Theatre - Dance - Music - Visual & Multimedia Art - Arts Administration - Performing Arts Training - Theater Design & Technology
December 18 - 22, 2014
Laban Movement Studies (LMS), Zulu Stick Fighting
and Cross-cultural Performance Praxis
Interactive lecture with Power Point visual presentation on Laban Movement Studies (LMS) as a potentially cross-culturally viable approach to the theatrical interpretation/reinterpretation of fighting arts, in specific Zulu stick fighting - by Prof. Dr. Marié-Heleen Coetzee, the Head of the Department of Drama, the University of Pretoria (South Africa).
is the Head of the Department of Drama at the University of Pretoria. Her research interests include drama/theatre-based methodologies, embodied learning, and cross-cultural theatre and performance praxis. She has presented papers and workshops at national and international conferences, contributed scholarly publications and directed/choreographed productions on various platforms.
Theatrical combat techniques have been developed for numerous forms of warfare and fighting arts across the globe. This necessarily involves interpretation and re-interpretation of not only the fighting arts per se, but also an awareness of the associated cultural, performative and contextual conventions of the fighting arts. However, this process of interpretation/
re-interpretation of an existing fighting style from its source context to suit the demands of a target context does not occur on ‘neutral grounds’ - especially if interpretations are situated around non-Western fighting arts.
Many ‘Western’ countries are historically associated with the violation and exploitation of indigenous cultures in service of nationalism, ‘civilization’ or other mechanisms of power. History, economics and the operations of power makes processes of interpretation/reinterpretation fraught with challenges such as avoiding cultural appropriation/exploitation and neo-colonialist impositions when adapting a culturally specific fighting art for theatrical purposes.
The question thus arises as to how theatrical interpretation/reinterpretation of cultural fighting arts can be approached to circumvent the above mentioned challenges. This paper proposes Laban Movement Studies (LMS) as a potentially cross-culturally viable approach to the theatrical interpretation/reinterpretation of fighting arts, in specific Zulu stick fighting.
LMS is an analytical and descriptive framework that can be used for the purposes of recording, reconstructing, observing, analysing and practising modes of movement and dance. Its application has extended into many areas involving the human body and bodily expression, from psychology to ergonomics. LMS focuses on identifying elements that are common to all human movement. Combinations, variations and manifestations of these elements are, however, culturally and individually patterned. This paper argues that it is this interplay between commonality and differentiation that positions LMS as an appropriate cross-cultural methodology for the interpretation/reinterpretation of fighting arts in theatre.
Organized by IUGTE in collaboration with "ArtUniverse"