Nicole Harbonnier-Topin, PhD, professor of movement studies in the dance department of University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) since 2004, where she was also responsible for launching the UQAM graduate program in somatic education. She is certified in Analyse fonctionnelle du corps dans le mouvement dansé (AFCMD) “Functional analysis of the dancing body”) Paris, 1997 and obtained her doctorate degree in Adult Education from the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), Paris, 2009. Her thesis develops an original perspective on dance teaching from the point of view of activity analysis. She worked in France as a dancer, as choreographer, and, as a dance teacher’s instructor, she has worked with several institutions in France.

Professeure Nicole Harbonnier, PhD, est professeure en « étude du mouvement » depuis 2004 au Département de danse de l’Université du Québec à Montréal. Après une maitrise portant sur l’étirement du danseur (Paris 8, 2000), elle obtient un Doctorat en Formation des adultes (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers 2009). Sa thèse pose un regard neuf sur l’enseignement de la danse à partir de l’analyse des activités. Certifiée en Analyse fonctionnelle du corps dans le mouvement dansé du Centre National de la danse à Paris (1997), elle a été interprète, professeur de danse contemporaine et formatrice de professeurs de danse dans plusieurs institutions françaises.



Towards contemporising qualitative movement analysis

Nicole Harbonnier, Geneviève Dussault and Catherine Ferri's research aims to better identify the processes involved in movement observation-analysis. The participants in the field study are recognized experts highly trained in one of two (or both of these) approaches to movement observation: either in Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) or in Functional Analysis of the Dancing Body (AFCMD). The authors highlight the elements of convergence and divergence which characterize these two perspectives by drawing on Activity Analysis epistemology. Activity Analysis is also seen to facilitate the transition from a professionally circumscribed lexicon to semantics of shared intelligibility. Explicitation interview methodology, a psycho-phenomenological approach, is used in order to give non-directive support to the experts in their introspective study of the process of observation and analysis. We put forward the hypothesis that the encounter between these two approaches can lead, over time, to a greater articulation between expressive and functional components of movement analysis and, by bringing to bear the results of recent studies in human movement, will contribute to bringing the Laban-based conceptual framework into the twenty-first century.