Weight Qualities

Blaine directing Byron Richards and Scott Clark - 1982In Blaine’s composition classes, choreographic investigations are based on the sensing of one’s weight in relation to the pull of gravity, and using this experience to explore its expressive potential within a choreographic frame. Using Rudolf Laban’s Effort concepts as a springboard, Blaine expands the definitions of three weight qualities – Resiliency, Strength, and Lightness – to allow for choreographic investigation. (Note: though she views the exploration of weight qualities as a valuable resource, she does not suggest that one should always be moving with a focus on weight.)

Resiliency, Strength, and Lightness

Below are Blaine’s basic definitions of Resiliency, Strength, and Lightness. The accompanying videos provide examples of weight qualities in studio and performance environments. During studio work, students explore the many connotations of each weight quality and strive to fulfill the physicality of the qualities as defined by Blaine. For the studies they create, students explore the various possibilities of the qualities within a choreographic framework. In choreographic work, weight qualities are one aesthetic consideration among many rather than being the main focus of the work.

Resiliency – releasing the center of weight into gravity, registering it at the bottom of your demi-plie and slightly rebounding it upward; its orientation is in the vertical dimension.

Strength – engaging the center of weight through gravity. The center of weight forcefully pushes through gravity, thus achieving an outward directionality.

Lightness – exaggerating the body’s relationship with levity to the upward space. The weight lingers at the apex before it carefully and gradually descends and releases into gravity.