goldman, Bala Sarasvati, Preeti Vasudevan, and Regina Miranda
CMA Choreographer Preeti Vasudevan is this year's winner of the DPA prestigious award!
LIMS DPA Award offers performance opportunities, basic support for a new production, and one year choreographic mentorship at LIMS.