Date: Wed Oct 14, 1998 4:32
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: FW: Recording Mime With SW
> October 13, 1998
> Yes, I publish the MimeWriting books that have been done - they were
> written by Mary Lou Morrissette in Boston in the late 1970's. We have
> "MimeWriting Workbook" and a thick document: "The Classroom Exercises
> Etienne Decroux". Someday I hope to post some of this work on our
> DanceWriting Web Site. And Billy Krahl wants to post some of his
> Mime compositions written in MimeWriting. But as you can see, it is
> what you need to record sign-related gesture and mime.
> So I think that we can approach writing mime and gesture, as a part of
> SignWriting, rather than using formal MimeWriting. I hope to continue
> thread later, giving clues as to how to write gesture and mime with
If I understand correctly, there is this trunk, Movement Writing, which
is suitable for recording movement and can be extended in different
directions to serve different "audiences" of purpose. For instance,
where large movements need to be recorded, Dance Writing expands this
basic vocabulary of written symbols. Where the movements are tiny, like
the positions of individual fingers, Sign Writing expands this basic
vocabulary in a different direction (and adds facial expression in a way
that I imagine Dance Writing rarely needs).
In other words, when recording dance, it is rarely important what
direction the dancer's eyes are looking just as in recording signs, it
is rarely important which foot is bearing the body's weight. Have I got
it right, Valerie?
This was one of the problems that I hit when I was trying to learn Laban
notation (I think that's spelled wrong -- aren't there two Bs?). As it
was being used to record movement it required recording from a macro
down to a micro level so that too much information needed to be written
for each sign, since signs occur on a small motor level. Lots of the
information turned out to be irrelevant but the way the notation system
was structured it was necessary to note it in order to write correctly.
My understanding of Laban is quite imperfect and incomplete but what I
saw seemed to record positions and imply the movements between.