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Title: Rudolf Laban's graphic philosophy : movement, rhythm, diagramming
Author: Crespi, Paola
ISNI:       0000 0004 5920 3806
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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The thesis explores Rudolf Laban’s practice-inspired theory through an understanding of temporality and spatiality in terms of the productive tension between movement and form. This repositioning of Laban’s work allows us to appreciate his importance for contemporary media philosophy and performance studies. The key claim is that Laban’s contribution highlights a co-dependency between, on the one hand, rhythm, intended as formed time and, on the other hand, the diagram, intended as dynamic space. It is argued that the dynamism of the visual diagram originates from the intensity of rhythm before this settles down as meter and form. Rhythm unfolds as an oscillation between flow and meter made visible in Laban’s freehand drawings. The thesis considers these drawings as diagrams, in that they are graphic inscriptions partaking of the dynamism of rhythm and of the act of drawing. Rhythm emerges from the process of research as the leading concept of Laban’s work from the early 1920s throughout his life. Evidence to support this claim is uncovered largely in unpublished material both visual and textual, in German and in English. This was found in the course of research in the largest and virtually overlooked collection of Laban’s work in England (National Resource Centre for Dance, University of Surrey) representing Laban’s latest production (1938-1958). The material highlights the way in which Laban was thinking of both rhythm and of his drawings in terms of the relation of movement to structure. The thesis’s understanding of this relation in Laban’s work is afforded by a ‘diagrammatic methodology’, that is, a reflective re-organisation of the archival material deriving from the theories of the diagram of C.S. Peirce, Gilles Deleuze and Gilles Chatelet explored in the thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available