Ways of Seeing (Hollowing)

When we name a movement, we can see it and experience it more clearly. This series explores 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 and breath. For more information on Shape Flow, see previous post.

One element of Shape Flow is Hollowing.
Left: Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange Above: Canyon Country, Califonia by Joel Sternfeld.

In Hollowing, a Shape Flow movement condenses (often backwards) towards the center. The two parents above are both Hollowing in their torsos; their chests seem to almost cave in. In the mother, this movement quality makes me feel a despair and a kind of quiet. In the father, the Hollowing makes me feel passive weight and that he's trying to come closer to his child's height. Hollowing is also used functionally. It is the exhale to better access deep stomach muscles in a sit up. And it is a Graham contraction.

Try it: How do you respond to the parents above? When do you Hollow? Is it common for you or rare? What could Hollowing look like in a teenager, a doctor, kindergarten teacher, a lover, a ballet dancer? Exhale, feel your belly come in towards your center. Cave in your chest. How do you feel? Note the next time you see a performer Hollow.

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