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date: 20 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the process of creating a large-scale dance event inspired by the early-twentieth-century movement choirs of Rudolph Laban. A brief biography of Laban outlines the early influences leading to his conviction that community dance is a critical component in creating group empathy and goodwill. These influences include his exposure, as a young man, to whirling dervishes, and his experience with folk dancing within rural communities. The development of his ideas on dance and his concept of Festwille—the urge for a group of people to participate in meaningful celebratory activity—are also examined. The article describes the evolution of the movement choir from workshops which Laban held for amateur dancersm, and the cultural circumstances in post-industrialized Germany that contributed to this evolution. Finally, the creative process in setting a Laban-inspired movement choir of approximately 500 participants is described.

Keywords: Laban, movement choir, Monte Verita, community dance, Festwille

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