Bartenieff Fundamentals

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Bartenieff Fundamentals are an extension of Laban Movement Analysis which is a type of Laban Movement Study. They were developed and extended by Irmgard Bartenieff, who trained with Warren Lamb before becoming a physiotherapist.

Concepts and principles of kinesiological functioning are identified which are embodied in particular exercises and extended into all types of movement possibilities.

Principles[edit]

  • Dynamic Alignment
  • Breath Support
  • Core Support
  • Rotary Factor
  • Initiation and Sequencing
  • Spatial Intent
  • Centre of Weight/Weight Transference
  • Effort Intent
  • Developmental Patterning and its Support for Level Change

Basic 6[edit]

There can be many varieties and expansions of Bartenieff Fundamentals, but a group of movement sequences have become known as the Basic 6. Details can be found in many sources.[1][2][3]

Breath Preparation[edit]

Purpose
"Movement rides on the flow of breath" Be aware of "subtle inner shape changes in the cavities (mouth, chest, abdomen) and fine gradations that occur in different configurations of limbs...and subtleties in phrasing"[4]
Action

  • In-breath; subtle concaving torso shape change (+inflating muscle pressure)
  • Out-breath; convexing(+ deflating muscle pressure)

Rocking Preparation[edit]

Purpose
To bring awareness and encouragement to

movement relationships amongst heels, pelvis, spine, and head;
reciprocal actions of hamstrings vs. iliopsoas-heels connected to pelvic floor & sitz-bones.

Action
Initiation from the heels or the core (iliopsoas)

  • Gentle rocking motion (legs bent or straight; heels on floor)
  • Initiate from the heels (hamstrings) or the core (psoas)
  • ankles flex - pelvis rocks back
  • ankles extend - pelvis rocks forward

Thigh Lift (hip flexion)[edit]

Purpose
To flex the hip most efficiently with iliopsoas without superficial muscles.
Encourage deep folding in inguinal area during hip flexion.
Awareness of subtle pelvic tilt.
Use hamstrings for grounding in ‘standing’ leg.
Use of reciprocal crossed-extensor-reflex between hamstrings and ilioposas.
Use of breath abdominal ‘hollowing’ to promote iliopsoas initiation.

Pre-Thigh Lift
Action
On back, legs extended along floor.
Initiation from core, breath, encouraging iliopsoas

  • With breath stimulating ilioposas, leg flexes till foot is on floor
  • On extension, hamstrings push heels away from sitz-bones (ischium)
  • Two legs can alternate flex-extend in a crossed-extensor-reflex.


Thigh Lift
Action
On back, legs bent, feet flat on floor
Initiation from core, breath, encouraging iliopsoas

  • With breath stimulating ilioposas, leg flexes till foot is off floor
  • On extension, hamstrings push heels down into floor (away from ischium)
  • Two legs can alternate flex-extend in a crossed-extensor-reflex.

Pelvic Forward Shift[edit]

Purpose
Mobilise forward & backward transfers of weight.
Use of hamstrings to shift pelvis forward from the pelvic floor
Connection between heels and sitz-bones.
Action
On back, legs bent, feet on the floor

  • Breath stimulating ilioposas, preparation of torso concaving / convexing
  • Initiate with exhale, abdominal hollowing (psoas)
  • pelvic floor (sitz-bones) up & towards heels (hamstrings)
  • Inguinal area opens with hip extension
  • Inhale, sitz-bones reach down & towards heels,
  • lumbar lengthens, hips flex, Inguinal area folds

Pelvic Lateral Shift[edit]

Purpose
Mobilise lateral transfers of weight without any twisting or lifting the hip
Use pelvic floor, together with hamstrings, to flex and abduct/adduct at hip.
Action
On back, legs bent, feet on the floor

  • Initiate with exhale, hollowing,
  • hamstrings lift pelvis into small forward shift
  • Initiate from pelvic floor; lateral shift of greater trocanters in a straight line
  • Lower pelvis to floor (as in pelvic forward shift)
  • Repeat, bringing the pelvis back to centre.
  • Repeat other side.

Body Half[edit]

Purpose
Awareness of the vertical mid-line of the body
Stabilise one half of the body, supporting mobility in the other half.
Action
Lie in Big X position (on back, arms and legs stretched out into a big X shape)

  • Initiate with exhale, hollowing for core support
  • Supporting side lengthens, stabilises body (without twisting or rocking)
  • simultaneously mobile side shrinks - head & elbow towards knee on the same side
  • Reverse stable & mobile body sides

Diagonal Knee Reach (Knee drop)[edit]

Purpose
Awareness of lower-body twisting against upper-body
Awareness of pelvic floor and iliopsoas as connecting upper to lower
Action
On back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor

  • Weight shifts to edges of feet, both knees reach to the side,
  • pelvis slightly twists
  • Opposite shoulder reaches in diagonally opposite direction along floor
  • Initiate with exhale (hollowing - psoas) pulling pelvis & knees back to upright
  • Reverse to other side.

