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1973 Instruction Book

Book 1973

Book One
The Classical
Ballet Key


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This historic book is the first book ever written on the Sutton Movement Writing system, written by Valerie Sutton in 1972-1973, after returning from Denmark where Sutton used her stick-figure notation system to write the beautiful dances of the Royal Danish Ballet's system of ballet training, called the Bournonville Schools. Sutton used her personal writing system from age 15 to 19, recording her own choreography and writing dances she learned while in professional ballet training in Southern California, but at age 19, in 1970, Sutton traveled to Denmark to train with teachers of the Royal Danish Ballet to learn the world-famous Bournonille training. To Sutton's surprise, at the time in 1970, there were very few notations or recordings of these historic dance steps, and so she naturally began to write the dances she was learning. After two years of studying daily with the world-renowned Bournonville teacher Edel Pedersen, Sutton had recorded the complete Bournonville Barres and 5 Bournonville Schools in her notation system. Through this experience, the system evolved and improved, culminating in the writing of this first book on her system, Sutton Movement Shorthand, Book One, The Classical Ballet Key, which she wrote when returning to her home in Newport Beach, California in 1972-1973. The director of the Royal Danish Ballet, Fleming Flindt, invited Valerie Sutton back to Copenhagen in 1974, to teach Sutton DanceWriting to the Royal Danish Ballet. This book was used in that historic course, and through the experience of teaching the Royal Danish Ballet, Sutton improved the DanceWriting system which can now be learned with other textbooks, such as DanceWriting For Classical Ballet or DanceWriting for Modern and Jazz Dance. Also read the Bournonville Schools, Three Bournonville Barres and Bournonville Schools, The Monday School.

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