The Art of Dancing in 1910 and Narratives of Time and Space
Post from August 28, 2007 (↻ June 29, 2016), filed under Art and Design.
Since it’s always interesting to see how people visualize and convey information, here are some photos I took from a dance book from 1910, “Atlas zur Grammatik der Tanzkunst und Tanzschreibekunst oder Choreographie”—“Grammar of the Art of Dancing”—, after Friedrich Albert Zorn. Zorn was a successful German dancer, choreographer, and dance theorist who appears to have lived from 1820 to 1905.
Although the photographs are of rather poor quality, you should be able to spot several interesting details (typography) and recognize what Edward Tufte described as “small multiples” and “narratives of time and space.” The dance notation—which as far as I know is still in use?—invites to compare and judge changes. There probably are more things to note (and yet a bit to criticize) from an information design point of view, but take a look for yourself.
I’m Jens Oliver Meiert, and I’m an engineering manager and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for Google, I’m close to the W3C and the WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly. Other than that, I love trying things, sometimes including philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.
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