How have the Bartenieff Fundamentals informed the way you see your progress in this class? Do you feel more physically connected? Are there moments when you notice that you are not aware that you are moving with disconnected parts? How will you integrate this knowledge into practice as we move further?


18 thoughts on “Connectivity

  1. Bartenieff Fundamentals have taught me a new way to thing about my body and somatic movements. I compare it to a barre exercise during a ballet class. They are the basic moves and positions that you practice over and over again in order to properly implement them when we do standing combinations. I really like seeing what we do on the floor helping me when I stand up because although it is a different relationship to gravity, the same theory applies. One thing that I constantly have to remind myself to do is breathe because many times I stop breathing without even knowing and I find myself exhausted at the end of an exercise. I think part of it might be my instinct to flex all of my muscles. I also find myself clenching my jaw which I never noticed before. I will try to be more conscious of this during further practices.

  2. Bartenieff Fundamentals help me think about the movements I’m making with my body. I find that when I’m trying to learn something, I will focus on moving my feet a certain way, and then my hands get all lost. Even when doing floor exercises, I will notice that I focus on my feet and then my arms and hands will tense up or start doing something weird. When I remember to really breath, and make try to the different connections throughout my body, especially upper/lower and body half, I feel like things flow a lot better in my body. In class, I want to be sure I am making all the connections to help my body move more efficiently.

  3. The exercise we did on Thursday taught me a lot about the way my body prefers to move. It seems my legs feel most comfortable moving/walking at regular intervals, instead of at random timing that differs from the music. I also found that when we did the faster of the two sets, I would only move one hand instead of both to make sure I hit the beats. For the four count, I tended to stay close to the ground so I would be able to get there quicker. When we first did the three count, I found that instead of mixing up the order and going several places at one, I was sticking to the high-middle-low pattern and only switching my hands. I have a difficult time bringing what we learned while on the floor to movement while standing. I tend to focus a lot on the actual movement instead of focusing on the connectivity of my body. I will try to focus more on applying the theories we learn on the floor to our standing exercises.

  4. I really loved doing the Bartenieff exercises! I learned a few things about myself: rhythm is no problem for me. I should have seen that coming because I can think quick on the fly, and the creative/logical sides of my brain can work well together in the right situations. So I tried to push myself in various areas: not falling into patterns, to keep moving, and to make sure the left hand didn’t know what the right was doing. Patterns was something I struggled with, because it’s just so easy. Even doing the same combination again was something I didn’t want to do. Repetition can be good in moderation. Sometimes I would stop moving, and I realized that because I was so over focused, I stopped. It was simply a matter of relaxing, and I would move again. The third problem I actively challenged myself to be as random as possible, to do combinations in the most awkward of ways. I learned a lot about my body in this way. I avoided falling to the ground, because I didn’t think I had enough strength to keep going if I was grounded. My body is also very, very rigid. That’s simply something I’ll have to tackle. The more I practice, the better I’ll be at it!

  5. Bartenieff exercises, concentrating on the body as a whole piece, like in star shape or x shape reminds me that every part can radiate energy. Distractions can be the mirror, counts, hearing the music, memory, following others, throwing off others, and/or getting thrown off by others. It’s easiest for me dancing, once I have it mostly memorized to be in my own world; concentrating just on my movement.

  6. The Bartinieff Fundamentals have really helped me know about the movement qualities and the planes of movement that I am using when dancing. One thing that I have become very aware of that we talked about with Ted and which we have explored with Gerald is the sense of awareness surrounding my back body and what it is doing. There is a whole world of possibilities, reactions, and embodiments that my back body can experiences and I am beginning to get a better idea of where the attention of my resting limbs or my extending limbs is. Through this awareness I feel more connected through the movement patterns that we go through. I feel like I am beginning to integrate more muscles into my movements instead of let them passively linger. I feel like some things I want to work on are the minor details and conveying the intention of the movement like how we talked about with the Bartinieff fundamentals. I am looking forwards to exploring this further.

