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Out-and-About with A & R

London-based visual artist Mira Loew created a mixed media installation titled Body Histories, which opened at Künstlerhaus Vienna in September, 2017 and was shown again in November 2017 at the gallery Salon Flux, London. The work was constructed around a short choreographic segment composed by the artitist and designed "to investigate interdisciplanary approaches to how we think and make our embodied narratives, personal histories and collective memories."

Leslie collaborated closely with the artist via Skype and Vimeo to create the notation score which was incorporated artistically and with poetic license into the composition. The resulting combination of video, Labanotation and still photography made a striking visual display with engaging intellectual appeal.  

In April, 2018 the University of Arizona Graduate College Dissertation Committee certified Dr. Kyle Maxwell-Doherty's thesis Linga Franca: The Use of  Labanotation in the Gestural-Based Compositions of Wayne Siegel, Mark Applebaum, and Casey Cangelosi.

Sandra was proud to serve as Kyle's outside [Labanotation] evaluator. In his research it was demonstrated that Labanotation can unify the wide variety of schemes and notation systems employed by composers to document their gestural-based compositions under a universal umbrella.

In March, 2018 Leslie created a Labanotation score for a Traditional Chinese Dance.

Commissioned by Su-Qin Zhang and shared via video, the intriguing ritual combines simple step patterns and directional changes with interesting prop work.

In rehearsal for The Pursued with Catherine Cabeen, Leslie Rotman, and Matthew Henley

We are Pleased to Announce a New Labanotation Score  

The Pursued, 1947

Choreography by Joseph Gifford (1920-2017)

Notation Score Commissioned by University of Washington

Notation by Leslie Rotman, 2018

The Pursued was choreographed by Joseph Gifford in 1947 in response to his profound reaction to Pablo Picasso's masterpiece, Guernica. The painting is Picasso's interpretation of the horrific events perpetrated by fascist forces on the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. It depicts the tragedies of war and the suffering war inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. Its abstraction makes it universal and timeless. Guernica has gained a monumental status, becoming a perpetual reminder of the specific suffering of the Basques as well as a general anti-war symbol, and an embodiment of peace. On completion, the painting was displayed around the world in a brief tour, becoming famous and widely acclaimed, helping to bring the Spanish Civil War to the world's attention.

Gifford was a member of the Humphrey/Weidman Company when he initially choreographed the duet, now called The Flight, for himself and Mary Anthony his longtime dance partner.  When Humphrey urged him to expand the work he added the two solos, creating the current 8 minute three-section version. The dance is a showcase for strong dramatic performers who have the stamina to sustain physical and emotional intensity for the entire piece. Like Picasso's work, it remains universally relatable and tragically relevant through its abstract yet personal rendering of destruction, loss and trauma.

In 2008 The Pursued was staged by Gifford for University of Washington's Chamber Dance Company, under the direction of Hannah Wiley. The cast members were Catherine Cabeen and Matthew Henley who revived the work for the 2018 notated version. Wiley, a notation enthusiast, was committed to preserving the dance in Labanotation, making it an important component of the revival. She succeeded in funding it through the generosity of Lois Rathvon. The score is a faithful and thorough record of the production that Gifford himself declared “his favorite.”  The notation is accompanied by copious supplementary materials, including a well-done documentary of the 2008 staging complete with interviews of Joseph Gifford, Catherine Cabeen and Matthew Henley.  For more information contact Leslie Rotman