Colorado College dance professor Yunyu Wang (pictured) has been dwelling on the same problem for some time.
"When you dance, once it's finished, it's gone," she says. "It's not like a painting."
Not even video can pick up all the details of a dance performance. But Wang wants to record motion more concretely, capturing it forever.
Already, Wang is somewhat of an expert in motion. As a certified movement analyst, she uses Laban Movement Analysis, a system devised to observe, describe and notate all forms of movement. In LMA, all motion can be transcribed, almost as in a piece of sheet music, except Laban's dance notation is read bottom to top, not left to right.
It's a complicated craft, but Wang, who hails from Taiwan and returns often to teach, has some help. She recently was awarded a $1.5 million grant from Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs to lead a team of computer programmers, artists and dancers in creating a software program to help fully notate all human motion.
Using just LMA, Wang has reconstructed "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun," a 1912 "lost" piece by esteemed Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. Nijinsky's daughter and granddaughter are expected to attend an upcoming Faculty Dance Concert, where the piece will be performed by CC students.
According to Wang, the family doesn't mind her applying LMA to its heirloom work. "They love me!" she says.
Faculty Dance Concerts will take place at 8 p.m. from March 9 through 11 in Armstrong Hall (14 E. Cache La Poudre St.). Performances are free. For more information, call 389-6607.
-- Kara Luger
photo by Collan Fitzpatrick