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Valerie Sutton in a ballet pose, with the corresponding DanceWriting representation

DanceWriting is a form of dance notation. Developed in 1972 by Valerie Sutton, it is part of a greater body of work called MovementWriting or the International Movement-Writing Alphabet.1

DanceWriting uses figurative and abstract symbols on a five-line staff (the Western music notation staff).

DanceWriting was first developed in 1966, when Sutton was only 15, training as a professional ballet dancer. She invented a stick figure notation for her own personal use. Four years later she went to Copenhagen, Denmark to train with the Royal Danish Ballet. Over the next two years she applied her system to recording the historic ballet steps of the Royal Danish Ballet, which were in danger of being forgotten from lack of recording. The first DanceWriting textbook, Sutton Movement Shorthand, The Classical Ballet Key, Key One, was produced in December, 1973. Within a year, it became outdated as Sutton improved her system. In the fall of 1974, by special invitation, she taught her system to the members of the RDB.

See also

  • SignWriting, a system of writing sign languages also developed by Valerie Sutton


  1. ^ Center For Sutton Movement Writing, Inc.

External links

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