Contact Us

Sandra: s.aberkalns@gmail.com

Leslie: leslie.rotman@gmail.com

About Us

Sandra Aberkalns

I first learned that one could write movement in a tangible medium when I was a student at Rosella Hightower's Centre de Danse in Cannes, France. Benesh was the first dance notation language I learned, and while Benesh notation examples were included in letters home it would only be many years later that I would seriously consider pursuing a career as a notator.

As a Benesh student, in London, I had the privilege of working with Millicent Hodson as she was setting excerpts of Le Sacre de Printemps, and later, for my certifying Benesh score, notating Great Galloping Gottschalk with Lynne Taylor-Corbett at American Ballet Theatre.

Upon my return to the U.S. I began studying Labanotation at the Dance Notation Bureau, becoming a certified Professional Labanotator, Stager, and Teacher of Labanotation in 1986. My professional career, as a Labanotator, began with the Paul Taylor Dance Company as their Resident Notator from 1987-1993. Over the years, I have documented 40+ works by such notable choreographers as William Forsythe, Martha Graham, Trisha Brown, and Jerome Robbins, among others. In 2004, I completed the manuscript for All Fours with choreography by Mark Morris, which was then staged from the score at The Ohio State University in 2006. Between 2012-2016 I notated an additional four works by Mr. Morris as he created them for the Mark Morris Dance Group as well as Gloria when it was staged at Barnard College.

I have also staged works at world-class companies and educational institutions such as the Ballet de L'Opera de Paris, White Oak Dance Project, Teatro alla Scala, Paris Conservatory, Joffrey Ballet School/New School University, and American Dance Festival (ADF).

My writing has appeared in Dance Teacher and Dance Magazine. Additionally, I was a presenter at the Dancing in the Millennium International Conference in Washington, D.C., and I have professional presentations published in the Congress on Research and Dance and International Council of Kinetography Laban (ICKL) conference proceedings.

Professional outreach is important to me and I served on the Dancers Responding to AIDS Artistic Advisory Committee, 1996-1999. I am also an ICKL Fellow since 2013.

From Fall 2016 until Spring 2019 I was an Archive Project Associate/Dance Notator with the Mark Morris Dance Group.

Leslie Rotman

I was a Staff Notator and Director of Stagings at the Dance Notation Bureau (DNB) in New York City for 24 years. I completed 23 original scores, among them works by George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Martha Graham, Gerald Arpino, Peter Anastos, Laura Dean, Murray Louis, Sophie Maslow, Helen Tamiris and Isadora Duncan. Many of my scores have had successful stagings. What's Remembered ?, by Rachel Lampert was one that had multiple successes; at both The Ohio State University and University of Iowa.

Some of my directing credits include Murray Louis's Stravinsky Montage for Hamburg Ballet, Laura Dean's Fire for Frankfurt Ballet, Antony Tudor's Offenbach in the Underworld for Kansas City Ballet, Rose Ballet of Tokyo and American Ballet Theatre. I also staged and/or coached productions of works by Charles Weidman, Doris Humphrey, Yvonne Rainer, and Helen Tamiris for universities and smaller dance companies.

My B.A. in Dance is from Adelphi University and my M.F.A. in Dance is from Sarah Lawrence College where I was the first candidate to receive the degree with an Emphasis in Notation. I am a Certified Professional Notator, Certified Teacher of Labanotation and a Fellow of the International Council of Kinetography Laban.

As the DNB Director of Stagings I worked with choreographers and their estates, dance companies, universities and students to advise, negotiate and arrange projects around the world. Additionally, I served as Co-Chair of the Artistic Advisory Committee and Director of the Antony Tudor Archive Project.  

I have taught numerous courses in Labanotation and related subjects, both at the DNB and as adjunct faculty at universities such as City College of New York, The New School and Marymount Manhattan College.

It was especially gratifying to serve on the Honorary Committee for the Antony Tudor Centennial. Promoting the use of dance notation has been a passion. To that end, I have presented papers, served as a panelist, taught master classes and been a guest speaker in the United States and abroad.