Sunday, January 22, 2017

An Interview with Peggy Hackney, Dec. 23, 2015

Submitted by Charlotte Wile - January 22, 2017

On December 23, 2015 we were delighted to have Peggy Hackney visit us at the DNB to share her thoughts about the history and development of our Laban communities and notation systems.   The videos below document part of that discussion.

As a supplement to Peggy's comments about Shape, we thought readers would be interested in her papers "Shape: What's Shaping Up?" and "Eye-blink." 

For a facsimile of the papers, GO HERE.

(The facsimile was taken from "Symbols of our Community .....Moving Forward with Motif: Proceedings of the Inaugural Motif Symposium, August 2-4, 2002") 

Addendum from Charlotte Wile, Jan. 24, 2017: When I originally published this posting, the Weight Sensing indications for Videos 2 and 3 were drawn incorrectly, with the "released" signs upside down,  The symbols in the posting have been rewritten, and are now correct.

Interview Participants:


TOPICS: The history of Shape concepts and indications. 
  • Minute 0:00 - Shape indications.
  • Minute 4:30 - The difference between the "original" Shape system and Peggy's revised system.
  • Minute 11:00 - The role of application and context in the development and use of indications.
  • Minute 13:21 - Warren Lamb's Shape indications.



TOPICS: Shape, Effort, Dynamics.
  • Minute 0:00 - More about Peggy's system for indicating Shape.
  • Minute 2:07 - "Indirect Effort" and "Direct Effort."
  • Minute 5:23 - Weight Effort variables (e.g., Passive Weight, Weight Sensing).
  • Minute 8:00 - Ann Guest's concept of Dynamics.
  • Minute 8:40 - The terms "Strong," "Light," "Weak," and "Heavy."
  • Minute 9:24 - More about Weight Effort  (active vs. passive).
  • Minute 10:24 - Weight Sensing.
  • Minute 12:20 - History of the expanded view of Weight Effort (e.g., active vs. passive Weight, weight sensing, etc.)



TOPICS: Effort, Still Forms, Shape, Yield/Push & Reach/Pull, Laban training.
  • Minute 0:00 - More about the history of Weight Effort.
  • Minute 4:12 - Indications for  Pin, Wall, Ball, Screw.
  • Minute 5:06 - "Pathway of Shape" as a way of indicating the duration of a Shape indication.
  • Minute 5:30 - The Development of the indication for Carving.
  • Minute 7:11 - The need for Yield/Push & Reach/Pull indications.
  • Minute 7:54 - The expertise needed for developing symbols.
  • Minute 9:45 - Laban training produces "renaissance people."


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Folk Dance Collections

Submitted by Mei-Chen Lu and Charlotte Wile - January 10, 2017, updated on May 22, 2017

The materials below consist of published notation scores and compiled individual dance scores by the DNB from various sources.  There are European and Israeli folk dances.  Some are accompanied by music scores; some teach basic notation knowledge.  All the material is useful for educational and research purposes.  

10 Folk Dances in Labanotation, by Lucy Venable and Fred Berk.

              For recordings of music in the book, performed by Marcus Machado,  Go Here.

  • Introduction
  • Lesson 1 - The staff, Directions, Levels, Rhythms, Pins and Repeat Sing
  • Cherkessia- Israeli Dance
  • Lesson 2 - Jumps, Hops, Leap
  • Schottische Step
  • Lesson 3- Turns (On the Ground and In the Air)
  • Sarajevka Kolo - Yugoslav Dance from Serbia
  • Lesson 4 - Circular Paths, Hold Signs & Accents
  • Seven Step (Siebenschritt) - Austrian Couple Dance
  • Lesson 5 - Leg gestures, Touches
  • Korobushka - Russian Couple Dance 
  • Lesson 6 - Waltz and Polka Turns and More Repeat Signs
  • Masquerade - Danish Social Dance
  • Road to the Isles - Scottish Dance
  • Greek Dance
  • Norwegian Polka
  • Debka - Israeli Line Dance Based on Arabic Steps
  • You Can Write a Dance in Labanotation
  • Piano Accompaniment
  • Glossary of Symbols

Dances from Israel, by Lucy Venable and Fred Berk.


Circle Dances
  • Mamtera (Sprinkler)
  • At Va'ani (You and Me)
  • Likrat Shabat (Welcome of the Sabbath)
  • Al Tira (Dance of Strength)
Couple Dances
  • Roe Veo'a (Shepherd and Shepherdess)
  • Al Tiruni (Do Not Scorn Me)
  • Hanokdim (Shearers)
Line Dances
  • Kol Dodi (The Voice of My Beloved)
  • Horat Hasor (Tenth Anniversary Hora)
  • Debra Rafiach

Folk Collection No. 1 (Greek), notated by Alice Lattimore.

  • Gerakina
  • Madedonian Dances
  • Menouses
  • Teamikoe
  • Hassapiko

Folk Collection No. 2, notated by Alice Lattimore, Joan Gainer, and Celia Rudin et al.


  • Bavno Oro
  • Ritka Buza
  • Hanodeid - Israeli Circle Dance
  • Korobushka - A Russian Folk Dance
  • Nenesko Kolo 
  • Hora Aggadati
  • Tanko Bushi
  • Mayim

Folk Collection No. 3 (British-American), notated by Muriel Topaz, Mireille Backer, and Alice Lattimore.


  • Highland Fling
  • Hull's Victory (American Contra)
  • Old Mother Oxford (Morris Jig from Headington, England)
  • A Trip to Paris (18th Century Country Dance)
  • Black Nag (English Country Dance)

Folk Dance Collection, notated by Alice Lattimore, Celia Rudin,  et al.

(Some of these dances are also in a publication above.)

  • Bavno Oro (Yugoslav folk dance from Macedonia)
  • Nebesko Kolo (Yugoslavia)
  • Korobushka (Russia)
  • Ritka Buza (Hungary)
  • Hanodeid (Israel)
  • Hora Aggadati (Israel)
  • Tanko Bushi - Coal Miner's Dance (Japan)
  • Mayim (Israel)
  • Black Nag (English Country Dance)
  • Highland Fling
  • Hull's Victory (American Contra)
  • Old Mother Oxford (Morris Jig from Headington, England)
  • A Trip to Paris (18th Century Country Dance)
  • Gerakina (Greek Folk Dance from Macedonia)
  • Macedonian Dances (Greece)
  • Menouses (Greek Folk Dance from Epirus)
  • Teamikoe (Greece)
  • Hassapiko (Greece)

Database of Hungarian Traditional Dances, created by János Fügedi

An online database of Hundreds of Hungarian Folk Dances documented in movie clips and Labanotation.  This is an external link to a website.