Laban’s Efforts

As we work to physicalize stories, we sometimes feel ourselves “miming” too much. This skill-building exercise helps us begin the process of abstracting our movement.

  • Move in the space, exploring one of the “Eight Efforts” listed in the chart below.
  • Once everyone has a sense of the quality of each movement, trying having people explore them in pairs.
  • What happens when Float and Press interact with each other? Thrust and slash? Wring and Glide? Flick and Dab?
  • Explore the power dynamics that emerge.


Movement Quality





Float sustained indirect light free
Press sustained direct strong bound
Punch/thrust quick direct strong bound
Slash quick indirect strong bound
Wring sustained indirect strong bound
Glide sustained direct light free
Flick quick indirect light free
Dab quick direct light bound
Posted by on May 30th, 2013

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