ELEMENTS of MOVEMENT - DANC 1110 - 2 credits - TR 4:00-5:200 - RH 103
Paul Zmolek
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.
    • You will be required to submit and average of one written assignment per week.
    • 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


  • Weekly writing assignments Typed. 2 to 3 pages each.
  • 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.
  • You are required to present a total of 6 music analyses (go to assignments for due dates). Your analysis may be in linear or non-linear form-do not get hung up on different time signatures, etc. unless they are of importance to the overall impact of the work.
  • 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, Our scheduled final exam is Tuesday, December 17, 5:30-7:30. If the class can determine another time during Finals Week that works for everyone and availability of a performance space, we can reschedule. We will meet during finals week for a final performance which will demonstrate your acquisition and comprehension of skills learned throughout the semester.
300-280 = A
279-270 = A-
269-260 = B+
259-250 = B
249-240 = B-
239-230 = C+
229-220 = C
219-210 = C-
209-200 = D+
199-190 = D
189-180 = D-
179-000 = F
Writing 60
Participation 60
Movement Studies 60
Music Responses 60
Performance Analyses 30
Final Performance 30
Total 300

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.

Plagiarism Policy
Students should be aware of ISU’s policies on academic dishonesty:

"PLAGIARISM is defined as representing another person’s words, ideas, data or work as one’s own. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the exact duplication of another’s work and the incorporation of a substantial or essential portion thereof without the appropriate citation. ... The guiding principle is that all work submitted must be properly credited to the original source(s) of the information. In written work, direct quotations, statements which are paraphrased, summarizations of the work of another, and other information which is not considered common knowledge must be cited or acknowledged, usually in the form of a footnote. Quotation marks or a proper form of identification shall be used to indicate direct quotations."

The Policy further states that instructors may penalize students for academic dishonesty by giving a grade reduction on the work in question, giving a failing grade for the course, and giving a failing grade for the course with a notation on the student’s transcript. Additional penalties may be assigned at the university level, including suspension from the university and expulsion from the university.

Reasonable Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
Our program is committed to all students achieving their potential. If you have a disability or think you have a disability (physical, learning disability, hearing, vision, psychiatric) which may need a reasonable accommodation, please contact the ADA Disabilities & Resource Center located in Graveley Hall, Room 123, 282-3599 as early as possible.

NOTE: Last day to withdraw is Oct. 28, 2011.

Musical Resources

Elements of Movement Assignments
Musical Resources