Ways of Seeing (Bulging)

When we name a movement, we can see it and experience it more clearly. This series will explore the many names that Laban Movement Analysis (See post on LMA) offers. While these often sound like regular English words, they sometimes have slightly different meanings when used in an LMA context.

Shape Flow refers to the subtle, personal movement that underlies all movement. Even in "stillness," we use Shape Flow. It is the breath. It is intimately connected with self. It is crying, laughing, sighing. It is the movement we do to make ourselves more comfortable: adjusting our sleeping position, twirling our hair, twiddling our fingers. In a skilled performer, Shape Flow supports personal, integrated, connected dancing. It is also easy to see Shape Flow in children.

One element of Shape Flow is Bulging. Photo of boy by Henri Cartier-Bresson

In Bulging, a Shape Flow movement expands either forward or backward. The two children above are both Bulging forward in their torsos. The boy is also Widening.

Try it: How do you respond to the children above? How do you feel around other people who are Bulging? What would that Bulging look like in a football player, a boss, someone who is indignant? Puff your chest out like you are proud. Breathe deeply letting your belly and your chest expand. How do you feel? Note the next time you see a performer Bulge.


  1. I've heard of Cartier Bresson, but who took the photo of the girl? And who is the girl?