The professional body for Benesh choreologists
Find out more about our tools for choreologists - the Benesh Encyclopedia, the Benesh Notation Editor and other resources.
The Benesh Encyclopedia
Like any language, Benesh Movement Notation is continually evolving but it is essential that it remains universally understood by all who use it. The Encyclopedia of Benesh Movement Notation is a comprehensive reference resource of the signs and usage of the notation system in the dance and clinical contexts.
Notator members of the Royal Academy of Dance are eligible to access the Encyclopedia as a benefit of membership. To be eligible to become a notator member of the RAD you need to have been awarded one of the following, its equivalent or higher:
- Elementary Solo (Reading) in Benesh Movement Notation
- Module BMN1 on the CBMN programme
- Score Reading for Dancers Part 2
- Certificat de 1ère année awarded by the Conservatoire de Paris.
If you are a notator member of the RAD, and have not yet received your registration and log in details, please email email@example.com giving details of your Benesh qualification and your RAD membership number.
The Benesh Notation Editor
The Benesh Notation Editor (BNE) is a PC Windows software program for writing BMN scores.
It acts as a ‘word processor’ for the notation enabling the production of quality multi-stave printed scores that can be edited, copied, stored digitally, printed and transmitted by e-mail just like any other file.
It was developed to meet the needs of professional notators, but it is also useful for notation teachers and students, all of whom will find that they can produce quality scores more easily and quickly than writing them by hand.
Our score catalogue, compiled and edited by Tania Inman, provides an international listing of Benesh Movement Notation scores of professional dance works recorded 1955 - 1998.
Of the 1,750 BMN dance scores in the repertoire, more than 250 are available for education, research, teaching dances from the repertoire and as a tool for the analysis of movement, rhythm, phrasing and the structure of dance works.
The RAD’s Phillip Richardson Library houses a unique collection of over 500 Benesh scores including recordings of great choreographic works such as:
- Ashton’s La Fille mal Gardée
- Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker
- MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, and
- Hans Van Manen’s Five Tangos.
The collection also encompasses a number of scores which explore the use of BMN as a tool for anthropological and clinical research, such as Julia McGuiness’s Application of Benesh Movement Notation to Cerebral Palsy Research and Andrée Grau’s study of Ugandan dances.
Information about individual scores can be found online in the Library Catalogue. Select the Expert Search option and search in BMN scores.
This 32 page PDF lists the scores in the Benesh Score Catalogue.
- Benesh Movement Notation for Ballet (text book) by Monica Parker
- Benesh Editor Software (Lite Version)
- Benesh Editor Software (Professional Version)
- Benesh for Ballet (ibooks) by Rhonda Ryman-Kane and Robyn Hughes Ryman
- Motion Bank - a Notation Response by Victoria Watts
- Copyright notices - revised code of practice 2005
- Introducing the Benesh Notation Editor
- Kenneth MacMillan and BMN - Revealing MacMillan (conference 2002)
- N Dromgoole QEII citation for Joan and Rudolf Benesh
Sites on Benesh Movement Notation, and links to the dance companies who support our work:
- Centre Benesh (France)
- Open Benesh
- Notation.free.fr (in French) Wikipedia on Benesh Movement Notation
We are grateful to the following companies who support our work through the Benesh Institute's 'Licence to Use' scheme:
- Bayerisches Staatsballett
- Birmingham Royal Ballet
- English National Ballet
- Hamburg Ballett
- Het National Ballet
- The Royal Ballet
- Scottish Ballet
- Stuttgart Ballet
- Northern Ballet
The following are some of the dance companies that have used Benesh notators to record or stage ballets in their repertoire:
- American Ballet Theatre
- Australian Ballet
- New York City Ballet
- Rambert Dance Company
- San Francisco Ballet
- Siobhan Davies Dance Company
- Royal Swedish Ballet Company
Photo: Maria-Helena Buckley