  7. I’ve found that it is very easy to focus so hard on getting one movement “right” that I sometimes forget about connecting said movement to the rest of my body. This actually causes the movement to be even more difficult, since I have to work extra hard “catching up” the rest of my body to the limb I was focusing on. It’s strange, because when we run, or do specific movements I know better (some of the yoga we infuse into class, for instance), I’m so aware of my body and what it is doing. This makes it easy to connect everything together. I wonder if this is because, since I have a familiarity with such movements, I’m much less worried about “how it looks” or if I’m “doing it right”, so I can focus completely on the task at hand. Yet again, my pesky mental blocks are getting in the way. It’s frustrating for me to be constantly feeling like I’m “hitting a wall” with my mental insecurities. I just have to remember that I’ve spent years of being overly critical with myself, so it’s not going to go away in just a few weeks time. I have to continue to be proud of myself for working at it and being willing to learn something that has been so scary to me for so long. And keep, keep practicing!

  8. Bartenieff fundamentals have informed me much more than the way I see my progress in this class. I do feel these fundamentals helping me as a dancer in this class; they help me feel as though my movement is expanding and my somatic vocabulary is increasing. Little things such as the “starfish” make me think so much about what part of my body is engaging my movement. I’ve begun to believe that while the core is very important, it is not the only muscle that should be active when engaging your mind and body.
    However, I have also started to use these fundamentals outside of class as well. During my rehearsals for RWAP I have engaged my dancers in these techniques during warm up and have had other choreographers imply these fundamentals on me as well. I’ve started feeling more disconnect when I am just waking up in the morning, and have started feeling a disconnect from my dreams into an immediate body connection. The morning stretch has become quite interesting to me. What do I feel when I stretch my toes away from my center. It’s quite a waking feeling, instantly engaging my what I feel in my body to my mind.

  9. I remember really struggling with the Bartenieff Fundamentals last quarter and found myself really feeling connected and much smoother in my movements this quarter. I don’t know if it is because I was more familiar with the floor work or if it because my connectivity is improving. It was interesting to go from very fluid floor movements to sporadic standing movements, when we were touching parts of our body to a certain beat. It was the instant change of mind from fluid bending and moving from a whole to the cutting and jabbing movements that forced my mind to think an entirely different way that really had me going, “wait, wait, what is this?” I feel as if I did this exercise everyday as part of our learning to incorporate the beat of the music with movement it would naturally become easier over time to make art out of it, but initially it was a jigsaw puzzle that didn’t seem to fit together. I really started to think about it more when Gerald mentioned that it could get boring after a while and so I started to think if it was repeated for long intervals it would become easier to start trying new things rather than thinking about how I could touch the body parts in three or four time. I agreed with Shay when she said she was forgetting to touch her hips, I found myself forgetting my back side and stuck to the front and even after recognizing I was forgetting my back, I still couldn’t get my hands to move there when we did the exercise again! I can see how little kids are so great at this exercise because kids don’t overthink things, they tend to just act on command and make things interesting without letting that one thing, the mind, get it the way. I’m glad we did this in class and I am so glad that the floor movement from last quarter is finally coming together more fluidly for me.

  10. Bartenieff Fundamentals have been a new concept to my body. It is something that looks very simple yet, I find it very difficult. When i see how the movement is done, i automatically think, “I can do it!” However, it is a challenge to apply and incorporate it in your body. For the most part, I like to think that my body and mind are connected. I have seen progress over time on the idea of how i apply movements to my body. I’m not at the stage where i wish i could be but i can see the progress taking me there.

  11. I feel like the Bartenieff Fundamentals has really made me aware of my connectivity throughout my body while doing movement. It makes me more focused and on top of what I need to do in order to make things more physically connected. The problem I face with focusing on connection to my body is the fact that I forget to breathe at times. I find myself so caught up in making sure I have full connection with my movements that once I finish what I am doing, I end up out of breath and having to take a moment before moving on. There are definitely times when I am not aware of my body and will end up moving disconnected. It mostly occurs when I do not think at all and focus mostly on getting the moves down. I think in order for me to fully integrate this knowledge within the class, I must stop over analyzing things, relax, and just breathe. These are the main factors that tend to throw me off, but if I make myself aware and let everything else go, I believe I can integrate the knowledge I have learned perfectly within this class.

