*1879 in Hungary / †1958 in England
Rudolf von Laban was a dancer, choreographer, painter and movement researcher who studied music, architecture and geometry amongst other subjects. He was a pioneer of German Modern Dance and author of numerous books. Through a large number of "Laban Schools" who taught his work, he influenced a whole generation of dancers, including Mary Wigman and Kurt Jooss.
With his desire to give dance the same cultural status as other fields of art, Laban paved the way for scientific studies of dance and researched about the complexity of movement. He wanted to promote “movement-thinking” to put it in the same category as “word-thinking” so that “the two kinds of thinking can finally be re-integrated in a new form" (The Mastery of Movement on Stage, p. 19-20).
Out of the urge to capture movement in its entirety, he developed his dance notation (Labanotation / Kinetographie Laban) - which is still in use - the space-harmony with its scales and the effort theory.
Cover photo of the newspaper
"Die Schönheit", 1926