Classes with Hilary Bryan | course list | current course schedule

sketch of dancer surging forward with hips leading, hair flying back, and fingers and toes trailing behind

Drawing by Karen Zethmayr (Hilary's mother)
from a photo by Marty Sohl of Pink Slip
Premiere Taipei, 1992.

Rudolf Laban was an experimental dance-theater performer and director who championed human movement as an artistic medium and made it his mission to develop vocabulary that articulates the exquisite complexity of movement. The more clearly we can observe and articulate movement, the better we understand ourselves, the more expansive our possibilities, the more compassionate we become with others, and the more powerful our performance.


email or call 510.601.9863




The Embodied Self
Introduction to Laban Movement Analysis & Bartenieff Fundamentals for Movement Artists, Physiotherapists, Psychotherapists, Physicists, Architects and all who study human movement
January 16-20, 2013
Link to registration | Link to Topics

Perception is an action that requires skill. The more we train ourselves to perceive, the richer our world. As I expand my awareness and possibilities in movement, I become an engaged participant in life, a fully embodied self.

Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) and Bartenieff Movement Fundamentals (BF) offer an incredible wealth of possibilities for stepping out of our habitual movement patterns and expanding our human potential. Learn to analyze the body in motion. Discover powerful internal support. Become an efficient  and expressive mover. Explore new ways your body can shape itself and project into space. This introductory course will explore developmental movement progressions throughout the LMA system (Body, Effort, Shape, Space, and Relationship). Developmental patterns are critical as we first learn to articulate our limbs, crawl, walk, and interact with others; they are also the key building blocks of virtuosic adult movement. Learn to use these patterns as a source for creative new movement and grounded structural support. Learn strategies to reestablish and reinforce fundamental movement patterns. Expand expressive capabilities and deepen connections with self and other.

This course satisfies pre-requisites for certification programs in LMA and BF. Arrangements are being made to conduct LMA and BF certification in Moscow (in Russian). Please let us know that you are interested in participating and/or being on the organizing team for this program.

The Body at Work -- Somatic Practice of Everyday Life
Continuing study in LMA & BF
January 25-27, 2013
Link to registration
In depth practice for those who have taken introductory courses in LMA and BF with Hilary Bryan or Judy Gantz. We will explore possibilities for application of harmonic movement and whole body connnectivity in everyday life, work and teaching. We will consider methods for sharing this work with others.

Topics will include:

  • Unfolding the Sitting Body (more)
  • Workstation Setup and Usage (more)
  • Relief for Tired Eyes (more)

This course introduces the application of LMA and BF in the field of ergonomics and offers a wide range of exercises for working with the body to achieve efficient function and posture in any context. In order to deepen our understanding of LMA and BF, we will focus on concrete examples that help us apply this system of harmonic interconnections to our everyday life and practice as teachers, therapists, and inhabitants of planet earth.

Additional Workshops:
The following workshops are also available. Please call/email for current schedule or to arrange a workshop for your group.

SACRED MONSTERSImprovisation for Somatic Addicts
Sacred Monsters is a choreographic inquiry into LMA as means to connect fluid body with fluid mind, a visceral connector of self and selves. We explore hands-on techniques that activate internal connectivity for efficient core strength, grounding, power and flight. We enliven our "inner homunculus" as a visceral home base and immediate conduit from fluid body to fluid mind. We invite sensation to liberate imagery as it transforms from dragon to cloud to wizard to volcano, etc. our own unique sacred monsters. Allow your tissues to lead you on a tour of inner selves. Fasten your seatbelts!

[printable pdf flyer]

SOMATIC ADDICTS – An Exploration of Performing Presence in Contact Improvisation
What is presence? And how do we call it up from nowhere in the moment of performance? Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) provides us with a holistic framework to observe, articulate, and train for performance presence. Breath, flow, focus, grounding, connection to self, to other, to audience, to earth – discover an incredible wealth of possibilities for stepping out of your habitual movement patterns. Enrich your presence in performance with the fundamentals of human movement. We will explore basic aspects that expand and deepen our connection with ourselves and with others. Articulate your every movement. Expand your expressive range. Discover powerful support and connection and integrate that new freedom in performance.

SPACE HARMONY (Rudolf Laban)
We build and play inside of life-size icosahedrons (see image) to explore the geometry of movement and spatial harmonics. Enliven your spatial matrix. Discover your kinesphere and increase its range. Learn to go off balance with clarity and freedom. Get out of your head and into the space. Ideal for choreographers and improvisers seeking to expand their vocabulary.

EMBODYING SPACE: Laban's Geometry of Movement
Space, it's where we live yet so hard to describe... Define and clarify your spatial matrix for core support, stability and balance. Practice accessing your deep core support to increase your strength, range, and freedom of movement. Explore the richness of your internal landscape while using the space around you for ease and grace. Based on dynamic body alignment, harmonic internal connections, and sacred geometry. Challenging, intuitively gentle guidance for all levels of movement proficiency from professional to beginning.

Introduction to Laban Studies
Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) is a comprehensive system for observing and describing all human movement. It teaches us to develop our movement range and clarify our expression to a degree previously thought unattainable. We expand ourselves both as performers and as human beings moving in the world.

This lab in grounding focuses on core support that you can apply to the movement you do every day. Learn to move with grace and discover your deep inner strength and power.

SPEAK WITH THE FEET, Body Alignment Lab
This lab in grounding focuses on lower body alignment for strength and power. Develop your rotation & lower body support through a gentle, integrated approach to movement. Based on harmonic internal connections, dynamic alignment, and Laban Movement Analysis/Bartenieff Fundamentals. Challenging, intuitively gentle guidance.

SPEAK WITH THE FEET, Contact Improvisation
Somatic Approach to Contact Improvisation. Articulate your legs and tail -- how do they move? how do they speak? Align them for strength and power. Use them for support and communicating with your partner. Ground your dancing so you can fly!

DANCE WITH POWER! Modern dance technique
Build core strength & expressive range through a vigorous, integrated approach to movement. Based on harmonic internal connections, dynamic alignment, and Laban Movement Analysis/Bartenieff Fundamentals. Challenging, intuitively gentle guidance.

Floorwork lab for intermediate and advanced dancers. Get in and out of the floor with power and grace (without killing your knees!). Learn to ride spatial tensions; spiral up and down with ease; speak with the feet.

For dancers who sing, singers who dance, and those who wish they did. Sound and movement merge into one. The fully expressive body emerges -- whole, vibratin, a unified medium. Learn how sound and movement support and glorify one another. Add movement to your singing and sound to your dance.

Replace stressful movement patterns with more efficient, easeful ones. Improve your own body mechanics while working on clients and ensure your own long career.

- Acrobats - Yogis - Dancers - Actors! Feeling STUCK in your movement?
Flow between your poses ~ Find your power through flow ~ Summon your inner strength ~ Expand your partnering skills
Flow is the baseline of movement and the through line of performance. Flow connects the whole body and provides the internal support we need to move freely. We will explore the concept of flow in water, wind and fire and apply our new experience of flow to partner acrobatics and personal movement style. [printable pdf flyer]

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