GRAPHICAL dance notation SYSTEM

  • Dance Graphical Notation System

    Theodor Vasilescu

             Theodor Vasilescu’s “Graphical Dance Notation System” © 1969 offers full possibilities to express the movement in the finest details and it is also very effective by its possibility to synthesize the details in simple and comprehensive graphical expressions.
    Since ancient times the dance was customary in the life of civilizations and it is certain that in modern society it finds itself a place more and more sought after.
    Its presence not only as a performance but also as a means of education, strengthening and physical training by practicing in recreational groups or as a "hobby", has led to the diversification of forms and programs.
    Under such conditions, the dance memorization and transmission can no longer be done by traditional methods. The video recording of the movement does this service in the most proper way, but the graphical notation cannot be substituted in teaching the dance, in conceiving and reproducing the choreographies, in the dance study and analysis.
    The “graphical dance notation system” proved its efficiency by the fact that it became the working tool for many researchers who were studying traditional dance and who published numerous collections of choreographic folklore from various areas of Romania. Being known and used in other countries as well, this dance notation system has mostly contributed to the establishment of the documentary and study basis for the specialists in the dance field: choreographers, teachers, pedagogues, instructors, etc.

    Click hereto download the complete Dance Graphical Notation System.


Principles of Dance Notation and Conventional Basic Signs

In the writing, all is looked at forward from the place where the performer is.

Right leg (step with the right leg)
Left leg (step with the left leg)
Body and its orientation
Arms and their orientation

The limbs are divided in three parts, in accordance with their articulations.

The signs for the bend of the joints of the knee, of the elbow and the fingers. These signs may be used also to indicate some movements of closing (contractions) for other fragments of the body (eyes, forhead, etc.).

Slightly bent (semi-flexion)
Bent 90°
Completely bent

At the moves of the members from the joint of the shoulder (scapulo-humerale) and of the hip (coxo-femurale) is used the indication of the amplitude of the movement in degrees: 15°, 29°, 45°, 90°, 120°, etc. the same principle is used at the movement of the inferior jaw, of the segment three of the feet and the hands (foot and palm).

Arms are in a normal position, by the body
Right arm raised forward 90°, elbow slightly bent
Semi-flexion of both legs (small plie)
Right leg lifted forward 90°, knee completely bent