The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

May 9, 2011

Uncomfortable notes on the poetics of captured human behavior: Part 3:
the Wringing: Part 2:


wringing--is flexible, sustained, strong.

Wringing can vary from a pulling to a twisting movement,and is felt more
easily in the shoulders, arms and hands than in the hips and legs. The
feeling of strength must not be lost, as the slow muscular resistance felt
in pressing is also present in this effort, but wringing produces a
different sensation as the joints move more flexibly.

At first, wringing should be felt in the hands, as in wringing out
clothes, and then extended, using different parts of the body. The whole
body can be set into a wringing motion--for example in yawning.

Wringing movements of the arms can be directed into various zones, the
most important as far as exercises are concerned being down forwards
outwards, but there are many possibilities--with each arm separately, or
both together, wringing downwards, upwards, across, sideways, forwards and
backwards, extending into space in all directions.

Wringing should also be experienced in other parts of the body, such as
the shoulders, trunk, hips, legs, not only extending into space away from
the body, but towards it. Other possible variations are wringing simultan-
eously with both arms in different directions, or wringing with different
parts of the body into various directions; for example, wringing the trunk
in a backwards-bending movement and doing the same action with arms
sideways high, _et cetera._


"Indulging with" Space and Time, and "fighting against" Weight, which is
the essence of wringing, develops a valuable control and gives and
entirely different movement-experience from that gained by doing simple
twisting exercises. The counter-tensions involved produce a different kind
of bound flexibility from that met with in any other form of physical

(Rudolf Laban, Modern Educational Dance, 1948, pp. 63-65.)

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