ELEMENTS of MOVEMENT - DANC 1110 - 2 credits - MW 1:00-2:20 - RH 103
Office Hours: TR 12:00-1:00 RH 129 and by appointment; (208) 282-6143; garijose@isu.edu
Movement Analyses
Introduction to the Elements of Movement Body, Space, Time, and Energy as described in H’Doubler Movement Analysis and Laban Effort/Shape and Space Harmony. Conceptual based exploration of how the Elements of Movement, the primary expression of Dance and Theatre, may by manipulated to create movement phrases, develop character and emotional performance.

"The concept of movement is subject to the laws of artistic form. Movement is the most powerful means of theatrical expression. The role of movement is more important than that of any other theatrical element. Deprived of dialogue, costume footlights, wings and an auditorium, and left with only the actor and his mastery of movement, the theatre remains the theatre". - Vsevolod Meyerhold


  • To develop a working vocabulary to analyze and describe movement;
  • To utilize a basic understanding of the interaction of muscle and skeletal system as source of movement and posture to explore and develop more efficient and effective body articulation;
  • To utilize Elements of Movement to create movement improvisations,
  • To utilize the Elements of Movement to create character and evoke emotion;
  • To develop skills in movement analysis through field observations.

"Movements used in works of stagecraft are those of the body, the voice-producing organs, and, one may add, the motions performed by the instrumentalists of the orchestra. Human movement, with all its physical, emotional, and mental implications, is the common denominator of the dynamic art of the theatre". - Rudolf von Laban


    • This class is an intensive investigation of the body, space, energy, time and form through readings, in-class and field observations, structured improvisations, prepared monologues and other practical applications. The intent of these assignments is to create a shared vocabulary for describing movement while expanding articulation of observation and performance of movement.
    • You must be prepared to move in class - bare feet and non-restrictive clothing (e.g., work-out clothes) are required.
    • The practical applications, prepared monologues and improvisational studies will be based upon a specific rubric. STAY WITHIN THE GUIDELINES OF THE RUBRIC. These rubrics force you to deal with the “problem” at hand and to simplify choices. The operative words are problem solving and movement invention; avoid the confines of an established movement vocabulary (i.e. steer clear of movements you are comfortable with to explore new ways of moving). How to do this? Respond directly, both intellectually and kinesthetically, to the parameters of your rubric.
    • Reading assignments will correlate directly to in-class work.
    • Be prepared by doing you assigned readings. Failure to be prepared will require the inclusion of quizzes.
    • You will be required to make two movement observations per week in a journal.
    • You will be required to write 3 page movement analyses of two Theatre/Dance ISU productions.

"Surely if the 'word' were the sole means of conveying the essence of tragedy, everybody would be capable of acting in the theatre. But merely by declaiming words, even by declaiming them well, one does not necessarily say anything".- Vsevolod Meyerhold


    Beyond Words: Movement Observation and Analysis. Carol-Lynne Moore & Kaoru Yamamoto; Taylor and Francis, 1988.


  • You must keep a journal that allows for removable pages. A 3-ring binder might be best so you can preserve all of your material and intellectual meanderings. You will write/document weekly responses to questions to consider, topics to elaborate upon, and/or movement analyses of subjects you observe.
  • Have assignments completed on time. Late assignments will not be accepted.
  • Attend each class on time, ready to work and participate fully from beginning to end. Full participation is required for full credit. Tardiness and non- or partial participation will not receive full credit. Wear clothes that you can move in. Bring water with you to class.
  • Participate in discussions and movement improvisations. You are being graded on your ability to embody as well as observe and articulate the concepts you are learning.
  • Movement Studies. About halfway through the semester, I will begin assigning short movement studies based upon your observations and material presented in class.
  • Movement Analyses of Performances. Write 3 page movement analyses of two Theatre/Dance ISU productions. Box office: 282-3595; www.isu.edu/tickets.This is not a critique or review but, rather, an analysis of the movement elements that are utilized (or not) in the Theatre and Dance mainstage productions. It is strongly recommend that you plan on watching each production more than once. Must be typed.
  • Final Performance, Monday, December 13, 2010, 12:30 pm -2:30pm. We will meet during finals week for a final performance which will demonstrate your acquisition and comprehension of skills learned throughout the semester.
  • NOTE: All papers must be original. Quotes and paraphrased ideas must be properly footnoted. Any student caught plagiarizing or purchasing a paper from an outside source (i.e., Internet) will receive an "F" for the course.
  • NOTE: Last day to withdraw is Oct. 29, 2010.
    250-240 = A
    239-229 = A-
    229-220 = B+
    219-210 = B
    209-200 = B-
    199-190 = C+
    189-180 = C
    179-170 = C-
    169-165 = D+
    164-160 = D
    159-155 = D-
    154-000 = F
    Journal Writing/Documentation 60
    Participation 60
    Movement Studies 70
    Performance Analyses 30
    Final Performance 30
    Total 250
A=exceptional work, demonstrating consistently excellent performance in terms of skill, growth, participation, attendance, theoretical and aesthetic understanding.
B= very good to outstanding work most of the time demonstrating a high degree of excellence in performance in terms of skill, growth, participation, attendance, theoretical and aesthetic understanding, particularly as the term progresses.
C=fundamental mastery of skill, steady growth, good participation, appropriate attendance, basic theoretical and aesthetic understanding.
D=performance marred by lapses in attendance, attention, attitude or missing course work.
F=performance interrupted by significant absence or failure to complete expected course work.
Movement Analyses