ICKL Newsletter #10

Dear reader reader,

Here is some news from ICKL:
Part of the ICKL Board of Trustees and of the Research Panel changed in January 2020.  You can see who are the Officers, Trustees and Research Panel Members on duty for the next 2 years on our website: http://ickl.org/ickl/organization/
We released in February our yearly call for Membership. Should you want to become a member of ICKL, please go to: http://ickl.org/membership/join-ickl/
An editorial Committee is currently working on the Proceedings of the 2019 conference in Mexico. We aim to release the Proceedings by the end of this year.

The next European conference will be held in Budapest by the end of July 2021. Further details will be given when available. As usual, a call for technical papers and non technical papers will be issued before the Summer.

Technical Twister !


The approach of time in Kinetography Laban.

Tempo, rhythm, phrase, measure, ad libitum, interactions.

February 13 and 14, 2020 - Centre national de la danse, Pantin (France)

During this seminar, combining theory and practice, more than twenty people (specialists in Laban notation, academics and artists) gathered around the theme of time. Reading score extracts or comparing analyses and writing of specific examples also enriched the discussions. The questions relating to measured time and unmeasured or more flexible time, to dance-music or dancer-dancer relationships, to the visualization of time in notation were notably addressed.
This seminar was coordinated by Vincent Lenfant, graduate of the second cycle of Kinetography Laban, Conservatoire de Paris, and Marion Bastien, CND.
Nearly thirty papers have been published by ICKL on these issues. A selective bibliography, prepared by Vincent Lenfant, is available on the ICKL Facebook page.

Stagings & Creations


Trio A

In December 2019, Prof. Julie Brodie staged Yvonne Rainer’s Trio A from the Labanotation score by Melanie Clarke and Joukje Kolff at Kenyon College. She set the work on three dancers: herself, Balinda Craig-Quijada and Kora Radella. The staging from score was checked by Elliot Mercer and Sara Wookey, two “transmitters,” or coaches, entrusted with maintaining the quality of the piece. Rainer requires the use of approved transmitters for any staging of the dance.  Mercer is also a notation specialist and he and Brodie were interested in comparing the process and product of staging from score and staging from embodied memory.

Les Noces

Dominique Brun, a choreographer trained in notation, is restaging/recreating a version of Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Noces, based on various sources and researches. One of her sources is the Labanotation score done by the late ICKL Fellow Tom Brown, which he transmitted to Mrs. Brun before passing away. Among the dancers of the cast, 7 are “notation-literate”. Les Noces will be presented September 26-27, 2020 at Philharmonie de Paris (France) with orchestra Les Siècles and the choir Aedes, directed by François-Xavier Roth.


Jean-Christophe Boclé, another choreographer trained in notation, is preparing his newest creation, D&PLI, to be presented in  Mâcon (France), April 15, 2020. Labanotation is used as a support for creation, and Boclé hired ICKL member Vincent Lenfant as notator and assistant.

Workshops & Courses


DNB Summer Course

Children’s Motif Notation Course Phase II at Shanghai Normal University: Mei-Chen Lu taught two Motif Notation courses at Shanghai Normal University, June 26-July 11, 2019, and an Elementary Labanotation course in Nanjing, July 21-27, 2019. This is a continuous course that began the Summer of 2018 with three phases, rounding up a full year dance curriculum and is designed specifically for children. In the Summer of 2020, the DNB will return to SNU and offer the Motif Notation Course to Sophomores and Junior students, with Ms. Lu again as their instructor. 

Intermediate Labanotation Course, Beijing China, July, 2019: Valarie Williams, certified notator and a professor at The Ohio State University, taught this course with Mei-Chen Lu, Director of Library Services, as translator in Beijing, China.  It was a six-day intensive course with many reading examples from Chinese folk dance, especially Tibetan Dances. Participants were excited to experience their country’s enriched cultural dances through reading from scores.   

Elementary Labanotation Course, in Nanjing China, July, 2019:  The participants included dance professors, college students, and two Virtual Reality (VR) programmers.  Though the two VR designers could not dance well, their notation writing was superb and logical. Four out of twelve students have passed the DNB Elementary Labanotation Certification so far.

DNB is happy to announce that Hannah Russ, Ma Yu, Wang Miao, and Liu Lan have received their DNB Elementary Teacher Certification from the 2017 Teacher Certification Course.

Language of Dance (LOD)

On the occasion of their charity’s 50th anniversary and with the generous support of the Garfield Weston Foundation, LOD is able to offer 50 teachers across the UK the opportunity to train free of charge to deliver the Level 1 Award to their students.
Details and registration: https://www.lodc.org/courses/teach

LOD is also continuing the free introduction workshops in London. These workshops are especially useful for teachers/community dance artists who are looking to join the funded teacher training program and deliver the accredited Level 1 Award in Language of Dance Movement Exploration.
Details and registration: https://www.lodc.org/courses/free

Initiation Sessions in Paris

Half-day sessions of introduction to notation are offered monthly in Paris, from January to June 2020, by association Envol des signes-ANNM.

Lectures & Workshops in Brittany

Béatrice Aubert-Riffard gave a two day training session for "Musique et danse en Finistère", on the basics of Kinetography Laban for dance teachers November 7-8, 2019. She also gave a lecture/workshop at the Dance and Music Conservatory of Brest (France) on February 13, 2020. In April 2020 she will present a lecture on Kinetography, and will give a two-day workshop for the students at Dance and Music Conservatory of St Brieuc (France), on behalf of association Envol des signes-ANNM (see above).



