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Benesh movement notation

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Benesh Movement Notation is a system of dance notation that can document any form of human movement. Invented by Joan and Rudolf Benesh in the late 1940's, the system uses abstract symbols based on figurative representations of the human body.

Like Western music notation Benesh notation uses a five staff stave that read from left to right with bar lines to mark the passage of time. Because of this Benesh can be presented with a timeline or musical accompaniment. Each staff in the Benesh stave coincides with the head, shoulders, waist, knees and floor (from top to bottom) and addition signs are used to notate the dimension and quality of the movement.

Benesh movement notation is used in the contexts of physical therapy, choreography documenting, and teaching the Royal Academy of Dance ballet syllabi, and is one of the most widely used dance notation systems in western culture.

The term Choreology, or dance script, was defined by Rudolf Benesh as:

the aesthetic and scientific study of all forms of human movement by movement notation

at the public launch of Benesh Movement Notation in 1955.

In 1997 The Benesh Institute, international centre for Benesh Movement Notation was amalgamated with the Royal Academy of Dance

Related articles


References

  • Benesh, R. and Benesh, J. (1983) Reading Dance: The Birth of Choreology. McGraw-Hill Book Company Ltd, ISBN 0285622919
  • Neagle, R.J. and Ng, K.C. (2003) Machine-representation and Visualisation of a Dance Notation. in Proceedings of Electronic Imaging and the Visual Arts - London July 2003.


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