Arm Circles and Diagonal Sit-up[edit]

Purpose
Awareness of arm-shoulder-scapula-latissimus connecting to lower body
Awareness of full 3-dimensional gradated rotation in shoulder joints
Integration of head-eyes with arm movement
Narrowing and widening across sternum

Arm Circle
Action
On back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor.

  • Arm reaches in a circle, over the head, narrowing, over pelvis, to the side
  • Distal steering of hand encourages continual gradated rotation throughout
  • Track the hand with head-eyes
  • Sternum-chest narrows, lifts, widens etc. together with arm circle
  • Repeat with other arm


Arm Circle with Diagonal sit-up
Action
On back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor.

  • Same as arm circle, except full sit-up (slightly twisted torso) as arm circles
  • Both arms participate in the circle
  • Lower from sit-up on other diagonal, arms leading down diagonal to floor

Patterns of Total Body Connectivity[edit]

Motif sign for Whole Body

Also known as Developmental Body Organisations, Developmental Movement Patterns and Basic Neurological Patterns.[5][6][7][8][9]

It describes the Developmental Progression of Neurological Organisation from:

  • Baby to Adult (ontogenesis)
  • Amoeba to Primate (phylogenesis)

Breath[edit]

Motif sign for Breath

Breath to find your core

The body grows and shrinks as a single undifferentiated mass, as an amoeba, the simplest form of life, the most basic sense of being. The most fundamental movement, lungs and also oxygen in blood flow and saturation of cells (cellular breathing), moves through a rhythm of expanding and condensing. When breath is integrated throughout the body, then all parts of the body will move at least slightly in coordination with the in / out breath rhythm.

Use the breath pattern to recuperate and get in touch with one’s own "internal state", with one’s body self, "proprioceptive self", "where you are in the moment", to find your entire body connected through your internal core.[10]

Navel Radiation (Core-Distal)[edit]

Motif sign for Core-distal (Navel Radiation)

Naval radiation to connect inner with outer

The breath gradually expands outwards connecting the inner core to limbs all 6 limbs (2 hands, 2 feet, head, tail) which reach outward away from center, and back inward toward center, like a starfish or octopus, squid, the core of the body is activated and connected through the midlimbs to the distal ends of limbs.

Expanding the core outwards into the world, bringing the world back into your core. An interaction between the inner self and outer environment, keeping these two connected so that extreme outwards movement is possible, while still retaining the sense of self.

Avoid over reaching, since the outward reach is always tied to the inner core. The active, alive core allows outward reaching to be maximal.

Patterns
1. Core initiation (body center)
2. Distal initiation (hands, feet)
3. Distinguishing individual limbs or groups of limbs

Mouthing[edit]

Motif sign for Mouthing

Out of navel radiation, the mouth distinguishes itself and is the beginning of the development of the spine. Opening the mouth wide, and reaching as if towards food, begins to extend, expand and open the top of the spine.

Spinal (Head-Tail)[edit]

Motif sign for Head-tail (spinal)

Spinal to explore new options

Head and coccyx reach toward and away from each other, like a worm, snake, fish. Can express basic earthy motivations and a sense of individual and self, with an allround plastic awareness of the external environment.

To turn and twist into "new options", "can help unblock or unstick fixed notions", to find many other possibilities by following one’s own curiosity outwards into the world in flexible, twisting, plastique directions.[11]

Patterns
1. Push through lower (legs, feet)
2. Push through upper (arms, hands)
3. Push through lower & reach through upper (feet - to - hands)
4. Push through upper & reach through lower (hands - to - feet)

Homologous (Upper-Lower)[edit]

Motif sign for Upper-lower (Homologous)

Upper-lower to push it through

The upper and lower body each function as integrated units, with the upper body (rib-cage, shoulder-girdle, arms and hands) works in contrast to the lower body (pelvic girdle, legs and feet), e.g. where the lower body supports and upper body moves as a unit, such as traveling movements of a frog or rabbit.

Can be expressive of basic instincts for self survival, status, personal power, being grounded in the search supporting a reach into the environment. To "push through to the goal", linear-directional goals.[12]

Patterns
1. Push through lower (legs, feet) 2. Push through upper (arms, hands) 3. Push through lower & reach through upper (feet - to - hands) 4. Push through upper & reach through lower (hands - to - feet)

Homolateral (Body-half)[edit]

Motif sign for Body-half (Homolateral)

Body-half to clarify issues

The right and left sides of the body each open / close in contrast to each other, or an entire side steps as a unit in counterbalance with the entire other side, like a reptile or some mammals; often a slower traveling speed (e.g. humans stroll with both hands in pockets) since it is not a reaching pattern (body-half is pushing only, in locomotion with body-half the limbs traveling forward do so just from the impulse of the push, rather than a full reaching out into space).

