How do you write down a dance?

Interview with Birgit Deharde, a freelance Choreologist and expert in Benesh Movement Notation

Why do we need Movement Notation?

Similar to music, dance needs to be written down, but unlike music, dance is a fleeting art. It has taken until the 20th century to find a tool to record dance notations and preserve these choreographies. It was Rudolf Benesh who created a tool for human movement notations in 1955 and defined choreology as “The aesthetic and scientific study of all forms of human movement by movement notation”.

Continue reading “How do you write down a dance?”

Contemporary Dance at it‘s best!

A Sydney Dance Company Rehearsal

I was lucky to watch a rehearsal at Sydney Dance Company, one of the world‘s strongest forces in contemporary dance. It was the first run after the summer break, prior to starting their tour to South America.

I immediately noticed the amazing diversity of dancers. One young, tall, lean dancer in particular caught my attention during the warm up, doing such incredible stretches it seemed he had no bones at all.

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Nutcracker – a cash cow!

Did you know that the NUTCRACKER Ballet is a money making machine for ballet companies?

I just read an article in The Economist which stated that this ballet can generate up to 45% of a ballet company’s annual revenue in America. That’s why you can see at least one version in every state. It’s a tradition for families to come together and attend a performance of this famous Christmas ballet. Often, children from ballet schools are involved, dancing in the roles of small mice or toy soldiers. Magic happens when the beautiful music of the Waltz of Flowers starts.

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Christian Spuck weiterhin auf Erfolgskurs


Ballettdirektor Christian Spuck und sein Ballett Zürich können auf ein äusserst erfolgreiches Jahr zurückblicken. Das absolute Highlight 2017 war die Neuproduktion des Nussknackers. Unter dem Titel NUSSKNACKER UND MAUSEKÖNIG revolutionierte Christian Spuck das berühmte Weihnachtsballett radikal. 17 ausverkaufte Vorstellungen wurden am Opernhaus Zürich bejubelt. Auch am renommierten Moskauer Bolschoi Theater löste der neue Nussknacker an zwei ausverkauften Abenden Begeisterungsstürme aus.


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My favourite Drosselmeyers……

are without question Li Cunxin and Dominik Slavkovský.

Li Cunxin with Queensland Ballet photo by David Kelly

Magic happened when Ballet Star Li Cunxin, was lured out of 18 years retirement for a special performance of the NUTCRACKER with the Queensland Ballet. Taking to the stage in Brisbane for one night only, the 56 year old dancer delivered a mesmerizing performance. While Drosselmeyer is predominately a character role, Li incorporated his own choreography – adding pirouettes and jumps to the performance. His twists and turns hinted at his past brilliance.

Li’s life story became known around the world after the book and film, Mao’s Last Dancer, told how he danced his way out of grinding poverty in China and ultimately ending into an international ballet career.

IMG_0892.jpgDominik Slokovský with Ballet Zurich photo by Gregory Batardon

On the other side of the world, at the Opernhaus Zurich, the young Slovikian dancer Dominik Slavkovský also took the role of Drosselmeyer to new heights. Ballet director Christian Spuck‘s fresh new choreography NUTCRACKER AND MOUSE KING allowed him to create a enigmatic character that captivated the audience as never before.

With his long lanky body and twisting fingers, the mysterious toymaker became a dark, dramatic and quite simply haunting character that guides us through the story.

Li Cunxin: David Kelly
Dominik Slavkovský: Gian Paul Lozza and Gregory Batardon

It is Christmas Eve

and Time for Nutcracker

🌅Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all Ballet Lovers🌲

Enjoy these trailers with different interpretations of the most famous Christmas Ballet.

Photo on Top: Nutcracker and Mouse King by Christian Spuck, Ballet Zurich ©Gregory Batardon

Don’t miss the WORLD BALLET DAY 2017

Photo by The Royal Ballet Full Class – World Ballet Day 2014 – YouTube

#WorldBalletDay is back on 5 October 2017!

Have a look behind the scenes. Watch morning classes, interviews and rehearsal of 5 Top Ballet Companies. You will learn a lot of all the insights.

The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet will partner for the fourth year in a row to celebrate classical dance and provide viewers around the world with an exclusive look behind the scenes at what life is like at the world’s top ballet companies.