Fan Dance

The emblematic 1978 piece by Andy de Groat, who died in January 2019, has been presented since its creation in many countries, by professional dancers as well as by many groups of amateur dancers. The Kinetography Laban transcription was produced by Raphaël Cottin, Fellow of ICKL. The bilingual score was published on the occasion of Cottin’s piece Chemins provisoires [Temporary Paths], created in 2019 in tribute to Fan Dance.
Information and order form: http://www.lapoetiquedessignes.com/?page_id=1286

Charleston Ballet

The Charleston Ballet - Jerome Robbins by Ann Hutchinson Guest was published in September 2019. It includes the Labanotation for The Charleston Ballet from the Broadway show Billion Dollar Baby, choreography by Jerome Robbins and notation by Ann Hutchinson Guest. Also included are the story of the show, background information, short biographies of Robbins and Morton Gould, the composer, as well as photos; of Robbins rehearsing and key moments from the ballet itself. In this 7 minute gem from 1945, Robbins captured the spirit of the Roaring Twenties, the era of gangsters, flappers, boot-leggers and speakeasies (illegal clubs which arose due to the government prohibition of liquor.)
Information and online order: https://www.dancebooks.co.uk/the-charleston-ballet-jerome-robbins-p-420.html

Kiss Me Kate

The Labanotation score of the dances from the Broadway musical Kiss Me Kate, which Ann Hutchinson Guest notated in 1951, was the first score to be accepted by the Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. under the revised regulations. The score was transcribed into LabanWriter by Mira Kim at the Dance Notation Bureau. The producers are keen to have a copy of the original 1950 production in the archives including the dance score. Dr. Guest reviewed the transcription and it is getting a further check by Sandra Aberkalns prior to being delivered to the archives.



Journal of Movement Arts Literacy

JMAL is calling for papers for their special issue focusing on the practices of using notation to generate creativity and to create dances. The deadline is August 1, 2020.
Detailed information: https://libjournal.uncg.edu/index.php/jmal

Advanced Labanotation Book Ten

The last book in the Advanced Labanotation Series, Spatial Variations, No. 9 by Ann Hutchinson Guest, explored the use of subtle spatial variations in movement not previously covered in the textbooks.  Book 10, to be completed within the next 2 years, will focus on concepts not yet presented about subtle body movements. The project currently continues with organization of the materials by Raymundo Ruiz González. János Fügedi, Sandra Aberkalns, Lynne Weber and Leslie Rotman are readers.

Stepanov Notation

Only two books have ever been published about the system of notation developed by the Russian dancer and teacher Vladimir Stepanov:  Stepanov's own Alphabet des Mouvements du Corps Humain and the more detailed Two Essays on Stepanov Dance Notation by Stepanov's friend Alexander Gorsky. Both have long been out of print. The Noverre Press reprinted them and they are both now available, in English translations.

Other News & Upcoming Events


Ohio State Dance and BalletMet2 Collaborative 2019-2020

A collaborative project by Valarie Williams, Mara Frazier, Nena Couch and Ambre Emory-Maier utilizes dance to ignite discussion about mental health issues using two 20th Century choreographic masterworks: The ballet, The Four Temperaments by George Balanchine and the modern dance, Rooms by Anna Sokolow. DaNCe2U #mentalhealth extracts excerpts from these masterpieces of the dance canon in order to foster discussion about mental health and its stigma. The stagings take place on January 31, February 7 and April 26 at Ohio State.

Study Day “Notation & Transmission”

Anaïs Loyer, PhD student and notator, organized an academic study day at Université Côte d’Azur (Nice, France) on February 3, 2020 about “Notation & Transmission”.


Sally Archbutt, Fellow of ICKL, passed away on May 13, 2019. She trained in Physical Education, Ballet, and Laban based Modern dance (with Goodrich, Leeder, Laban, Ullmann, Loman, Züllig, amongst others), and in notation with Valerie Preston-Dunlop and Albrecht Knust. She was principal dancer, co-director and notator for Hettie Loman’s Dance Companies (1953-90); principal Lecturer in dance, Nonington College, UK (1958-79); co-director of Contemporary Dance Theatre Centre, London (1955-58) and of Centre for Dance & Related Arts, Croydon (1981-88). A Member of ICKL since 1969, she held the position of Secretary (1975-79), and was a Research Panel member on several instances since 1987.

Iconography from top:
· source: Julie Brodie, Balinda Craig-Quijada and Kora Radella in Rainer's Trio A, December 2019. Photographer  Ella Musher-Eizenman.
· source: Motif Notation Class at Shanghai Normal University, Summer 2019.
· source: Front cover of the published score of De Groat's Fan Dance, La Poétique des signes.
· source: Journal of Movement Arts Literacy.
· source: #mentalhealthDaNCe2U in Sokolow's Rooms. Photographer Christopher Summers.

Sungu Okan is the ICKL newsletter Editor, with contributions from Marion Bastien ICKL Secretary, and for the Technical Twister, Raphaël Cottin, Chair of the Research Panel. Thanks to Leslie Rotman.

In order for us to prepare ICKL Newsletter #11 (June 2020), we kindly ask you to send your news before May 10, 2020 to newsletter@ickl.org.
You are welcome to send us news that could be of interest for the Laban community such as announcements of courses, workshops, lectures, restagings, new scores or scores in progress. If you have an illustration to provide, it will be most welcome.

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