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In a nutshell

Labanatory is a computer program, more precisely an application for AutoCAD. It uses AutoCAD-quality graphics, but it is more than just a simple editor. Its main and unique functionality is to perform pattern searches in Labanotation with many options to get various hits in Labanotation scores.


As home computers became more widespread, dance-related software applications appeared in the second part of the 20th century. The major upswing in interest and development was the 80s.

These programs were simple symbol editors. The first software that included search functionality was DanceStruct written by János Fügedi.

1998: Labanatory design and development started based on the ideas of János Fügedi and Gábor Misi.
1999: János Fügedi designed an AutoCAD symbol set similar to CALABAN, Computer Aided LABAN, developed before.
2000: László Felföldi and Gábor Misi reported the started development at the 21st Symposium of ICTM Ethnochoreology SG in Korcula, Croatia.
2002: Labanatory version 0.42 is presented by Gábor Misi at the 22nd Symposium of ICTM Ethnochoreology SG in Szeged, Hungary.
2004: Labanatory is presented by János Fügedi and Gábor Misi at the International Conference Exploring Research and Programming Potential for Labanotation, Columbus, Ohio, USA.
2005: Labanatory is the only application that is capable of notation retrieval, according to Calvert-Wilke-Ryman-Fox: Applications of Computers to Dance published in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications XXV/2.
2005: Labanatory version 0.96 is released. Full analysis performed on three dance scores by Gábor Misi.

A closer look

The application is built on PC-Windows-AutoCAD architecture. It introduces a few new AutoCAD commands and overrides the AutoCAD menu. The first group of the new commands are related to data input, and can be used by the user to perform operations on a file, a staff or a sign, i.e. the various elements of digitised Labanotation. The second group of the commands are special search commands that enable the user to look for the pattern of a special question-staff in another staff examining where it fits. While in a simple search the user looks for one pattern, which may contain more than one sign, in a complex search he can connect several question-staves with OR and/or NOT logical operators. Additionally, the user can use predefined wildcard (joker) signs as OR search (for example a narrow wildcard sign means any degree of narrow signs in Labanotation). To find subpatterns (motifs), the user can apply filters, such as symmetry or measure line relationship, according to the so-called hit-parameters. The user can mark the hits of a search to the right of the score, and then these marked notation parts can be used for making statistics and can be cut to create new staves. Further operations can also be performed with staves (e.g. intersection, sign-majority intersection). Labanatory commands have been designed on the basis of practical dance analysis.

User interface

Command reference and hot keys

Menus and screenshots