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[中][ENG]舞譜已經過時了嗎?Why Dance Notation?

舞跡可尋 In Search of a Dance Story 
舞譜已經過時了嗎?Why Dance Notation?

鄧曉霖(左)和朱孟青(右)Iris Tang (left) and Wendy Chu (right)

攝Photo: Wong Ching-kiu
 

表演藝術追求當下,剎那間表演者的決定,大部分時間都是有譜可依。戲劇從劇本出發、音樂有樂譜可依,惟獨舞蹈是「離譜」嗎?
 

Performing artists aspire to give their work a sense of naturalness, immediacy, and spontaneity. Nevertheless, drama has play scripts and music uses scores. What about dance, is it the only form without a written text?

 

 

舞譜紀錄編舞作品,精準而簡約地記下動作構成、動作的主要意圖,即使與原編舞素未謀面的舞蹈員也能根據舞譜將作品重現。拉班譜舞(Labanotation)和班尼斯動作譜(Benesh Movement Notation)是現時兩套較為人所識的舞譜系統,用符號、線條把舞蹈動作紀錄。拉班系統由德國現代舞開拓者和動作理論家Rudolf von Laban於1928年開始硏究和發展,而班尼斯動作譜系統建立於1950年,以芭蕾舞作基礎,由Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet的芭蕾舞員Joan Benesh 和數學家Rudolf Benesh兩夫婦所寫成。
 

Dance notation records the movements of a dance and the intentions of the choreographer precisely and completely so that reconstructions by dancers who have never met the choreographer stay true to the original. Labanotation and Benesh Movement Notation are the two most widely-used dance notation systems documenting dance movements with symbols on a staff. Labanotation was developed by the German modern dance pioneer and movement theorist, Rudolf von Laban in 1928 and Benesh Movement Notation is a ballet-based system created by Joan Benesh, a former dancer with Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, and her husband, mathematician Rudolf Benesh in 1950.

 

 

《舞蹈手札》就請來拉班譜舞者朱孟青老師(Wendy)和班尼斯動作譜舞者鄧曉霖(Iris)來一場對話。兩位分別是如何認識舞譜?Wendy老師中學時代舞蹈影片還未流行,最初想學跳舞就唯有到圖書館找有關書籍,通過自學拉班舞譜去認識現代舞,之後才正式到香港芭蕾舞學校學舞。隨後跟香港演藝學院首任舞蹈學院院長胡善佳先生學習拉班舞譜,接著在香港演藝學院教授拉班舞譜多年。而Iris於2012年畢業於香港演藝學院舞蹈學院,在學時亦曾修過Wendy老師的拉班舞譜課,及後希望嘗試其他舞譜體系,畢業後便到英國進修班尼斯動作譜系統。回港後,她以譜舞者的身份,協助演出排練。
 

dance journal/hk invited Wendy Chu, a Labanotator, and Iris Tang, a Benesh choreologist to share their experiences in dance notation. How did they learn about dance notation? Because dance videos were scarce when she was in high school, Chu searched in libraries for dance books and taught herself Labanotation so she could have a better understanding of modern dance. Later she attended the Hong Kong Academy of Ballet and studied Labanotation with Carl Wolz, the first Dean of School of Dance of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). Since graduating, she has taught Labanotation at the HKAPA. Tang was one Chu’s students. Looking for an alternative to Labanotation, she studied Benesh notation in Britain after graduating from the HKAPA in 2012. She has been assisting in rehearsing performances as a choreologist since her return to Hong Kong.

 

 

 拉班舞譜範例;來源:《初級拉班舞譜學習指引》中文譯本*
An example of Laban; Source: Elementary Labanotation*

拉班舞譜符號放在直線譜上,從下而上閱讀,中間線代表舞者身體的中間線,跟據符號放在中間線的左或右,便知到是左或右邊身體部份的動作。置在中間線上的符號標示舞步,而從中間線向外兩邊推展則代表其他身體部分,順序為足、小腿、大腿/整隻腳、腰、手臂、手指、頭,而最外則代表整個身體的路徑。符號的形狀代表動作的方向,而符號的長度表示動作的時間長短。拉班舞譜能有效並仔細記錄舞者的重心轉移(weight  transfer)和舞姿改變。
 

In Labanotation, symbols are placed on a vertical staff that is read from bottom to top. The center line of the staff represents the center line of the body and symbols placed to the right and left of the center line are for corresponding sides of the body. Where the symbol is placed on the staff tells which part of the body moves. The center line is for steps; gestures are written on the other lines. Moving out from the center line are movements for the lower leg, foot, upper/whole leg, torso, arms, hands, fingers, head, and paths respectively. The shape of a symbol shows the direction, while the length of a symbol indicates the duration of the movement. Labanotation can effectively record the dancer’s weight transfers and movement changes in detail.

