Re: ICKL 20th Conference to be held in Asia

Sat, 07 Jun 1997 09:59:51 +1000

Scott wrote:

> What are the cultural implications of 'laban' in relationship to asian dance
> forms? Do 'essential' aspects of dance from non-western cultures suffer as a
> result of being recorded/ represented by 'western' notation systems?

I'm no expert in Labanotation, but I've often felt that Laban was aiming for
a notation not (or not so) reliant on the idiosyncracies of any particular
style. His is an extremely structuralist appraoch (the body as a structure).
So I wonder whether it might be better to ask whether that view of the body
(as opposed to any dance form) might be incompatible with the conception
of a dance that the latter's proponents hold.

> This is not a politically-correct question

I disagree, insofar as cultural sensitivity can be said to be PC. Mind you,
I prefer Robert Hughes take on "PC". He says it _should_ mean "public

> An ecological view of culture would suggest that cultural
> systems maintain richness and variety when modes of representation are
> encouraged to compete. So, we should not search for the best or most
> 'brilliant' notation system, but be prepared to handle a complex environment
> with competing notation systems each fighting for supremacy.

Except that people often choose what is best for them, a decision mediated
by one's own needs as well as any possibility of exchange with others.
(The latter is exemplified by digital audio file exchange, which, nowadays,
is not at all difficult, regardless of platform, software or file format.)
The most _dominant_ (in terms of market share) is not always chosen.
Until dance notations claim a larger share in the preservation market (I
need a better term than that -sorry!), I wonder how often such a conflict
will arise.

Thoughts, anyone?

Regards, David