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choreographic notation
Detail from choreographic
notation for the ballet La
, circa 1900.


Choreography — or a series of 'notes' that symbolize dance steps — was originally developed for classical ballet,

Today, it has grown to include other modern applications in such pop entertainment venues as ice dancing, cheerleading, and even in flashy dance moves seen in popular rock videos.

Although there is a variety of ways for putting dance moves down on paper (similar to a musical score) the two most common methods employed today include Labanotation and Benesh notation that use abstract symbols based on body movements.

Often thought of as the most ephemeral and fluid of the performing arts, dance when properly choreographed expresses similar qualities found in painting or music composition with contrasting elements that include angular vs. curvilinear, gentle vs. strong, slow vs. fast, consonance vs. dissonance, order vs. chaos.

Just up ahead, find out more about Laban, Benesh and more notational methods with information on computerized scoring and copyright, general background on the industry, choreographer job postings and career information ...

More about choreography around the Web:

Dance Writing Site
- Sutton DanceWriting is a simple body movement notation that has been in use since 1974. This site provides a basic introduction and illustrations of this notation for single dancers and group movements.

The Benesh Institute and Benesh Movement Notation - A full history of the notation and the Institute plus a description of the Benesh Notation Editor, the PC software for writing and editing multi-stave notation scores are available at this site.

The Dance Notation Bureau - Examples of Labanotation for ballroom steps, ballet combination, folk dance and motif description basics. Pictures and descriptions make it seem almost easy. They also offer a service to score your dance.

Copyright of Choreographic Works -From the 1994-95 Entertainment, Publishing and the Arts Handbook. No graphics or links, but the information is good. Gives historical background and plenty of citations.

Occupational Outlook - Dancers & Choreographers - U.S. Department of Labor fact sheet with information on required education and training, average earnings statistics, and job outlook.

Answers4Dancers - Teaching/Choreography Opportunities - Paid membership to search job postings plus career tips and advice for non-members.


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