 

 Iris寫的班尼斯動作譜。

Benesh notation written by Tang.

 

班尼斯動作譜是從左至右閱讀,與五線樂譜的系統相似,有音樂小節的概念,亦與音樂通用「Crescendo漸強」、「Forte強」等形容力度轉變的符號。由最底的線條至最高的線條,按序代表舞者的地面、膝、腰、肩及頭頂高度,放置在五條線上的符號描述相應的動作與身體部份的關係。班尼斯動作譜在於形容身體的姿態和身體郁動的軌跡比較具象。
 

Benesh Movement Notation, which is read from left to right, resembles the staff used for musical scores and shares the concepts of bars and symbols describing changes in dynamics, such as crescendo and forte. The lines from the bottom to the top of the staff represent the floor, knees, waist, shoulders and top of head of the dancer accordingly. Symbols placed on the lines illustrate the movements and respective body parts. Benesh is pictorial in delineating the posture of body and the trajectory of body movements.

 

重新發現舞蹈動作

Rediscovering Dances

 

Wendy老師說:「舞譜讓人Rediscover Movement」,拉班系統裡的幾個分析元素就像多面的透視鏡讓人重新看見舞蹈動作的構成,包括舞蹈員的身體在空間和時間中的變化。Iris補充說:「舞譜讓舞蹈員們間的動作關係一目了然」,舞蹈員在群舞和雙人舞中的動作關係往往被忽略,而這些細節就是排練時舞蹈員之間「硬是不合拍」的源由。
 

“Dance notation enables one to rediscover dances,” Chu says. Elements in Labanotation act like a multi-faceted lens allowing people to rediscover the constituents of dance movements, including the spatiotemporal changes of the dancer’s body. “Dance notation shows the movement relationship of dancers in crystal clarity,” Tang adds.  In duets and ensemble work, the detailed movement relationship of dancers is easily overlooked and often accounts for disagreements among dancers during rehearsals.

 

 

作為一套語言,舞譜的符號可以代替文字,超越文字的限制。譜舞者站在編舞和舞蹈員之間,要克服的是每人對動作的不同理解:「有時連編舞口中所形容的動作也非最後在舞台上所呈現的效果。」除外,作品裡的同一角色會因為由不同舞蹈員演繹而隨時間改變,即使由同一位舞蹈員演繹也難以保每個演出都一樣。Wendy老師解釋說譜舞者會盡量與編舞溝通,務求把創作的原意記錄下來。譜舞者對如何運用符號去代表動作往往要求嚴謹。
 

As a form of written language, dance notation symbols go beyond the limitations of text. As the intermediary between the choreographer and dancers, dance notators have to master comprehension of the broadest range of movement possibilities. “Sometimes the movements created by the choreographer may not be what a dancer does on the stage,” Chu explains. Performance of a role by difference dancers may change over time and even the same dancer may vary what they do from performance to performance.  Chu also points out that notators have to be continuously mindful of the choreographers intentions during rehearsals, and establish good lines of communication, so that the choreography can be accurately recorded. Dance notators must be precise in their use of symbols to represent movements.

 

舞譜和譜舞者轉換中的角色

The Role of Dance Notation

 

舞譜本身對於一個舞蹈製作的角色是甚麼?影片是現時最普及記錄舞蹈作品的方式,不論重演或搬演一個作品,不少舞蹈員都是透過模仿影片中的舞蹈,將動作重現和拼湊起來,但影片的確有它的不足之處,例如鏡頭難以把每個動作細節紀錄。不過即使有一天科技發展至能把演出仔細無遺地拍攝下來,Iris仍看到舞譜難以代替的地位:「表演藝術很受當下表演者的狀態影響,加上鏡頭所紀錄的除了是動作外,還有是表演者對作品的解讀,而非編舞的原本編排。如根據影片重演或搬演,舞蹈員就會不期然把影片中表演者對作品的解讀模仿過來,反而減少了對作品再演繹和再解讀的可能性。」
 

What is the role of dance notation in a dance production? Video is the most prevalent medium for recording dances these days; dancers imitate the movements shown in a video of the dance to reconstruct it. However, videos have limitations. For instance, it is not possible for a single camera to film every detail of a movement. Even if technological advances one day made possible exhaustive recordings of performances, dance notation would still be essential according to Tang, “To a great extent, performing arts are influenced by the state of performers in the moment. In addition to the movements, the performers’ interpretations of the dance are also filmed. If dancers re-run or adapt a work according to the videos, they may unconsciously mimic the interpretation of the dancers in the video, undermining the possibility of re-understanding and re-interpreting the choreography.”

