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Benesh International: Benesh Movement Notation

Benesh International: Benesh Movement Notation
Benesh International is the home of Benesh Movement Notation (BMN). Formerly the Benesh Institute, since 1997 it has been incorporated within the RAD.

We support the dance profession by preserving choreographic copyright, training the next generation of choreologists, and supporting the Benesh Movement Notation community.

BMN

Devised by Rudolf and Joan Benesh, and first published in 1956, BMN is a written system for recording human movement. It is most widely used in the recording and restaging of dance works.

Over 1,750 BMN scores have been written and are used in research, teaching dances from the repertoire and for analysing movement. The set exercises and dances in the RAD syllabi are published in BMN as this enables teachers to study the work in a common language and in more detail than is possible from word notes or videos alone.

This picture (right) shows an example of how movement is recorded in Benesh Movement Notation.

The document below has a more comprehensive explanation.

Practical applications

BMN is used by:

  • choreographers to protect their copyright and as a reference for work-in-progress
  • dancers to learn their roles directly or through a notator
  • dance students to improve movement vocabulary and observation skills
  • dance teachers to read dances from the repertoire, plan classes, record choreography and study exercises in the RAD’s examination syllabi
  • dance scholars for academic research
  • dance stagers who teach from a ‘text’ designed in a succinct and analysed form
  • dance notators (also known as Benesh Choreologists) within dance companies
  • the RAD to communicate with our multi-lingual members
  • dance companies to record and maintain repertoire works
  • opera andmusical industry to record choreography for rehearsals and re-staging
  • film and TV industry to plan and record movement content
  • anthropologists as an analytical tool, and
  • clinicians and physiotherapists to analyse patients’ movement, gait and posture.

History

Now incorporated with the RAD, The Benesh Institute was founded in 1962 with Rudolf Benesh as director, Sir Frederick Ashton as president, Arnold Haskell as vice-president and Nicholas Dromgoole as chairman of the board of governors.

Pictured (left to right) are Georgette Tsinguirides with Rudolf and Joan Benesh. 

For more information about our history and for a detailed chronology of events and milestones, download the documents below:

Who's who at Benesh International

The president, director, patrons and technical advisory panel:

  • President: Christopher Wheeldon OBE
  • Head of Benesh: Anna Trevien
  • Benesh Operations Manager: Lui Sit
  • PABMN Programme Leader and Tutor: Kendra Johnson
  • PGDBMN Programme Leader and Tutor: Diana Curry

Benesh Technical Advisory Panel

  • Liz Cunliffe
  • Diana Curry
  • Amanda Eyles
  • Robyn Hughes Ryman 
  • Anders Ivarson
  • Kendra Johnson
  • Eliane Mirzabekiantz
  • Gregory Mislin
  • Rhonda Ryman 
  • Adrian Grater (consultant)
  • Violet Ashford (consultant: clinical)