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?”

My favourite Drosselmeyers……

are without question Li Cunxin and Dominik Slavkovský.

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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.

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