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Leslie Bishko June 29, 2008

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Laban Movement Analysis forms a conduit between expressive movement impulses and creating animated movement for the screen that lives, breathes and communicates.

Leslie Bishko

About Leslie’s work

Leslie’s work with Laban Movement Analysis encompasses three main areas:

  • Laban for Animators: the aesthetic foundation of nonverbal communication in the art form of animation, including aesthetic guidelines for creating believable, expressive animated characters, and style analysis of animated movement.
  • Visualization of LMA theories through the creation of 3D computer animated imagery. Pedagogically, these theories are demonstrated and experienced through dance-movement and the use of movement notation symbols. Visualization of movement theory contributes a new visual perception of LMA concepts and new pedagogical methods.
  • Creation of experimental animated film, using traditional and digital media, centering on the use of LMA as a creative tool for the aesthetic exploration of movement dynamics, rhythmic phrasing and pattern.

Courses and consulting work

Leslie incorporates LMA into her 3D Character Animation and related courses in the full time Animation BFA degree program at Emily Carr University of Art & Design. Course assignments are based on LMA principles, and feedback to students is given through the lens of LMA-based observation and description. Leslie has given Laban for Animators workshops at a variety of computer game studios, which provide a broad overview of the LMA system, emphasizing how it can be applied to animation through designing a Movement Signature for animated characters, and through coaching motion-capture talent to achieve specific movement qualities.

Recent publications

Leslie is currently developing a book proposal for Laban for Animators. The following recent publications represent the scope of her current work:


Leslie Bishko is an Associate Professor in Animation at Emily Carr University of Art & Design, where she teaches 3D computer graphics specializing in character animation, and is a member of the Movement Research Group. An experimental animation filmmaker, her computer animated film, Gasping for Air (1993), won 6 awards at major international festivals. Bishko’s history with dance includes dance notation and certification as a Laban Movement Analyst (LMA). Bishko has developed Laban for Animators, which she teaches to computer game companies and animation schools, and is currently expanding into a book. She has collaborated with choreographer Holly Bright on integrating dance with animation onstage. Her research investigates movement styles in animation, and the use of animated imagery for LMA studies.

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