LABAN ANALYSIS Reviews, Consultation, Research, Publication

  Effort Dynamics
Effort Elements, Factors, States, & Drives (Summary 2004, J.S. Longstaff)
Effort Graph, Fighting & Indulging polarities.



The effort graph is taken apart and used in pieces to represent the various elements, factors, states, & drives.

The center part of the effort graph is the 'action stroke', indicating any unspecified effort elements. factors, states, & drives. Distinction of "indulging" effort elements (light, free, sustained, flexible) versus "fighting" effort elements (strong, bound, quick, direct).

Effort Factors; Space (focus), Weight (pressure), Time, Flow
Descriptions are generally derived from the Jungian framework and the decision making process)


Effort Factor Space; paying attention, mental activities, thinking, cognition

  1. Flexible
    1. normal flexibility: all encompassing thought, all-round attentiveness
    2. extremely flexible: inability to keep to a point, deviation, avoidance
  2. Direct
    1. normal directness: pinpointing an idea, following a fixed line of thought
    2. extremely direct: narrow minded, obsession, unadaptable


Effort Factor Weight; intention, will power, sensation, a ‘gut’ feeling

  1. Light
    1. normal lightness: fine and delicate sensitivity
    2. extremely light: superficial, shallow airiness
  2. Strong
    1. normal strength: resolute will power
    2. extremely strong: rigid, cramped, stubborn, perhaps crude, brutal


Effort Factor Time; decisiveness, intuition, timing

  1. Sustained
    1. normal sustainment: leisurely, prolonged commitment, giving time for an event to fully develop, waiting for the best moment
    2. extremely sustained: snail’s pace, lazy, hesitation, wavering
  2. Quick
    1. normal quickness: animated, vivacious, exciting, urgent, ready to ‘seize the moment’
    2. extremely quick: hasty overexcitable, possibly leading to hysteria


Effort Factor Flow; precision, emotional feeling, personal relationships

  1. Free
    1. normally free: yielding, fluent, easy going, whole-hearted
    2. extreme freedom: uncontrolled outpouring, total abandonment
  2. Bound
    1. normally bound: careful, cautious, controlled, restrained
    2. extreme boundness: cramped, limited, inhibited, repressed

Variations of weight effort (Hackney, 1998, p. 220).


Passive Weight, limp, heavy

Weight Sensing

(Combinations of 3 Effort Factors creates an Effort Drive, with higher intensity and particular characteristics. Action Drive is designed as the foundation, with Spell Drive, Passion Drive, and Vision Drive considered to be transformations due to influences of Flow.
Action Drive
(weight-space-time) Flowless, not-emotional, practical actions


Transformation Drives;
Action Drive is designed as a foundation of the Effort system where it is considered to be "transformed by flow", when Flow becomes more pronounced and "replaces" one of the other efforts, thus creating Spell Drive, Passion Drive, Vision Drive.

Spell Drive
(flow-space-weight) Timeless, trance-like, hypnotic, spellbound, standing outside of time


Passion Drive
(flow-weight-time) Spaceless, absence of focus, no rational thought or logical reason


Vision Drive
(flow-time-space) Weightless, out-of-body, other worldly, non-physical


EFFORT STATES (inner attitudes):
Combinations of two effort factors can be perceived as "inner attitudes" or sometimes considered to be "incomplete" (in comparison to Effort Drives).
Significance of Effort States can be interpreted in the Jungian framework as much as by what is absent, as by what is present in each state.

Awake State: Space & Time
Thinking & intuition in the absence of emotion & bodily sensation
Wakeful quality is the opposite of dreaming quality
Dream State: Weight & Flow
Emotional feeling & bodily sensations in the absence of thinking & intuition
Dreaming quality is the opposite of wakeful quality

Near State (rhythm state): Weight & Time
Bodily sensations & intuition, excluding thinking & emotion
Near, physically present quality is the opposite of the remote, distant quality

Remote State: Space & Flow
Emotional feeling & mental thought, excluding intuition & bodily sensation
Remote, distant quality is the opposite of the near physically present quality


Stable State: Weight & Space
Bodily sensing & mental thought, in the absence of intuition & emotion
Stable, steadfast quality is the opposite of the mobile, ever-changing quality

Mobile State: Flow & Time
Emotional feeling intuition in the absence of mental thought and body sensing
Mobile, ever-changing creative quality is opposite the stable physical quality