The Extension oversees and guides notation-related research in the areas of reconstruction, staging, notation, documentation, technology and interactive multimedia development, pedagogy, and writing. Many of the projects on this page will be described in greater detail on the main Research page.

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Reconstruction, Staging and Notation,
Documentation and Technology,
Multimedia Dance Documentation,

Reconstruction, Staging and Notation

Research in this area is done by faculty and graduate students and even undergraduates. Many directing graduate candidates restage works from score and present relevant research as their MFA project. Students and faculty also "test" scores in classroom use and "checking productions" for their clarity of movement description and ease of communication; findings are submitted to the DNB library.

Extension faculty and graduate projects have included directing and score completion of Kurt Jooss' The Green Table, notation of Victoria Uris' Three on a Match, Breakers, and Sea Dreams, notation of Bebe Miller's Prey, revision of Valerie Bettis' The Desperate Heart, and stagings of works by Judy Allen, Ruth Currier, Senta Driver, Hanya Holm, Doris Humphrey, Ku Ming-Shen, Lin Hwai-Min, Donald McKayle, Moses Pendleton, Anna Sokolow, Paul Taylor, Antony Tudor, and Charles Weidman.

Documentation and Technology

A computer software program, LabanWriter, developed by Lucy Venable, Scott Sutherland and David Ralley, emerged in the 1990s with current versions and innovations available from the department website. LabanWriter is a free program to edit Labanotation on the computer, making score revisions quicker and easier. LabanWriter is currently available only for MAC operating systems.

Multimedia Dance Documentation

With the awarding of two grants from the National Initiative to Preserve American Dance (NIPAD) 1994-2000, to Professor Vera Maletic and Research Associate A. William Smith and later Roberta Shaw, the Extension faculty once again became nationally recognized for their contributions to documentation.

The projects had a dual purpose – to develop an accessible technology by documenting a selected artist or a work, and to provide such a prototype for the use of dance professionals. The (1994-1996) Ohio State University Multimedia Dance Prototype (OSU-MDP) resulted in the CD-ROM Victoria Uris: Choreographer and Videographer.

The (1998-2000) Dance Comprehensive Documentation Shell (dance CODES) used as its example Bebe Miller's solo Rain. An interactive DVD-ROM of the process of creating Miller's Going to the Wall was a significant product of the project.


LabanLab is an online tutorial developed by Sheila Marion and Rachel Boggia. Users learn the basics of notation interactively on the website with quicktips, video clips, and notated examples of real dances.

LabanReader is a software program for selective viewing of notation symbols in a dance score. It can be used to focus on particular aspects of movement for teaching or to display various kinds of patterning for movement analysis. LabanReader is designed to be used with scores created in LabanWriter 4.0 or later.


Faculty and students have submitted papers, technical and otherwise, to the International Council on Kinetography Laban, the governing body that oversees changes and updates to the system. Faculty member Melanie Bales recently finished a manuscript addressing dance style analysis and how dancers train. Other print materials created by faculty and students include various notation resources and notated dances.