Tuesday, March 22, 2011


The DNB is announcing a June 2011 course in Elementary Labanotation AND Advanced Labanotation! This is exciting news for us to be able to offer these two important courses here in New York. The Elementary course is June 13 through June 24, the Advanced course is June 13 through June 25. For more information, please contact Alice Helpern, alicehelpern@dancenotation.org

Thursday, April 1, 2010


After a number of years of planning and hard work, the long anticipated online Notated Theatrical Dances (NTD) Catalog is available for your use! Now you may view and search our scores for educational, research, and performance purposes. It covers extensive information on notation, casting, production, music, media, archival, and permission and fees. We think this will become an important tool and will shorten your search time!

Also a reminder that the new
Library News and DNBulletin are both available for reading on our web-site!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Theory Bulletin Board


In order to make more space on the ever growing DNB Web site, we have moved the Theory Bulletin Board to a new blog

All of the previous postings have been transferred to this new location, in threads listed alphabetically in the sidebar.

Please feel free to make comments directly on the blog.  For contributions that come with notation symbols or graphics, there is a guideline "How to Make a New Posting" in the sidebar as well.

You can now subscribe to the DNB Theory Bulletin Board as a reader.  Whenever there is a new posting on the blog, you will automatically receive the notification.

Hope this will allow all of us to stay connected with notation!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


The 9th Edition of our Notation Theatrical Dances Catalog is now available. This edition includes new acquisitions, their permission status and fees, plus information about the DNB Library, what constitutes a public performance, Library fees, additional services of the DNB, etc. This is FREE to download online. For anyone interested in getting a hard copy, the price is $15 plus handling charges and postage. An invaluable research tool!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sandra Aberkalns' Letter to the Editor

Several weeks ago one of our notators, Sandra Aberkalns responsed to Terry Teachout's article in the Wall Street Journal on "Why Dances Disappear". Her Letter to the Editor is a good answer supporting Labanotation!

"It's the Dance That's Complex, Not the Notation System
Terry Teachout's comment, "Dance notation is so complex and inexact," in his article "Why Dances Disappear: Can Merce Cunningham save his work by killing his company?" (Leisure & Arts, June 27) arises from two misconceptions about notation that continue to linger in the dance community. Notation is not complex -- dance is! As a Labanotator of nearly 40 works -- representing some of the most respected choreographers of our time -- I know each score is unique with, yes, various levels of "complexity" depending on the work, not on the notation. As to being "inexact," as a notator, I am as aware as the dancers, if not more so at times, of what must happen physically, motivationally and emotionally so that the choreographer's intentions are preserved in a manuscript that will inform dancers for generations to come.
Unlike Kenneth MacMillan, Antony Tudor, the Martha Graham Dance Company, and Paul Taylor, among others, Mr. Cunningham chose not to have a notator document his works (other than "Totem Ancestor"). I feel that is a tragedy, as his legacy is now dependent on the whims of technology and changing memories -- both of which are fickle mistresses at best.
Sandra Aberkalns
Dance Notation Bureau
New York"
Here is the link to view the original article written by Mr. Teachout:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Article in Dance Chronicle Magazine

Mei-Chen Lu, our Director of Library Services, has written a very informative article for Dance Chronicle about the DNB, Resources and Riches, The Dance Notation Bureau. I think you would find this very interesting and will make an effort to secure a copy to read! ENJOY! There were a couple of corrections for the record from Lucy Venable, "I was a volunteer not a part-time staff member in 1952. I was a member of the Limon Company from 1957-63, Not a member in 1952." Thank you, Lucy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

DNB Library is Temporary Closed

The Dance Notation Bureau Library is preparing for the DNB's move to its new home and will be temporarily closed from January 19 to February 13. As of February 1, 2009, the DNB's new address will be:

Dance Notation Bureau
111 John Street, Suite 704
New York, NY 10038

I remember unpacking some boxes at the DNB's soon-to-be-old home ten years ago. Good luck to all those who will be unpacking boxes this time!