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Benesh 101 - The Basics


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#16 grace

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Posted 15 April 2003 - 06:15 PM

to express this in another way... (mind you THIS way doesn't appeal to ME at all, but people are different...):

looking at this illustration of the PLANES of the body,

http://www.worldzone...ort/node10.html

(the text there would be valuable, if it weren't missing the crucial symbols which i have just 'taught' you.)

IN FRONT and BEHIND the body are concepts to do with the SAGITTAL PLANE (i think...).

while the CORONAL PLANE is "level" - but body thickness.

expressing it that way doesn't help ME at all...but...who knows...

#17 grace

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 02:30 AM

hmmm...no responses...i now feel i am talking to myself... :(

if anyone is 'listening':

what you do to write a position, is that you plot the extremities (feet, hands) - which, byreference to the imaginary centre-line, and the 5 lines of the stave, give you the position of each of the limbs. the body (torso) is assumed to be straight upright unless otherwise instructed.

obviously, at this stage, we can really only talk about the MOST BASIC positions.

the balletic positions of the feet, for eaxmple, are created by combining two symbols, one for each foot, and writing these below the floor line (to indicate 'flat' on the floor. the same symbol written ON the floor-line would be the same position on demi-pointe, while the same symbol written JUST ABOVE the floor-line would be the same position on full pointe).

thus 1st position, in which both feet are LEVEL and TOUCHING, is symbolised by two level symbols, joined (which gives you one long level symbol!), thus: - + - = _

2nd position is made up of two level symbols with an appropriate amount of space separating them (e.g. if you want the feet to be 1-foot length apart, you must write the two symbols 1-symbol length apart. if you want the feet, 2 foot-lengths apart, you write the symbols 2-symbol lengths apart, etc). yes - that DOES mean that when you start out writing benesh, you DO need to rule and measure the length of the symbols. after a while, your eye becomes very attuned to judging such things.

eventually we get 5th position, which is made up of one LEVEL symbol and one BEHIND symbol (to indicate which foot is behind). if the left foot is behind, the dot (the behind symbol) will be on the left of the symbol. hence we have the starting foot position in the allegro exercise at this page (below the words 'Allegro con brio'):

http://www.dtol.ndirect.co.uk/bab7.htm

you might notice that there are no hands written in there - indeed - in the whole exercise. the author/notator here took the unusual step of leaving out any arm positions, so as to leave those to the teachers imagination.


#18 su-lian

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 05:52 AM

Yes, I'm "listening"! I just thought if I kept saying I understood each time it would interfer and sound repetitive, but I do follow and read each time. You're doing a great job, and everything is very clear. Thank you very much!

#19 grace

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 06:03 AM

thank you su-lian. i just need a little bit of feedback to keep me going! :(

#20 su-lian

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 06:42 AM

You're welcome! I hope you do keep going! Thanks again.

#21 diane

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 09:42 AM

I'm "listening" too!! :)

It is fascinating, and you explain it very well.

Thanks for doing this, grace!

:(
-diane-

#22 grace

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 02:06 AM

if i were teaching in person, i would not go on, at this point, until LOTS of practice had taken place with both writing and reading lots of possible positions with STRAIGHT limbs (only).

however, that is a bit hard to arrange here, so i will go on to teach about BENDING things (i.e. elbows and/or knees).

to show that a joint is bent, you use one of the same 3 symbols you have already learnt, with a small modification.

if the joint is bent IN FRONT OF the body, you plot the joint's position with a FRONT symbol which has a little (cross-like) line through it. i can't draw you one, here, so i'll show you one later.

if the bent joint is LEVEL with the body, you use a LEVEL symbol with a little (cross-like) line through it.

if the bent joint is BEHIND the body, you plot its position with a DIAGONAL CROSS, like this: x this is a 'new' symbol to you. it is used because a 'behind' symbol (the dot) with a cross-line through it would be too easy to confuse with other symbols.

i suggest that you don't actually try to WRITE anything with bent limbs at this point. but i will point some out to you in a minute, for 'reading' purposes...


#23 grace

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 02:30 AM

BENT LIMBS

if you have a look again at this page

http://www.dtol.ndirect.co.uk/bab7.htm

you will now be able to see that, after the first 5th position at the commencement of the exercise, the same symbol appears again, two bars further along - but this time it has above it, two level symbols (just below the knee-line) which have that crossed line we just talked about, through them.

so: they represent two bent knees. you will notice that the knees have moved DOWN towards the floor (just as in real-life) and have also moved OUTWARDS, away from the body's centre-line (just as in real-life). clever, huh?

what position is the next picture creating? 2nd position on demi-pointe!

and the next?: 5th position demi-plie again, with no change of feet.

so - what does that combination of positions add up to?

an echappe releve sans change! :(


#24 su-lian

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 08:24 AM

Now it starts being really interesting! I can't wait for the next "lesson"!

#25 grace

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 08:18 AM

thanks, su-lian. :cool:

hopefully: tomorrow!

#26 su-lian

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 08:57 AM

I hope you don't fell as if (and I wouldn't like you to think) I'm pushing you though...

#27 grace

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 09:16 AM

no, no. sometimes i'm inspired with the next bit of content, and sometimes (like now at 1:15 am) i'm not sure which way to go next! ;)

#28 Guest_Peregrin Took_*

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Posted 26 April 2003 - 02:32 AM

This information is amazing Grace, I'm new to this particular room and so I just discovered your thread. So far I'm following just about everything and it's fascinating. You explain it very well :).

#29 grace

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 05:29 PM

great, peregrin - i don't think we've 'met' before, online. :) there aren't that many of us 'ozzies' making regular use of the best ballet boards.

the sun shone, here in western australia, for the whole of the anzac long weekend, so i 've been out gardening...more benesh to follow, later. :)

#30 Cliff

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 09:38 PM

Thanks for posting about this topic.

For those of us less familiar with the terminology, would there be a set of pictures or diagrams that corresponded with various examples of the notation? A computer program that could read Benesh notation and generate an animated dancer would be fun.

Jumping ahead, would a pair of dancers be represented by two parallel sets of notation?

Cliff


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