 

 

譜舞者甚至能夠方便一個舞團的運作:「Royal Ballet就有兩位全職駐團和幾位半職的譜舞者,他們由去另一舞團教導委約搬演作品,到寫新作品的舞譜都一手包辦。舞團重演時,譜舞者亦能分擔Rehearsal Master的工作,先把動作的基本教導舞蹈員,再交由Rehearsal Master仔細調整。」
 

Furthermore, choreologists can facilitate the operation of a dance company. “In the Royal Ballet, there are two full-time and several part-time choreologists, they manage projects ranging from instructing another dance company when a piece is commissioned, to notating a new choreography. When the company re-runs a piece, choreologists can also share the duties of the rehearsal master, as they can teach dancers the basic movements before handing it over to the rehearsal master to polish the performance.”

 

 

當然一個舞團選擇用舞譜與否取決於很多外在因素,Wendy回應說近年來除了法國有比較有規模的班尼斯動作譜及拉班舞譜學校外,全球都趨向減少對舞譜的需求。寫舞譜的確是費時和花資源,加上香港的舞蹈作品重演機會少,令舞團投資舞譜的意願更少,但若以舞譜作為教育和動作分析工具,它其實是非常有價值的。Iris說班尼斯動作譜亦面對相近的困難,就算外國以往有聘請全職譜舞者的舞團,亦慢慢改為聘請「懂舞譜的」排練導師。她更坦言沒有為香港作品寫過一份完整的舞譜,但卻發掘了譜舞者作為紀錄者以外的身份:「當我進入排練室,我會思考如何協助排練和連結編舞和舞者。我一直在紀錄和觀察排練過程,便逐漸清楚編舞的習慣和風格。當舞蹈員與編舞溝通不了,我能適時介入為雙方『翻譯』,適時就在旁觀察,甚至根據我的觀察向編舞建議排練的方向,這是我在排練室工作最著迷的事情。當然,這身份是建基於編舞和舞蹈員對我的信任。」Wendy說雖然Iris沒有把作品寫成完整的舞譜,但她沒有離開舞譜的根本——澄清編舞意圖,是更合時宜的譜舞者角色。
 

Whether a dance company uses dance notation or not depends on various external factors. Chu has noted a decline in the global demand for dance notation except in France, where the major national dance academy provides Benesh and Labanotation programs. Notating dance takes substantial time and resources, moreover, the motivation to invest in dance notation is further diminished as chances of re-runs of dances are rare in Hong Kong. However, dance notation is of utmost value as a tool for education and movement analysis. According to Tang, conditions for Benesh are similar. Even dance companies outside Hong Kong that had previously hired full-time choreologists are increasingly rephrasing job descriptions for openings as “Rehearsal master who has knowledge of dance notation”. Tang has never notated a complete score for a local choreographic work, yet she has discovered another role for a choreologist, “When I enter a rehearsal room, I think about how to facilitate the rehearsal and connect the choreographer and the dancers. As I record and observe the rehearsal, I get to understand the habits and style of the choreographer. When miscommunication between the dancers and the choreographer occurs, I can step-in at an opportune time ‘translating’ for both, or even, offer the choreographer advice on the direction of the rehearsal based on my observation. This fascinates me most when I work in the studio. Certainly, this identity is established on the trust of the choreographer and the dancers.” Chu observes that even though Tang has never written a full dance notation score for a production, she has not moved away from the purpose of a choreologist—clarifying the intention of a work of choreography—and has played the role of choreologist appropriately under the current circumstances.

班尼斯動作譜(下)和拉班舞譜(上)A Benesh score (below) and a Laban score (above)
攝Photo: Wong Ching-kiu

 

舞蹈教育的工具

A Tool for Dance Education

 

離開舞蹈製作,Wendy認為拉班舞譜是舞蹈教育的重要工具:「即使學生的學習目的並非要成位一個譜舞者,過程中分析和觀察動作的訓練,例如『手要幾多拍要到哪裡,同時腳要去哪裡』都是舞蹈學生不可或缺的動作認知能力。拉班舞譜裡的動作分析元素,讓舞蹈員更了解動作的構成和身體與空間的關係,在編舞而言就訓練觀察動作的能力,再以語言清晰表達。」Iris身為作為譜舞者和舞蹈教師,亦有感舞譜訓練對自己教課幫助不少:「如果只是簡單向學生指示說『走兩步』,每個學生都會以自己所了解的『走兩步』而亂走。但如果我拆解動作的細節,學生的動作就會清楚和齊整得多了。」
 

