1st Edition

The Laban Sourcebook

Edited By Dick McCaw Copyright 2011
    400 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    400 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Rudolf Laban (1879 – 1958) was a pioneer in dance and movement, who found an extraordinary range of application for his ideas; from industry to drama, education and therapy.  Laban believed that you can understand about human beings by observing how they move, and devised two complimentary methods of notating the shape and quality of movements.

    The Laban Sourcebook offers a comprehensive account of Laban’s writings. It includes extracts from his five books in English and from his four works in German, written in the 1920s and translated here for the first time. 

    This book draws on archival research in England and Germany to chart the development of Laban’s groundbreaking ideas through a variety of documents, including letters, articles, transcripts of interviews, and his unpublished Effort and Recovery.   It covers:

    • The beginning of his career in Germany and Switzerland in the 1910s.
    • His astonishing rise to fame in Germany in the 1920s as a dance teacher, choreographer and creator of public dance events.
    • Following his move to England in 1938, the application of his ideas to drama, education, industry, and therapy.

    Each extract has a short preface providing contextual background, and highlighting and explaining key terms. Passages have been selected and are introduced by many of the world’s leading Laban scholars.

    1. Preface by Sir Walter Bodmer

    2. Introduction by Dick McCaw

    3. Documents from 1913 – 1917

    1920s and 1930s

    4. The World of the Dancer, preface by Steffi Sachsenmaier

    5. Gymnastics and Dance for Children, preface by Dick McCaw

    6. Gymnastics and Dance, preface by Dick McCaw

    7. Choreography, preface by Dick McCaw

    8. Texts on Laban’s choreographies: Titan (1927) and Don Juan (1927)

    9. Programme for the Laban Choreographic Institute and Laban’s address to the First Dancer’s Congress, preface by Vera Maletic

    10. Texts on the Pageants of the Trades and Crafts in Vienna, June 1929

    11. Notation, Roderyk Lange

    12. Film Texts by Rudolf Laban, preface by Evelyn Dörr

    13. Choreutics (1938 – 39), preface by Valerie Preston Dunlop

    1940s and ’50s

    14. ‘The Art of Movement in Education, Work and Recreation’, preface by Dick McCaw

    15. Effort, preface by Warren Lamb

    16. Answers to Ten Questions about Industrial Rhythm

    17. Modern Educational Dance, preface by Anna Carlisle

    18. The Mastery of Movement on the Stage, preface by Dick McCaw

    19. Shadow Moves, preface by Marion North

    20. Glossary of Movement Psychology

    21. Effort and Recovery, preface by Dick McCaw

    22. Texts on Movement Therapy, preface by Janet Kaylo

    23. Harmony in Movement, preface by Carol Lynne Moore




    Dick McCaw is Senior Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London. He co-founded the Medieval Players theatre company in 1981 and he was Artistic Director of the International Workshop Festival from 1993-2001. He trained with Geraldine Stephenson, a former pupil and colleague of Rudolf Laban. He is the co-editor of eight DVD ROMs with Peter Hulton on theatre movement and practice, and is the author of a book on Warren Lamb.