The Practical Application of Laban to Conducting Gesture - Streaming Video

Lectures about the Laban Efforts in Combination— The Why, When, and How of Expressive Conducting

James Jordan

Item #: SV-1107     Status: Available

Video for $24.95

Series: Evoking Sound


In response to many requests for online content and lectures, GIA Publications introduces a Masterclass Video Series with James Jordan. The streaming video lectures in this seriesare suitable for individual use in personal development or as supplemental resources for undergraduate or graduate level study in conducting and choral pedagogy.

The first module of this series includes three sequential lectures on the application of the Laban Efforts in Combination to conducting that are designed to detail and simplify the content for conductors at all levels of study. These videos provide a rich background and concise summary of principles that have revolutionized conducting pedagogy.

Laban, Part 1: The Conductor’s Gesture – An Overall Introduction (37:00)

The first lecture details the history of the work of Rudolf von Laban. Dr. Jordan’s groundbreaking research in applying the principles of Rudolf von Laban to conducting, music pedagogy, and artistry has advanced the teaching and learning of conducting. The content for this lecture draws from Jordan’s Evoking Sound and his seminal book on Laban Efforts applied to conducting, The Conductor’s Gesture.

Laban, Part 2: Practical Application to the Development of Basic Conducting Technique (23:00)

The second lecture covers the Laban principles applied to harmonic rhythm as the method for teaching conducting technique. The exciting classroom application connects Laban principles to music making via an understanding of harmonic rhythm through the use of short etudes. The content for this lecture draws from Jordan’s Conducting Technique Etudes, which details pedagogy for all gestural and artistic decisions surrounding conducting. The etude exercises form the foundation of conducting technique for all of Dr. Jordan’s courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Laban, Part 3: The Action/Reaction Principles of Conducting (13:00)

The third lecture connects the physics of gesture into the nature of the ictus. Dr. Jordan offers insights into the action/reaction principle of conducting and how sound moves forward. The content for this lecture draws from Jordan’s Sound as Teacher, which delves into growing the conductor’s perceptual mind. 

​Unique to these video lectures are embedded PowerPoints, which enable note taking and offer concise summary material and screenshots for study. Specifics of the Laban lectures include:

  • Brief history of the life of Rudolf von Laban
  • Overview of the crystalline organization of the body
  • Explanation of the Laban Efforts in Combination as applied to life activities
  • Development of a personal vocabulary of expressive gesture
  • Application of Laban to basic conducting patterns
  • Connection of the Laban Efforts to harmonic rhythm as the foundation of artistic expression
  • Principles of conducting the forward movement of sound using the addition and subtraction of weight using the Laban Efforts

These lectures are to be used in combination with The Anatomy of Conducting DVD and Workbook/Study Guide.

Format: Video