Oppositions, dichotomies, dualisms, polarities, "On the one hand, On the other hand" yes/no, do it/don’t, good/bad, correct/incorrect, simple-clear opposites (NOT complex relationships).[13]

Patterns
1. Push through lower (push lower-right; & lower-left)
2. Push through upper

Contralateral (Body-diagonal)[edit]

Motif sign for Body-Diagonal (Contralateral)

Body-diagonal for integration

The body connects diagonally (top-left to bottom-right etc.) as in the oppositional locomotion of higher mammals emerging when the limb moving forward reaches actively into space, thus connecting back into the pushing leg; contralateral connectivity then can turn into rhythmic flex/extend patterns connecting across opposite limbs. Twisting, curving and spiral patterns often occur when the limbs are leading in diagonals across the body.

Expresses the most complex level of evolution, can express integration of dualistic issues in complex ways, interconnected, spiraling, connect across right and left, integrating the analytic verbal side with the spatial symbolic; feeling & form; simultaneous relationships in several complex directions "tying and untying forms in three-dimensional space", "winding in one body area will initiate an unwinding in another to complete the phrase, thus opening space in a new way", conceptualize how phenomena are networked and multifaceted.[14]

Patterns
1. Push through lower & reach through upper

(lower-rt - to upper-lft; & lower-lft - to - upper-rt)

2. Push through upper & reach through lower

Overall Principals[edit]

  • The entire sequence of patterns occurs at every level, from lying, crawling, to standing, to flying.
  • The developmental progression is not linear, but occurs in overlapping waves.
  • Movement initiation with ‘Push’ proceeds initiation with ‘Reach’ in all patterns, at all levels.
  • Initiation with Upper proceeds initiation with Lower body in all patterns, at all levels.
  • Earlier patterns underlie, support, and are necessary for performance of later patterns.
  • When having difficulty fully executing, integrating, performing a particular pattern, return to the next most basic pattern and encourage this, as a support for the next most complex pattern.

Applications[edit]

  • As aids to learn-remember movement.
  • As aids to physically execute movement.
  • As alternatives to traditional dance warmups.
  • As therapy related to cognitive function.
  • As motor skills / coordination training method.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bartenieff, I., & Lewis, D. (1980). Body Movement; Coping with the Environment. New York: Gordon and Breach (especially pp. 229-262).
  2. ^ Hackney, P. (1998). Making Connections - Total Body Integration through Bartenieff Fundamentals. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach.
  3. ^ Hamburg, J. (1990). Movement efficiency coaching. Movement and Dance Magazine of the Laban Guild, 79 (May), 51-53.
  4. ^ Bartenieff & Lewis, 1980, p. 232
  5. ^ Cohen, B. B. (1989a). The alphabet of movement; primitive reflexes, righting reactions, and equilibrium responses. Part 1. Contact Quarterly. 14 (2): 20-38.
  6. ^ Cohen, B. B. (1989b). The alphabet of movement; primitive reflexes, righting reactions, and equilibrium responses. Part 2. Contact Quarterly. 14 (3): 23-38.
  7. ^ Fukuda, T. (1961). Studies on human dynamic postures form the viewpoint of postural reflexes. Acta Oto-Laryngologica. (supplementum) 161: 1-52.
  8. ^ Hackney, P. (1998). Making Connections - Total Body Integration through Bartenieff Fundamentals. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach.
  9. ^ Kestenberg Amighi, J., Loman, S., Lewis, P., & Sossin, K. M. (1999). The Meaning of Movement; Developmental and Clinical Perspectives of the Kestenberg Movement Profile. Amsterdam: Gordon & Breach.
  10. ^ (Hackney, 1998, p. 53)
  11. ^ (Hackney, 1998, pp. 89, 108)
  12. ^ (Hackney, 1998, p. 120)
  13. ^ (Hackney, 1998, pp. 165, 173)
  14. ^ (Hackney, 1998, pp. 177, 179, 198)

Further reading[edit]

  • Bartenieff, I., & Lewis, Dori. (1980). Body Movement; Coping with the Environment. New York: Gordon and Breach (especially pp. 229–262).
  • Cohen, B. B. (1989a). The alphabet of movement; primitive reflexes, righting reactions, and equilibrium responses. Part 1. Contact Quarterly. 14 (2): 20-38.
  • Cohen, B. B. (1989b). The alphabet of movement; primitive reflexes, righting reactions, and equilibrium responses. Part 2. Contact Quarterly. 14 (3): 23-38.
  • Fukuda, T. (1961). Studies on human dynamic postures form the viewpoint of postural reflexes. Acta Oto-Laryngologica. (supplementum) 161: 1-52.
  • Hackney, P. (2000) Making Connections Total Body Integration Through Bartenieff Fundamentals. Routledge. ISBN 90-5699-592-8
  • Hamburg, J. (1990). Movement efficiency coaching. Movement and Dance Magazine of the Laban Guild, 79 (May), 51-53.
  • Kestenberg Amighi, J., Loman, S., Lewis, P., & Sossin, K. M. (1999). The Meaning of Movement; Developmental and Clinical Perspectives of the Kestenberg Movement Profile. Amsterdam: Gordon & Breach.

External links[edit]