What drives me as a Dance Movement Therapist
By sarah boreham, Oct 28 2014 02:37PM
Its an interesting topic and how I dance with that depends on how I interpret the word ‘drives’ I suppose. I could talk about Freuds aggressive and sexual impulses in drive theory, but I would rather address one of my main drives - as sharing knowledge of embodied practice towards development, which can result in personal and societal empowerment, communication and healing, as we focus on the integrated body and mind.
If I use Laban Movement Analysis, I consider my main drive in life to be the action drive:
My view is that my body provides the vessel and vitality to physically impact and intra-act with the world, it is my body that is the starting point for me to become through movement, I guess I think of it in terms of the material body as primary, if we have any essence at all.
I have found in my clinical work as a dance movement therapist that the action drive is something as human being we all empower. In terms of Rudolph Laban’s effort drive; the action drive lacks flow which may be interpreted as a lack of emotion, but I often wonder if this is a lack of connecting expression of emotion which is communicated to others?
If I had to draw a movement metaphor for the action drive it would be ‘putting one step in front of the other’ and it reminds me of the practical actions that we need to evoke whilst moving through life, sometimes perhaps there is a quality of ‘act first think later’ that humans seem to function with, to get them through traumatic or difficult life world situations.
In answer to the question of whether my body satisfies or prevents drives? Sometimes it is just enough to move in or out of a situation, sometimes it enough to huddle in closer, shake it off or expand and contract through breath, I believe it is life’s experience that we embody that may prevent or encourage our movement preference or choice that could lead to transformation in our psychology or engagement with the world.
Laban’s transformation drives, as I understand them are; portals of opportunity, in which change can happen and reflect our motivation, inner attitude and relational responses. For example I find that if sometimes I move in passion drive, which is spaceless, with an absence of focus, no rational thought or logical reason, I wonder if I do this with intension. I feel like I have always been driven by change, learning and going forward that regularly my psyche and body literally take that out of my hands, either in the form of physical illness or stepping back/out from a situation by reaching or recoiling.
I think use of weight (Laban effort) signifies my sensations, a gut feeling about a situation. My use of time enables my intuition and decisiveness to move/dance/engage, integrated with use of flow my emotion and feeling are present in a drive/movement towards or away from personal relationships or consensus reality. I have wondered if experiences such as depression are a way of a person choosing to move out of the space in-between.
I explore drive theory of Laban sometimes in my work and I find it helpful to focus on the motivations in practice that we as dance movement therapists encounter, however I have found that a lot happens inter-subjectively– the space in between that may not be visible as qualities or essences of movement or embodiments. But that is a whole different blog I suppose.