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Andrea Treu-Kaulbarsch (Germany)

Labanotation as a tool for teaching and preserving folk dance

Treu-Kaulbarsch, Andrea: "Labanotation as a tool for teaching and preserving folk dance", 18th International Congress on Dance Research, Argos, 3-7/11, 2004.

Class description

The class will give a practical exploration of how Labanotation can be used for teaching and preserving cultural folk dances. Participants will have the experience of dancing two folk dances similar in form and quality; "Pivna Jagoda" from Russia, and "Louky" from Czech Republic.

The class will focus on the similarity of experience of these two folk dances and how different details in their execution can be added to distinguish their unique styles.

The teaching process will utilise the method of Labanotation (1), a dance notation method developed by Rudolf Laban (2). The class will begin with a simplified version of the notation of the two dances which will be danced by the teacher and can easily be learned by participants in the class.

These basic dance motifs will contain movements which are shared by the two folk dances. Once the basics of the dances are learned, developments in performance and style will be introduced. Two different styles will be added to the simplified notations, revealing the stylistic differences between the two dances.

By the end of the 30 minute class, participants will have the experience of reading a simplified form of Labanotation, dancing basic versions of the dances, and finally dancing two refined stylised versions of the two different dances.

The class will demonstrate how Labanotation can be used in both basic and detailed forms as a teaching tool, and as a method to preserve and distinguish stylistic characteristics of folk dance.


(1) Hutchinson, A. (1970). Labanotation or Kinetography Laban: The System of Analyzing and Recording Movement . New York: Theatre Arts Books.
(2) Preston-Dunlop, V. (1998b). Rudolf Laban - An Extraordinary Life. London: Dance Books.

REQUIREMENTS: Studio space, overhead projector, cd player

The presenter

Andrea Treu-Kaulbarsch has studied Labanotation to the advanced level at Laban Centre in London and currently teaches folk dancing and Labanotation at the Lola Rogge Schule in Hamburg. She also dances with Zugvogel, a folk dance group from Hamburg who has recently performed at the International Folklore Festival in Strαsnice, Czech Republic (25-27/06/2004) and at several venues in England, in Winchester and in Portsmouth (July 2003).

Ms. Andrea Treu-Kaulbarsch


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