Path Five

Time; a player on a perpetual tightrope reaching, with each precarious step, toward their eternal end.

In Laban Movement Analysis, dancers learn the symbol for the different effort qualities, which is shown in the photo we selected for this project. These effort qualities include the idea of timing and how a dancer’s effort can be displayed through the decisions they make regarding movement control. Time is related to effort through sudden and suspended time in that these are all intangible pathways which don’t conform to a linear order. In other words, time doesn’t need to have an order and neither does the effort pathways in dance. Effort can rise and depress in random nature to control the time and tempo of a dance in the same way that a story can be told outside of chronological order.

The two options for time in Laban Notation are referred to as suspended time and sudden time. Suspended time is identified on the side of the effort symbol that represents strong energy and strong effort. In order for a dancer to accurately demonstrate suspended time it is important to be able to control muscles and create the illusion that the space around them is moving slower than reality. Another way to think about this concept is imagining someone acting in imitated slow motion.

The other side of the effort symbol represents sudden time. To accurately perform sudden time a dancer uses short bursts of energy as well as a lighter weighted approach. While sudden time movement can also be strong and heavy, the sudden time aspect has more to do with how the dancer chooses to initiate the movement.

Dancers use different concepts of time in choreography and every dancer thinks in terms of eight counts that are repeated. This is subject to change if the choreography is set to a particular piece of music with different timing, but these 8 counts become a staple for the dance world. A dance is a complex maze as the phrases build upon themselves until the end of one can begin another, creating a full sequence of movement.

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