Friday, January 18, 2008

This February, Three Stagings

This February, three Thursdays, three stagings, three states -- any near you?

  1. February 7, 2008: Antony Tudor’s Continuo will be performed at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. The stager will be Amanda McKerrow.

  2. February 14, 2008: A Gift of Wings, a dance by Rosalind Pierson, will be performed by Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame, IL. The stagers will be Laurie Lowry and Jacyln Thompson.

  3. February 21, 2008: Antony Tudor’s Little Improvisations and Continuo will be staged by Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner for the Brigham Young University Theatre Ballet in Provo, UT.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New DNB Extension Homepage -- and Motif Man!

I just learned two things:

  • The Dance Notation Bureau Extension at Ohio State University has a new and improved homepage:

  • ...and the DNB Extension site includes a fun instructional application called Motif Man, where you can create a short motif score and then watch a stick figure perform it. (My favorite of Motif Man's animated actions is "approach" -- can't help but giggle.) If you're not familiar with motif description, there's an intro to it here (click Motif Description Basics).

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Obituary of Ernestine Stodelle

I don't often see obituaries this fascinating -- I guess that's because I don't often see obituaries of people this fascinating: Ernestine Stodelle, 95, Modern Dancer, Dies.

Best line of the obituary: ". . . at age 85, Ernestine is down on the floor showing a young dancer how to do a one-handed push-up."


Dance and Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation in Israel

Deborah Friedes recently shared with the LabanTalk listserv an update on her dance research in Israel, which has included some exposure to Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation. She agreed to let me repost her message, which I thought would interest the Labanotation community:

The announcements for the open theory meeting reminded me that some of you were interested in hearing about my research on contemporary dance in Israel. I'm a little over three months into a Fulbright grant here in Tel Aviv, and the concert dance scene is keeping me very busy! I am blogging about my research at this address: [DNBlog turned it into a tinyurl to make it fit here]

One particular subject that might be of interest to people on LabanTalk is Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation. Although my research in Israel is centered around movement techniques and choreographic works, I have had some exposure to the notation system because of its prevalence here. During the recent International Exposure festival, where Israeli choreographers present their work to arts presenters from around the world, I saw a performance of Tirza Sapir's "Miniatures" by the Rikudnetto dance group; the 14 short dances were created with and then recorded in Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation. I also sat in on a movement writing class at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance a few weeks ago. Although the class was conducted entirely in Hebrew and my language skills are still rough, I was able to follow part of the discussion, in which the students asked a bit about Laban's work as compared to that of Noa Eshkol. It was a treat to see the Laban effort graph drawn on the blackboard with Hebrew terms! Hopefully I'll have some time to learn a bit more about Eshkol-Wachman while I'm here, and if I do, I'll surely post about it on my blog.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Another New Theory Bulletin Board Posting

There's a brand new posting on the DNB Theory Bulletin Board. It covers notation for African dance, the possibility of a new sign for accents with unspecified amounts of energy, the possibility of generic signs for dynamic indications, the basics of phrasing indications, and the issues surrounding kinesphere signs in phrasing indications.

To access the newest posting, follow the link above and click "Minutes for the Open Theory Meetings" or follow this link.

As always, responses are welcome. Instructions for submitting postings are on the Theory Bulletin Board page.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Great Quotes about Notation, Part 6

The Great Quotes series continues, this time with Murray Louis :

"Where Am I?" (aka The Best Hour of Radio I've Heard in Ages)

On my walk to work today, I listened to an episode of Radio Lab (my favorite NPR show, completely addictive) from 2006 called "Where Am I?" The entire hour is great, recommended listening for anyone interested in the body's relationship to space and the communication between the brain and body about location and movement. But one segment, "The Butcher's Assistant" (about 15 minutes), will especially appeal to dancers, notators, anyone who analyzes movement. It's about a man who, at age 19, lost his ability to detect the location of his body parts (a sense called proprioception, similar to kinesthesia). For a while, he lost his ability to move. But, in time, he regained it. What's fascinating is how: he discovered that with self-observation and great concentration, he could control his body (sort of like Patrick Swayze in Ghost!). But he can do this only when he can see himself. Which means he can't do it in the dark. (Which means he's left his lights on all night long for over a decade!)

Hearing him talk about how he analyzes movement and body position is fascinating. He mentally breaks down movement into its components and thinks through each component -- not dissimilar to what notators do.

I guarantee you'll like it.

Here's a link to the show. (If you only want to listen to this one segment, scroll down to "The Butcher's Assistant.")

And here's a link to Pride and a Daily Marathon, a book written about the man by his doctor.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Seven Statements of Survival, Again

I mentioned the new book Seven Statements of Survival: Conversations with Dance Professionals last month, but at the time I didn't have a good image of the cover. Now I do, so voilĂ :

If you're interested in this book -- and what dancer, choreographer, dance researcher, dance educator, or dance librarian wouldn't be?! -- you can order it from Dance and Movement Press.


Speaking of the Dance Notation Bureau's expanded web presence, another blog has linked to our blog. Thanks, ecnDANCEWORKS! If you have a website or a blog, you too can help the DNB spread the word about the importance of dance notation -- link to us!

And don't forget: the best way to hear everything the DNB has to tell is to subscribe to this blog. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a great video intro to RSS:

Hello 2008!

With apologies for the delay (food coma just now wearing off...), welcome to 2008! But, before we put 2007 completely behind us, some words about 2007 from the New York Times: "In the past year dance has finally carved out a space for itself online as dancers, choreographers and institutions embraced the Internet with video, blogs and new Web sites." (Read the whole article here: The World of Dance Tries Out New Moves on the Web.)

Hooray for us, DNB, for being among the dance institutions expanding and improving its web presence!