Bartenieff Fundamentals℠ is an extension of Laban Movement Analysis, extended and developed by Irmgard Bartenieff, who trained with Warren Lamb before becoming a physiotherapist. Concepts and principles of kinesiological functioning are identified which are embodied in particular sequences and extended into all types of movement possibilities.

Basic Concepts of Bartenieff Fundamentals℠

Bartenieff Fundamentals℠ is a construct that focuses on movement integration and harmony. When moving, our coordination is affected by body connections, center of weight and the relationship to initiation and follow through of a given action. Bartenieff Fundamentals℠ was developed by Irmgard Bartenieff in applying Rudolf Laban’s movement theories to the physical/kinesiological functioning of the human body. In developing the principles of Fundamentals, Bartenieff was concerned with support of the body to facilitate functional, expressive and efficient movement experiences. Bartenieff Fundamentals℠ were developed to provide exercise concepts for the experience of the body in motion with an awareness of how and why it is moving.

The Fundamentals are developmentally based. They mirror the stages of development of the brain and the motor skills that babies and toddlers progress through on their way to mastering mature movement patterns. Practicing the Fundamentals strengthens the body’s internal support for both everyday and highly skilled movement. The Fundamentals require the use of deep muscles, close to the core of the body, and the use of breath support to increase the power and flow of movement. They also require a clear spatial intent: an understanding of where movement initiates in the body and how it sequences through the body from one part to another (Allison 211).

The Benefits

Bartenieff Fundamentals℠ (BF) helps an individual learn to move more easily and more expressively. Athletes from many sports have improved their performance and reduced the risk of injury after incorporating Bartenieff Fundamentals℠ into their training. Dancers, actors, and musicians have found that practice of the Fundamentals brings greater clarity and expression to their performances. People rehabilitating from injuries and other conditions that limit mobility have used the Fundamentals to regain functional and expressive movements. Others practice the Fundamentals simply for the joy they experience from moving more fluidly and with greater ease.