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The Benesh Institute & Benesh Movement Notation

The Benesh Institute & Benesh Movement Notation
The Benesh Institute is the international centre for Benesh Movement Notation (BMN). Since 1997 it has been incorporated within the RAD. It aims to help the dance profession preserve its heritage and to protect choreographic copyright.

Devised by Rudolf and Joan Benesh, and first published in 1956, BMN is a written system for recording human movement. It is most widely used in the recording and restaging of dance works.

Over 1,750 BMN scores have been written and are used in research, teaching dances from the repertoire and for analysing movement. The set exercises and dances in the RAD syllabi are published in BMN as this enables teachers to study the work in a common language and in more detail than is possible from word notes or videos alone.

Practical applications

BMN is used by:

  • choreographers to protect their copyright and as a reference for work-in-progress
  • dancers to learn their roles directly or through a notator
  • dance students to improve movement vocabulary and observation skills
  • dance teachers to read dances from the repertoire, plan classes, record choreography and study exercises in the RAD’s examination syllabi
  • dance scholars for academic research
  • dance stagers who teach from a ‘text’ designed in a succinct and analysed form
  • dance notators (also known as Benesh Choreologists) within dance companies
  • The RAD to communicate with our multi-lingual members
  • dance companies to record and maintain repertoire works
  • opera and musical industry to record choreography for rehearsals and re-staging
  • film and TV industry to plan and record movement content
  • anthropologists as an analytical tool, and
  • clinicians and physiotherapists to analyse patients’ movement, gait and posture.