My dancing and teaching (philosophy) is strongly influenced by Rudolf von Laban (1879-1956). He is recognized as one of the leading figures in the development of what has been termed „Modern Dance“. However, he prefered to use the term „The Art of Movement“, since he was aware that the term „Dance“ was misleading and people refer it automatically to stage performers or to ballroom dancing. He saw the necessity to develop a dance form that reflects and responds to society and its needs and wanted to bring back dance into everyday life.
Laban was not only dancer, choreographer, painter, architect and movement analyst, but also revolutionary in (dance) education. In his writing on education in 1948, he already noticed that the huge amount of intellectual knowledge required for the mastery of modern life needs a balancing factor (1948:22) that he thought to find in dance education. Yet a dance education that keeps the spontaneity of movement (that we all have as kids, but LOSE when not nurtured while becoming an adult). (1948::12) Therefore, he stressed the beneficial effect creative dance has upon the personality of the pupil, rather than pursuing artistic perfection or the creation of outstanding performances.
I wonder what Laban would have said to us in the 21st century, the digital age that increasingly values creativity and innovation, but forgets that our bodies are not merely "a means of transport for our heads" (Sir Ken Robinson on his great TED Talk on Do Schools Kill Creativity).
My acquaintance with the Laban Guild had an enormous impact on my life. Since then I have found my real passion: Teaching Creative Dance. This form of dance allows me to incorporate all my different interests and activities i.e. dancing, being a mom, nature, art, research (not necessarily in that order) into my work. How fantastic is that!
And I like sharing my ideas and experiences with you! Because I want to encourage you to bring some of the Art of Movement into your everyday life, no matter if you are a parent, a teacher, a dancer or/and someone who never thought of being interested in dance at all. Just try it out! It is easy and lots of fun. Let’s dance together!