Journal of Movement Arts Literacy Archive (2013-2019)

Article Title

Labanotation of Latvian Folk Dance: Tracing the Story of Cūkas Driķos Through the Notation Process


There are many versions of traditional Latvian dances, so determining what to notate becomes part of the process. Tracing the story of the dance Cūkas driķos [Pigs in a Buckwheat Field] for notation purposes became as valuable as the Labanotation score that resulted. The investigation began with a presentational, newer version of the dance, which led to examining the related contemporary, social versions. These were then compared to descriptions in field notes and historic folk dance publications to try to discern the most traditional version(s). In this journey, Labanotation helped illuminate distinctions between the presentational and the participatory versions, as well as clearly define standard participatory variations and their relationship to related documented dances. In this manner, the search for what to notate was aided by the notation process itself. Ideally, the Labanotation scores developed through this research process can then become another, perhaps more precise and clear, primary source for understanding traditional Latvian folk dances.

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