  12. Practicing the Bartenieff Fundamentals has changed my body and mind in ways that I didn’t expect. I started last Spring when I took Improvisation taught by Ted and Gerald, we spent five weeks learning the entire sequence. Besides the physical improvements that happened to my spinal flexibility I felt a re-connection to my drive and motivation. One of the statements in the Bartenieff handout that resonated with me was about connecting the upper and lower body and reaching for goals. I sprained my lower back doing a flip on a trampoline when I was in high school, that’s when I got disconnected. Years of chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture treatments helped but when I started activating the “kinetic highway” my spine became more flexible and the old injury is healing. The Bartenieff practice is something that I’ve added to my self-care routine along with other gems from class, it’s calming and energizing at the same time. I feel excited about attaining goals now and enjoy reaching for them.

  13. I thought that the Bartenieff Fundamentals exercise we did was extremely thought provoking and should be taught in every dance class. We move from place to place naturally, often forgetting the connections within our body. However, when you stop to break down the movement process you learn a lot about your natural tendencies. I find that I tend to over think movement because of what I see around me. This causes a disconnect in movement because I’m fighting against natural inclinations. Going over the Bartenieff Fundamentals helped me to understand how movement should happen within my own body and this is something I can bring to each class. Just having that understanding while learning choreography can help with fluidity and confidence.

  14. The Bartinieff Fundamentals have shown me that my body is often more disjointed in movement than I had originally thought. Often when learning new combinations, I find myself focusing specifically on one or two “problem” parts of my body. However, after doing the fundamentals, I feel more physically connected as a whole. I feel more aware of both the qualities of my movement and the planes in which my body is moving. As a whole, the fundamentals have definitely helped me feel more warmed up entirely and ready to dance.

  15. The Bartenieff Fundamentals are expansive in there teachings. However one point that felt really relatable to me was the idea that your whole body is one, clearly, but when dancing, use your whole vessel. Rather then focusing on just one part of your body, feet, pelvis, arms ect.. give yourself the freedom of a full body workout. Connecting every little piece of bone and mussel to create a more holistic movement piece. In class we do a lot of work on the floor, that helps us evaluate our awareness of our bodies and the impact they can have. This ideal is one that I have never fully immersed myself in, and have had a really pleasant experience with thus far.

  16. Laban’s Bartenieff Fundamentals helped me understand the specifics of somatic movement. I very much enjoyed breaking down every detail of movement so it can be fully understood and correctly executed. I felt as if I was thinking much more about every specification of my body which felt very different. I was more physically connected as I could notice small parts of my body not following what I imagined it doing in my head. For example, I tend to over-arch my back or arms when I am trying to put extra energy into my movements, and the fundamentals made those unnoticed problems very apparent. Other times, I tend to get distracted on the part of my body that must exert the most energy but then I forget about the rest of my body. Instead, I should be 100% aware of my body’s movements. For future classes, I will remember to focus on all aspects of my body and try harder to be fully aware of how my body is moving. This may involve focusing more on the four effort factors. The “flow” effort factor was the most intriguing to me because I had never thought of movements described in those terms: “bound” and “free”. I can easily apply this concept to choreography in order to make bland movements feel more purposeful.

  17. In Ted’s Intro to dance class there was a lot of focus and emphasis put on Bartenieff Fundamentals. So when he taught class I was very comfortable. Bartenieff Fundamentals taught me how to be more connected with my body because everything comes from your breath and if you let your breath flow through your body, then your movements will be fluid. When I forget to breath I notice my body becomes disconnected because I’m too focused on having the right position that I tense up the different areas of my body. I integrated this knowledge all quarter by trying to let my body be connected to my breath to make my movements fluid instead of just being rigid when going from point a to point b.

  18. The Bartenieff Fundamentals have helped me to further understand how my is connected and how I am beginning to feel and understand that more now than when I first started the class. I definitely still think there are times when I do not notice that I am moving with disconnected parts of my body, this most frequently happens when I am overthinking in my brain trying to make sure what I am doing looks right, but then I realize that I am hindering my body from moving together fluidly. I also notice that I move my body in a disconnected way when I am too focused on moving the lower half of my body, because I later realize that I wasn’t moving my arms in a fluid and connected way when we are dancing. I focus too much on specific parts of my body moving, as opposed to my body as a whole. Usually when I slow down and go at my own pace, focusing less on how I look and more on how my body feels when it moves in certain ways I start to move in a manner in which I feel my body moving as a whole and with intention.

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