The nature of the embodiement of choreutic units in contemporary choreography

Preston-Dunlop, Valerie. 1981. The nature of the embodiement of choreutic units in contemporary choreography. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

Rudolf Laban's original choreutic concepts are too complex, in both his practice and his writings, to be usable for the analysis of contemporary choreography in the form in which he left them. The central hypothesis of this research is that a broadening, disintegration and reassembling of his material provides a rich resource. When seen in context with the spatial practice of other dance artists, teachers and theorists, it is possible to conceive of this resource as central to an analysis which reveals the choreutic content and style of a work. The analytic components are choreutic units and their manner of materialisation through body design, spatial progression, spatial tension and spatial projection. An analytic method, devised through the formation of a notation entitled Ch/U.M/m, is described and used. A dance work 'Going for a Walk with a Line' was created to illustrate five choreutic units, in variety. It is documented and analysed with video/computer graphic aid. The choreutic content of three choreographies - Humphrey's 'Day on Earth', Nijinska's 'Les Noces' and Grossman's 'Couples' is discerned from the Ch/U.M/m analysis and their choreutic style is compared, A secondary topic in the research is an investigation into the adequacy of the present fragmentary documentation methods, including dance notation, film/video, words, for dance in general and for this research in particular.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


contemporary choreography, choreutic concepts, materialisation, Ch/U.M/m, dance artists


September 1981

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

05 Jul 2023 13:43

Last Modified:

05 Jul 2023 18:00


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