The study is devoted to the problem of motion analysis and centers
on 20th century social dancing and dance theatre. The main focus is
on the motorics of the body-in-motion. Analytic observation and
description (by means of a newly developed system for recording
movement) chart the phenomena studied in terms of the way they form
'motion-texts'. The usefulness of this system is evidenced not only
in comparison with traditional description and notation techniques
but more especially in the confrontation of popular 20th century
dance forms (from tango to twist) with works of dance theatre from
the period between 1910 and 1965. The analysis identifies
period-specific patterns of motoric identity that owe nothing to
traditional concepts of style or genre. The avenues thus opened up
would also repay exploration for their potential contribution to a
historical study of bodily movement in a broader theatrical and
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