Benesh Movement Notation for Humanoid Robots?

  • Eliane Mirzabekiantz
Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 111)


Benesh Movement Notation (BMN) is a written system for analysing and recording human movement. It is a flexible tool that reduces three-dimensional body positions and actions in space over time to a series of two-dimensional key frames. Created in the twentieth century, BMN has been applied to fields as diverse as dance, gymnastics, mime, circus performance, anthropology, ergonomics, neurology, and clinical research. Might it also contribute to research in humanoid robotics? The intention of this paper is to provide the scientist with an introduction to its application across a variety of fields as well as a rudimentary understanding of the Benesh system, so that he may evaluate its potential contribution to robotics research. To that end, this paper explains how BMN conceptualizes movement and provides examples that illustrate how those fundamental concepts have been modified for special purpose projects. Given its demonstrated adaptability, the author is optimistic that the system may be extended through close collaboration between the notation expert and the robotics researcher.


Humanoid Robot Direction Sign Movement Line Cerebral Palsy Patient Rhythm Sign 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am extremely grateful to all my Benesh colleagues who left few but essential traces of the genesis and the philosophy of the system. In particular Joan Benesh who drawn up much of her husband unpublished writings in one book which remain a major testimony [11]. Julia McGuinnes-Scott who introduced BMN in medicine, and anthropology in particular [1], Marguerite Causley, who exposed BMN in physical education [18]. My recognition to the Benesh Institute, and in particular to Liz Cunliffe who gave me access to Rudolf Benesh’s notes and to Adrian Grater who commented them to me.

My thanks also to Rhonda Ryman and Robyn Hughes Ryman, for their proofreading and expertise to the English expression towards the Benesh notation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de ParisParisFrance

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