Saturday, November 2, 2013

Black Symbols on a White Page Versus Colorful Moving Images

Submitted by Ray Cook - November 2, 2013

An edited version of Ray Cook, "Black Symbols on a White Page," originally published in Brolga 18 (June 1, 2003) can be found here.

This article is not written for the choir but it is hoped that they will read it and add more examples. It is written for non-believers in the value of the written score as a means of preserving choreography, a readable history of our dance heritage. With iron clad certainty I know that in one thousand years from now it is the dance score that will be used to restage a dance. Of course colorful moving images will be used as a secondary source, but, as they are viewed, historians, restagers, and company directors will be amazed at how the dance has changed from generation to generation. How could it be? I hope that they would be puzzled as to which version is the correct one. The answer is in this article - read it - think on it - and see the pitfalls from relying on colorful moving images, even from one season to the next, from one company to another.