Apart from dance productions, Chu regards Labanotation as a crucial tool in dance education: “Even without an aim of becoming a dance notator, students can still acquire indispensable skills to understand movements when they are trained to analyze and observe movements through Labanotation, such as knowing the position arms and legs at a certain beat within a continuous movement. Movement analysis in Labanotation enables dancers to have a sound grasp of what constitutes movements and the relationship between the body and space. While chorographers are coached in their ability to observe movements and to be able in the end to clearly express them in language by learning Labanotation.” Being a choreologist and a dance teacher, Tang is also convinced of the benefits of choreologist training for dance teaching. “If I simply instruct students to walk two steps, each will walk according to their own understanding of the instructions and none will do the same movement. However, if I break down the movement into its details, students will move clearly and uniformly.”

 

活著的語言

A Living Language

 

舞蹈作品裡生活化的表達、即興元素、道具等都是對譜舞者的挑戰,微小至「觸碰椅子的哪一角」的細節也要準確紀錄。至於非芭蕾舞為基礎的動作,更需要譜舞者抽絲剝繭地分析,Iris就曾經紀錄中國舞的「蘭花手」,把舞者的每一節手指的變化紀錄。雖然舞譜系統演變愈趨完善以應付新的舞種和舞台呈現形式,回到根本,兩位來至不同派系的譜舞者在整場對話中都強調一點——舞譜的目標是user friendly,若舞譜沒有人看得懂,過度分析動作、過度複雜令人難以明白,就違反舞譜本身的目的。「難道連表演者用哪一隻手指提起咪高峰也需要分析?這都是演員根據感覺的當下決定。」
 

Ordinary expressions, improvisation, and the use of props in dance can be challenges to dance notators; minor details such as “which corner of the chair is being touched” need to be accurately recorded. A non-ballet movement requires thorough analysis, comparable to drawing a thread from a cocoon. Tang has documented the ‘orchid palms’ in Chinese dance, taking note of the changes in each joint of the dancer’s fingers. Dance notation systems have been improved to cope with new genres of dances and presentations on the stage, but getting back to the requisites, the two notators from different systems both emphasize the same point—dance notation aims at being user-friendly. If no one can read the notation due to the over-analysis of movements and complexity of the score, the purpose of the notation is ignored. “Is there even a need to analyze which finger the performer used to pick up the microphone? This is a decision make by the actor based on his or her feeling at that instant on stage.”

 

 

Wendy老師提到拉班舞譜的一種應用——「主題記錄」(Motif Writing) ,不只紀錄動作的主題內容及意圖,同時也可以用作爲創作工具。「主題記錄」把動作的基本概念寫出,如行走、轉、跳、收縮或延伸等,但不會把當中的仔細端詳寫出來,就好像是低「解像度」的舞譜,演繹空間多了。
 

Chu brings up Motif Writing, a special application of Labanotation that not only records key elements and intentions of movements, but also serves as a tool for creating dances. Motif Writing enables recording of basic movements, such as walking, turning, jumping, stretching, and so forth, but does not provide a detailed account. It is like a ‘low-resolution’ dance notation allowing more room for interpretation.

 

 

舞譜就如任何語言一樣會隨時間、情境轉化,衍生出新的系統,還會以不同形式應用在舞蹈教育和創作,是觀舞、動作分析和記錄的工具。


Similar to any language, dance notation systems evolve as time and circumstances change. Dance notation can be a tool for dance appreciation, movement analysis and recording, useful for dance education, and creating dance in innumerable ways.

延伸閱讀 Further Reading

 

有關拉班舞譜 For Labanotation

 

*初級拉班舞譜學習指引(中文版本由朱孟青翻譯及插圖)
*Elementary Labanotation: A Study Guide with a chapter on Motif Description by Odette Blum

https://labanotationchinese.wixsite.com/trad

 

舞譜局網站(內有拉班舞譜基礎教學)

Website of Dance Notation Bureau (with Basics of Labanotation)

http://www.dancenotation.org/

 

 

有關班尼斯動作譜 For Benesh Movement Notation
 

有關班尼斯動作譜組織Benesh International主席的網誌,分享專業班尼斯動作譜舞者的故事及資訊。
A blog by the director of Benesh International to share a glimpse of notation in professional capacity.

https://beneshinaction.com/

 

 

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