Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation - Overview

Overview

Eshkol-Wachman movement notation is a system to record movement on paper or computer screen, developed by choreographer Noa Eshkol (daughter of Levi Eshkol) and architect Abraham Wachman. It was originally developed for dance to enable choreographers to write a dance down on paper that dancers could later reconstruct in its entirety, much as composers write a musical score that musicians can later play.

In comparison to most dance notation systems, Eshkol-Wachman movement notation was intended to notate any manner of movement, not only dance. As such, it is not limited to particular dance styles or even to the human form. It has been used to analyze animal behaviour as well as dance (Golani 1976).

Eshkol-Wachman movement notation treats the body as a sort of stick figure. The body is divided at its skeletal joints, and each pair of joints defines a line segment (a "limb"). For example, the foot is a limb bounded by the ankle and the end of the toe.

The relationship of those segments in three dimensional space using a spherical coordinate system. If one end of a line segment is held in a fixed position, that point is the center of a sphere whose radius is the length of the line segment. Positions of the free end of the segment can be defined by two coordinate values on the surface of that sphere, analogous to latitude and longitude on a globe.

Limb positions are written somewhat like fractions, with the vertical number written over the horizontal number. The horizontal component (the lower) is read first. These two numbers are enclosed in brackets or parentheses to indicate whether the position in being described relative to an adjacent limb or to external reference points, such as a stage.

Eshkol-Wachman scores are written on grids, where each horizontal row represents the position and movement of a single limb, and each vertical column represents a unit of time. Movements are shown as transitions between initial and end coordinates.

The Movement Notation Society, located in Holon, Israel, is the official organization devoted to Eshkol-Wachman movement notation.

Read more about this topic:  Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation

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