Warren Lamb’s Legacy: On the Shoulders of Giants

Warren Lamb was one of the most creative people I have ever known, though he was always quite modest about this. Indeed, I believe if asked about his accomplishments, he would have been likely to reply as Sir Issac Newton did –“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”

Warren was lucky enough to work with two giants, Rudolf Laban, a movement genius, and F.C. Lawrence, one of the first English management consultants. Warren gained his profound understanding of movement by drawing on Laban’s ideas, while his association with Lawrence provided practical experience as a business consultant.

Laban and Lawrence were also lucky to have Warren Lamb. It doesn’t do much good to be a giant, if there is no one to stand on your accomplishments and see further.

Warren was able to see further because he was not slavishly devoted to Laban or Lawrence. Rather, he took their ideas seriously – seriously enough to test them in the crucible of giving advice to hard-headed and hard-hearted business executives. In the process, Lamb enriched the field of movement study by demonstrating how it can be used to illuminate human behavior.

MoveScape Center

Contemporary movement analysts are the beneficiaries of Lamb’s legacy. Put most simply, this legacy has three parts:

First, Lamb developed an empirical procedure for observing and analyzing movement using Rudolf Laban’s taxonomy.

Secondly, Lamb created a commonsensical framework for interpreting the significance of what he observed.

Thirdly, the connections he made between observations and their interpretations are both straightforward and transparent.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Motus Humanus will celebrate Lamb’s legacy with an advanced seminar focusing on his discoveries and the standards of good practice embodied in his life work.