Get paper and start drawing?
Click here for a handout that identifies the Eight Efforts. How can you use Laban in the drama classroom? Student actors have a hard time moving outside their own body.
Every character they play, moves like they do. Introduce a process to students that gets them thinking about different ways to move.
Then with every character they play, they have a vocabulary to draw from: Does this character move with a flicking movement?
What weight does this character have?
Am I bound or free? There are many different ways an actor can begin to employ these efforts into their work. The actor can take time observing individuals and creatures in the world around them with an eye towards identifying the Eight Efforts within the movement and behaviour of the observed subjects.
After careful observation and replication of the efforts, the actor can begin to apply what they observed to the creation of a character, borrowing elements of what they observed and rehearsed. The actor can carefully analyze the text and look for speech patterns that are similar to the Eight Efforts.
Our language is a representation of our inner lives. By looking at what and how the character expresses themselves, the actor can find clues for which one of the Eight Efforts to explore.
His text is made up of short quick words. This could be a clue to the actor to try vocally playing Dab in the voice and seeing how vocally playing the Effort affects the body and the physicality of the character.
Many of the animals he speaks of have Alpha Males in their social hierarchy, which tend to be Heavy, Direct, Free and Quick. This might be a clue to the actor playing Oberon to play around with a Slashing quality in the voice.
One can look at the personality of the character and the emotional makeup of the character to look for what kind of Effort to experiment with.
He tends to try to dominate any situation he is in and is quick to anger. You could think of his personality as a Punch. Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh is light and indirect in his personality and the way he interacts with the world.
He could be described as a Float or a Glide. This can help them find an effort to play. Finally, we can play around with costuming.
What kind of costume is the actor called upon to wear or how does the period clothing inform the actor as to what effort to play? If we think of Gwendolen from The Importance of Being Earnest She is usually costumed in light dainty fabrics that tend to have a great deal of lace on them.
How can the actor translate the delicate nature of the fabrics and lace into an Effort? It is light and free — so could the actor play Glide? Or does the actor find the clothing light but binding and play Dab?Eight Principles of Good Practice for All Experiential Learning Activities.
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