MeCo Repertory Project

 

by Brooklynn Reeves-Mallett

REP

Language of Dance and motif notation are a huge part of what makes MeCo, MeCo! By notating Megill and Company's repertory we are able to archive the choreographic integrity of the Beth Megill’s work and identify what movement concepts make up the Megill and Company’s signature choreographic style. This page will continue to be updated with motif notation scores for Megill and Company rep as they become available.

Beth Megill's Statement: I began my dance notation training when I was 21 as a graduate student at University of California Irvine with Mary Corey. I was one of only a few grad students who chose to take the course as an elective. But, coming from a family of literate musicians, I knew there was gold to be found in a written notation system for dance. 

 

I took to notation immediately and started incorporating concepts of structural analysis into my choreography-based Master Thesis. Mary Corey recommended I explore Motif Notation through the Language of Dance® center the following summer with Tina Curran and Ann Hutchinson-Guest. I have been working with and through motif notation ever since. I am now a Certified Language of Dance® Specialist and have incorporated the work into most aspects of my teaching and dancing. 

 

I always wanted to notate my MeCo repertory, but had trouble finding/making the time. I did manage to notate a blended score (Labanotation and Motif Notation) of a work “8 Piece Legs and Thighs” in 2014-15 as I was on sabbatical, but coming back to my daily, full-time job teaching at Moorpark College left little time for extra notation projects. 

 

I reached out to Brooklynn Reeves-Mallett, who had been dancing with Megill & Company for many years and who had some exposure to LOD to see if she would be interested in pursuing her LOD certification with the primary project as notating Megill & Company repertory. MeCo sponsored her training and as a result we have joyfully added two new works to our notated repertory. 

 

We now have a few MeCo members working on notating more choreography and hope to share additional scores with you soon. These scores are models for how motif notation can serve to capture the creative voice and artistic intent of MeCo dances.  

 

3 Tops Benefits of Notating with Motif Notation/ Language of Dance®

  1. The system captures the intent of the movement. 

    1. Motif Notation is a powerful tool because it identifies the motion and movements as actions or verbs rather than places in space or shapes strung together in a flip book. Therefore, the result is a dance that has an experience written into the scoring process. So the dancer can feel the process of addressing or the spirit of traveling. There are some spatial designs that emerge in the notation process as well, but the focus of the work is to the central movement concepts that motivate the spatial and temporal expression.

  2. The system focuses on the primary ideas of a work and thus can be analyzed for trends, themes, and patterns with ease.

    1. Because the system streamlines the intention of the work, big patterns and repeated ideas can then be easily identified, compared and contrasted. This form of structural analysis offers insights into the composition of movement ideas to achieve an aesthetic goal. 

    2. As more scores are generated we hope to conduct comparative analysis between various works in the MeCo repertory. The structures of rhythm, space, relating, and movement vocabulary will be more easily compared and contrasted on the page. 

  3. The scores offer a degree of flexibility in performance which supports the Megill & Company value of dance for EveryBODY.

    1. These scores can be used alone to spearhead the learning of a dance phrase or in conjunction with a video recording to reinforce the intent of performance (which may differ from a given performance on a given day). The flexibility of the system allows dancers to interpret the spirit of the score without the tyranny of perfection. This makes the dance more accessible and more playful for the dancer/reader. 

 

MeCo has choreographed over 10 evening length dance performances with nearly 100 distinct “dances” among them. We certainly have our work cut out for us! If you would like to learn more about the Megill & Company Repertory project or donate specifically to this work please contact us directly. 

As part of the project, we identified common MeCo movement concepts. These concepts reside at the heart of MeCo technique and are common to many works within the repertory. Once she had her scores complete, Brooklynn analyzed the frequency with which these concepts occurred within each score. And, it revealed that these concepts were in fact at the heart of the joyous and wonder-filled MeCo style. (See "Movement Concepts Analysis" above.) 

Thank you for following our work!

Beth Megill

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Brooklynn Reeves-Mallett began dancing at age ten at a local dance studio in Moorpark, CA. She studied dance at Moorpark College and transferred to Chapman University where she received her B.A. in dance. Brooklynn has toured with various dance companies, including Megill and Company, Nickerson-Rossi Dance, and Jacob Jonas The Company. She has performed at several notable performance venues such as Jacobs Pillow, The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, The Ford, and Annenberg Theater in Palm Springs. In addition to connect dance, Brooklynn has performed in various forms of film media. Brooklynn has recently completed her Language of Dance Master Practitioner Certification and will be continuing to notate works choreographed by Beth Megill for Megill and Company!