The Benesh Noticeboard
Updates on events and news relevant to the Benesh community.
Introducing… Benesh International Subscriptions
Whether you are a Benesh Choreologist or new to notation, we have something for you…
With two categories – Professional Benesh Subscriber and Benesh Subscriber – and a range of benefits including access to the Encyclopedia of Benesh Movement Notation, we’re hoping that the Benesh International Subscriptions will help to bring our global community together, and will allow us to develop the work Benesh International does and allow us to grow.
From Editors to eBooks
Rhonda Ryman-Kane and Robyn Hughes Ryman are Canadian-based choreologists who have created a series of fun, interactive ebooks to introduce dancers and theatre artists to Benesh notation and complement BI workshops, courses, and online resources.
Read more about their computer journey on the DanceWrite website.
Anna Trévien in Dance Gazette
Anna had the privilege of being included in the June 2020 edition of the RAD publication Dance Gazette, which was guest edited by visionary fashion designer Gareth Pugh. Anna, alongside RAD Artistic Director Gerard Charles and former principal dancer at Birmingham Royal Ballet Chi Cao, was part of the ‘Facing the Future’ feature.
“The journey of Benesh Movement Notation (BMN) has been enormous […] I can’t predict what will happen in the next decades, but I would love Benesh to be more a part of the ecosystem of dance, and that a wider community will use it in their daily work.”
You can order your copy of the Dance Gazette online here.
Fabien Monrose has created an excellent website, Benesh Links, which brings together various Benesh resources in one place.
Interview with Anna Trévien – People of Theatre
In September 2019, Giuliano Levato from People of Theatre released an interview with Head of Benesh International and Senior Benesh Choreologist at the Royal Ballet, Anna Trévien. This Spotlight on… Dance Notation provides a great introduction to Benesh Movement Notation, and the importance of it. As Giuliano writes, Anna provides a tantalising glimpse of what it seems to be an articulate notation system that is capable to put on paper not only the sequences of movement, but the integrity of the choreographer’s intent.
Thank you Giuliano for featuring Anna in your Spotlight on… series.
13-year-old Molly Ross recently asked Benesh International if she could study the Benesh Movement Notation for Ballet (BMN4Ballet) online distance learning course. As the youngest ever applicant, Molly’s wish was granted and she began Unit 1 under her mother’s supervision. Molly did exceptionally well, as the course was not adapted for her in any way.
Molly said, ‘Since I first saw Benesh I have have been fascinated by how it records movement, and loving ballet has made me appreciate how choreography is recorded. When one of my school teachers told me that between 10-14 is the best age to learn a language, I started thinking of learning Benesh as I regard it as a language. When I was suffering from Sever’s Disease earlier this year and couldn’t dance, I started to think of other ways to connect with ballet. That’s when learning Benesh became essential to me and I asked to be enrolled on the course for my 13th birthday!’
Pearl Cynthia Hodson (Nee Armstrong) 1924 – 2018
Pearl was born into a theatrical family in Wales on 13th May 1924. Her parents were travelling actors who performed around Great Britain, settling in London. Training at the Benesh Institute of Choreology, she was one of the first non-ballet dancers to become a Professional Choreologist. For many years she helped provide the master copies for all the Institute’s in-house and external publications in the era when everything had to be inked.
For many years she helped choreographers to record their ballets into Benesh Movement Notation. She also wrote text books for future students to learn BMN. In her 60s, Pearl retired and turned to writing poetry and became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Society.
Benesh International is indebted to the legacy she leaves us.
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Patricia Tierney on Using BMN
2017-18 has been varied season for me so far. In the autumn I was reviving David Bintley’s, Still Life at the Penguin Café, and Aladdin along with Denis Bonner for BRB. Then after our regular Nutcracker season in Birmingham, the production was re-imagined for the Royal Albert Hall, which meant that David contributed new production elements and we had additional dancers in the big numbers. It was very challenging time for the company but they did a great job.
Since the New Year, whilst the company were in the throes of Sleeping Beauty, I have had some guesting engagements; in Dresden for Frederick Ashton’s The Dream, Sarasota Ballet for Still Life at the Penguin Café and currently in Salt Lake City with Ballet West for David Bintley’s, The Shakespeare Suite. It is always so interesting to teach a ballet to a completely different company. I find I have to delve deeper to bring out the choreographic intentions, musicality and stylistic details. It can still be good fun though and such a pleasure to see the dancers bring it altogether in performance.
Patrica Tierney is the Benesh choreologist and video archivist at the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
One Day Benesh CPD Workshop in Turkey (15 January 2018)
A report from Canan Kayacik, CPD workshop leader.
The Benesh CPD workshop took place in Hotel Suadiye with 15 participants. We had a nice breakfast buffet followed by lunch and a tea time buffet, all managed by the British Council.
We followed the required CPD power point presentation which addressed the needs of the participants of how to find their way around the scores. We used the timing nicely and had time to go over additional material.
By the end, most attendees were able to read the scores on their own. I was so proud of them! They had learned a lot and left very happy. Some expressed interest in the BMN for Ballet program. I very much enjoyed delivering this course.
A recent article about dance notation in Dance Journal HK, by BMN4Ballet tutor, Iris Tang.
Watch our livestream clip of recent the recent Faculty of Education lecture looking at the life of Benesh Choreologist, Amanda Eyles.