Christopher Wheeldon OBE named President of Benesh International

Christopher Wheeldon. Photo by Chris McAndrew

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has announced that Christopher Wheeldon OBE has been named the new President of Benesh International, the home of Benesh Movement Notation (BMN).

Following the tradition of having a renowned choreographer in this role, Wheeldon takes the reins from Sir Peter Wright and joins the ranks of other past Presidents including Sir Kenneth MacMillan and founding President Sir Fredrick Ashton.

BMN is a written system for recording human movement and it is most widely used in the recording and restaging of dance works.

Benesh International supports the dance profession by preserving choreographic copyright, training the next generation of choreologists, and ensuring the preservation of the system for the future.

On his appointment, Christopher Wheeldon said: “I have decided to take on the role of President of Benesh International because I firmly believe that Benesh Movement Notation is still the most accurate way of recording the original intentions of the choreographer. Most of my works for The Royal Ballet have been recorded in BMN and have subsequently been staged around the world using the BMN score as the source for the original choreography. I have a great deal of respect for the amount of time, energy, and care that goes into the hand-writing of a ballet. It’s incredible to fully understand how so much artistic and fluid detail can be recorded using BMN.”

Head of Benesh International, and Senior Benesh Choreologist for The Royal Ballet, Anna Trévien said “I am thrilled that Christopher will be taking on the role of President of Benesh International. From notating his works at The Royal Ballet, I know first-hand of his dedication to documenting and protecting his choreographic objectives through BMN. I hope that his appointment demonstrates the importance of preserving choreography through BMN and also in training the next generation of choreologists.”

Anna adds, “Benesh International is grateful for Sir Peter Wright’s 25 years of service. Since his appointment in 1993, he has been a loyal and dedicated friend to us and a fierce advocate for BMN”. Many milestones were achieved under Sir Peter Wright’s presidency including the incorporation of Benesh International in the RAD in 1997, the release of Benesh Notation Editor computer software in 2002 and the recent creation of the Benesh Encyclopedia in 2017.