Rudolf Laban (1879 – 1958) was a pioneer in dance and movement, who found an extraordinary range of application for his ideas; from industry to drama, education and therapy.  Laban believed that you can understand about human beings by observing how they move, and devised two complimentary methods of notating the shape and quality of movements.

The Laban Sourcebook offers a comprehensive account of Laban’s writings. It includes extracts from his five books in English and from his four works in German, written in the 1920s and translated here for the first time. 

This book draws on archival research in England and Germany to chart the development of Laban’s groundbreaking ideas through a variety of documents, including letters, articles, transcripts of interviews, and his unpublished Effort and Recovery.   It covers:

  • The beginning of his career in Germany and Switzerland in the 1910s.
  • His astonishing rise to fame in Germany in the 1920s as a dance teacher, choreographer and creator of public dance events.
  • Following his move to England in 1938, the application of his ideas to drama, education, industry, and therapy.

Each extract has a short preface providing contextual background, and highlighting and explaining key terms. Passages have been selected and are introduced by many of the world’s leading Laban scholars.

chapter 1|20 pages

Editor's Introduction

ByDick McCaw

chapter 2|28 pages

The World of the Dancer (1920)

ByStefanie Sachsenmaier, Dick McCaw

chapter 3|14 pages

Gymnastics and Dance for Children (1926)

ByStefanie Sachsenmaier, Dick McCaw

chapter 4|14 pages

Gymnastics and Dance (1926)

ByStefanie Sachsenmaier, Dick McCaw

chapter 5|16 pages

Choreography (1926)

ByStefanie Sachsenmaier, Dick McCaw

chapter 6|8 pages

Texts on Laban's Choreographies

Gaukelei (1923) and Titan (1927)
ByDick McCaw

chapter 9|12 pages

Laban and Movement Notation

ByRoderyk Lange

chapter 10|8 pages

Rudolf Laban's Dance Films

ByStefanie Sachsenmaier, Dick McCaw

chapter 11|22 pages

Choreutics, Written in 1938, Published 1966

ByDick McCaw

chapter 14|14 pages

Effort (1947)

ByDick McCaw

chapter 16|19 pages

Modern Educational Dance (1948)

ByDick McCaw

chapter 17|7 pages

Shadow Moves

ByDick McCaw

chapter 18|18 pages

The Mastery of Movement on the Stage (1950)

ByDick McCaw

chapter 19|15 pages

Effort and Recovery (Early 1950s)

ByDick McCaw

chapter 21|15 pages

The Harmony of Movement (Early 1950s)1

ByDick McCaw