The Laban Sourcebook – Dick McCaw


The passion for movement, which we all have, cannot be explained alone by speedy motorised transport on the ground, in the sea and in the air. There is something Else present, which is a drive for regeneration, and machines should finally only serve the purpose of relieving man of wearisome labour, so that he can come closer to his inner mental and spiritual becoming through a liberated physicality.


There is above all a fundamental conviction that life does not exist just to be endured. Furthermore culture and civilisation do not have the purpose of binding and breaking everything that is original, but of creating a free life, which in itself contains the urge to balance inner and outer life beautifully and harmoniously.

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If we examine movement closely in terms of its content, we see that fundamentally it has two purposes in everyday life. One is to communicate, that is, to make a statement. In movement it is naturally always only a matter of expressing things which cannot be conveyed literally in words, and which render the exact essence of a movement content.



Someone’s exaggerated effort may be a struggle against time or weight, or both, while an easy effort may have its course in an almost complete neglect of any consideration of rapidity or of bodily force. Easy effort will show no struggle either against time or against weight, but rather indulgence in one or both of these factors. A person with an entire neglect of speed takes a lot of time… Now the strugglers against weight and the racers against time are surely different characters; and so also do those differ who are continuously immersed in a lot of time from those indulging in the experience of their own weight and in the weight of their surroundings.



Some people seem to enjoy letting their movements flow whilst others show an obvious reluctance to do so… The reluctance is not directed against space, but they carefully abstain from letting movements flow freely. Their complicated movement patterns are drawn in the air with a meticulous guidance which need not, however, be explicitly either slow or quick… People who indulge in flow find pleasure in the unrestricted freedom of fluency, without necessarily giving much attention to the various shades of time, the weight and the space development of the movement. Movements with free flow cannot be easily interrupted or suddenly stopped; it takes time until the moving person gains the necessary control over the flow in order to stop.


© Kelsey Leanne Vickery, all rights reserved