Choreologist article illustration


Choreologists are specialized dance creators in specific styles or traditions, such as ethnic dance, early dance, or baroque dance. Their work is contextualized historically and sociologically as an expression of the human group that developed it. Choreologists analyze dance from intrinsic aspects: theory, practice, and epistemology of movements in itself. They also study dance from the extrinsic perspective: the social, ethnological, ethnographical, and sociological context in which dance is developed. This role involves translating and recording dance movements into a symbolic language, allowing for the preservation, documentation, and communication of choreographic works.

The term “choreology” was developed by Joan and Rudolf Benesh in 1955 and is based on a more clearly visual form of notation, written on a five-line stave, recording the dancer’s position as viewed from behind.

Choreologists typically have the following duties:

  • Utilize specific dance notation systems (such as Labanotation or Benesh Movement Notation) to transcribe and document dance movements, steps, and sequences.
  • Analyze and interpret choreographic works, breaking down movements into notational symbols that capture the nuances of the dance.
  • Collaborate with choreographers to document their creations, ensuring accurate representation and preservation of artistic intent.
  • Instruct dancers, choreographers, or students in the understanding and use of dance notation systems for educational and archival purposes.
  • Assist in reconstructing historical or iconic dance pieces by referring to notated scores.
  • Explore ways to integrate dance notation with multimedia technologies for enhanced educational and performance purposes.
  • Engage in research related to dance notation systems, contributing to the development and refinement of notational techniques.
  • Contribute to dance archives by documenting and cataloging notated works, ensuring their accessibility for future generations.
  • Explore and develop innovations in dance notation, adapting to the evolving landscape of contemporary dance.
  • Work with dance companies, educational institutions, or cultural organizations to provide expertise in notational services.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to choreologist:

benesh notator
benesh movement notator
benesh choreologist
benesh dance notator
dance notator

Working conditions

Choreologists may work in dance studios, educational institutions, or cultural organizations. The role often involves collaboration with choreographers, dancers, and researchers. Choreologists may participate in dance productions, workshops, and educational programs to apply and share their expertise.

Minimum qualifications

To become a choreologist, a background in dance, choreography, or dance education is typically required. Specialized training in dance notation systems, such as Labanotation or Benesh Movement Notation, is crucial. Many choreologists have formal education in dance notation from accredited institutions or notation programs. Practical experience in notating dance pieces, collaborating with choreographers, and working in dance-related fields contributes to the development of expertise. Continuous engagement with advancements in dance notation and choreographic research, as well as collaboration with the dance community, enhances the role of choreologists in preserving and promoting the art of dance.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Choreologist is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Choreologist career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to choreologist.

dance répétiteur

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of choreologist.

  • Labour legislation: Legislation, on a national or international level, that governs labour conditions in various fields between labour parties such as the government, employees, employers, and trade unions.
  • Intellectual property law: The regulations governing the rights protecting products of the intellect from unlawful infringement.
  • Art-historical values: The historical and artistic values implied in examples of one’s branch of art.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of choreologist.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of choreologist. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Be in touch with your body: The key aspects of applied anatomy, psychology, nutrition, physiology, and psychosocial studies and how they relate to the self-awareness of one’s body. 

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of choreologist. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Work in an international environment: Guide your career to an international level that often requires the ability to interact, relate and communicate with individuals from different cultures.
  • Inspire enthusiasm for dance: Encourage and enable people, especially children, to become involved in dance and to understand and appreciate it, either privately or in public contexts.
  • Analyse score: Analysing the score, form, themes and structure of a piece of music.
  • Manage artistic project: Manage an artistic project. Determine project needs. Establish partnerships. Manage the budget, schedule, and contractual agreements and assess the project.
  • Show intercultural awareness: Show sensibility towards cultural differences by taking actions that facilitate positive interaction between international organisations, between groups or individuals of different cultures, and to promote integration in a community.
  • Teach dance: Instruct students in the theory and practice of dance, recreationally or to assist them in pursuing a future career in this field. Deliver correcting instructions that support differences and pay attention to ethical codes of conduct around touch, personal space, and appropriate pedagogic methods as a tool to foster participants.

ISCO group and title

2653 – Dancers and choreographers

  1. Choreologist – ESCO
  2. What is a Choreologist? | Academic Invest
  3. Featured image: By The original uploader was Huster at French Wikipedia. – Transferred from fr.wikipedia to Commons by Spoladore using CommonsHelper., CC BY-SA 3.0
Last updated on January 10, 2024