While exploring movement and emotion with the Laban technique, I found that each movement was effective in creating a different emotion for me. I’m used to letting the emotions I think should be happening guide my movements, but it was really effective to focus on the movement first and then see what arose from it emotionally.
Using the movements to then change our dialogue was especially interesting to me, and helped us to explore different intentions and tactics. We performed the line ‘I don’t know what I want for lunch’ over and over again with each of the Laban efforts — Glide, Float, Dab, Punch, Wring, Slash, Flick, and Press. It was interesting to explore how the same piece of dialogue could be performed in so many different ways, each creating a different subtext and meaning. This evolved into performing a 6 line scene, using some of these efforts. Despite using the same dialogue, each pair of characters had such different relationship to each other, thanks to the use of the Laban efforts.
A: Did you watch the coronation?
B: I’m not a monarchist.
A: I didn’t say you were.
B: I don’t even know what I want for lunch.
A: This calls for a toast!
B: Only if there’s jam.
In my first scene I used glide, which I chose because I thought it would be appropriate for this dialogue. It was fine and relatively easy. In the next run through I had to perform with punch. I did find it difficult to disregard how I thought a character ‘should’ behave in each scene and just perform with my focus on the punch feeling. The first time I did it my sentences were very short and quick, and the second time I tried to slow my pace a little and put more ‘punch’ on each word, using the consonants more.