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Writing Dance

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Chapter Summary

Dance is, like any performing art, an ephemeral art. Although many systems of notation have been put forward over the centuries, dance notation is still sparsely used. This chapter focuses on the characteristics of a few systems of dance notation developed for Western Dance since the fifteenth century, finishing with three twentieth century systems: Labanotation, Benesh and Eshkol- Wachmann. It particularly expands upon the Labanotation system. Arthur Saint- Léon published his system, called Sténochorégraphie, in Paris in 1852. The book included the notation of the Pas de Six from his ballet La Vivandière. The Benesh system was devised in London by Joan and Rudolf Benesh and presented in the publication An Introduction to Benesh Dance Notation in 1956. The Eshkol-Wachman system was first published in London in 1958. Noa Eshkol studied Labanotation with Sigurd Leeder.

Keywords: Benesh system; dance; Eshkol-Wachman system; Labanotation



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