About The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms

Cedar Dance Animations Presents

New Digital Dance Resource Guide by Janet Randell

With Video Tutorials, PDF Manuals, Animation and Study Files

An Innovative Approach to Choreography and Dance

Foreword by Merce Cunningham & Introduction by Professor Emeritus Tom Calvert
Experience and master DanceForms as developed and used by Merce Cunningham as part of his artistic pursuit and exploration into new technology.

Created for dancers, choreographers, students and teachers, The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms provides an accessible bridge between the digital world of animation and the world of live dance. Designed as a digital sketchpad resource for choreography, animation and movement analysis, DanceForms enables the user to create animated dance sequences in innovative ways, to edit and to translate movement from the computer onto the dance floor. The idea behind the Guide is to encourage experimentation in digital choreography and exploration in dance and improvisation.

The Guide contains in-depth tutorials including demonstration videos with illustrative animations, still shots and voice-overs, which feature examples of animated and live dance. There are also libraries of study files, exercises, tasks and comprehensive PDF manuals and resource files.


  • Tutorial 1 gives a flavour of what you can do in DanceForms.
  • Tutorial 2 takes the user step-by-step through DanceForms, explaining the main functions, controls and menus with supporting animated dance and live demonstrations. There are two complementary supporting manuals.
  • Tutorial 3 looks at DanceForms from the perspective of the key choreographic elements of shape, space and time.
  • Tutorial 4 focuses on working with shape in the Studio Window for quick and easy digital choreography. Randell brings the principle of the three anatomical planes-of-motion to life in a live performance to music by J S Bach.
  • Tutorial 5 is about getting inspired by DanceForms and discovering new possibilities of choreographing movement using both digital and live dance. The tutorial includes Randell’s Dancing  Forms for Eight, performed to the music of Pachelbel’s Canon in D, as well as dance variations to percussion and contemporary music.

Produced for all ages and abilities
The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms

unlocks the way to choreograph digitally.

With her passion for making the art of dance and choreography available to everyone, Janet Randell writes:

DanceForms is a wonderful choreographic tool for any dancer, choreographer or anyone interested in dance and notation. The program is accessible to all ages and abilities including the disabled. I hope The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms will be an inspiration for all dancers and choreographers.

Now available as a digital download.

The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms – Overview


In one complete package: The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms

Complete Package: The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms including the Foreword, Introduction and Tutorials 1 to 5

One complete package is now available which contains the entire Tutorial Guide to DanceForms consisting of the Foreword, Introduction and Tutorials 1 through to 5 including all supporting files. 


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Merce Cunningham

“When I first started using DanceForms, I soon discovered that it doesn’t get tired: you can work with it as long as you like, repeat as often as you like, or change it as often as you want, and it doesn’t get tired or angry.

The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms by Janet Randell opens up new vistas in dance for the existing and next generation of dancers and choreographers. I recommend the Guide as it demonstrates in an imaginative way how computer technology can be harnessed as a valuable and innovative working tool for dance”.

From Foreword to The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms by Merce Cunningham, leading avant-garde dancer and choreographer, USA, multiple awards including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, Nelson A. Rockefeller Award

Tom Calvert

“These tutorials will allow you to quickly master first the basic principles and then the many subtleties that go into the aesthetics of human movement. The extensive use of video animations makes the tutorials engaging and enlightening.

As one of the team that created DanceForms, I strongly recommend that anyone setting out to use this software should start with the tutorials in Janet Randell’s Tutorial Guide”.

Tom Calvert, Professor Emeritus in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology  (SIAT) at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, President of Credo Interactive.

David Bintley

“My great mentor Dame Ninette de Valois would have loved DanceForms! As a young choreographer back in the 1930’s when she had already begun the great work of founding our national ballet, she laboriously worked out her ballets with ‘stick men’ then tried out the steps on an individual dancer before fully committing to the rehearsal studio. What a boon she would have found this technology. DanceForms not only provides us with a practical tool with which to work out details of choreographic complexity in a wholly logical way, but it also allows us to dream! To conceive patterns and movements occupying virtual space in a way hitherto unimagined. That this remarkable system can be used by both able and disabled choreographers compounds its importance and opens up undreamt of possibilities and opportunities. Bravo Janet!”

David Bintley, CBE, trained at the Royal Ballet School and was an outstanding character dancer at Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet before being appointed as resident choreographer for Sadler’s Wells and The Royal Ballet. He has also created ballets around the world. In 1995 Bintley was appointed Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet and from 2010 he accepted the additional role of Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Japan.

Richard Alston

“Janet Randell has created a thorough and detailed set of Tutorials to help someone grasp the fundamental functions and potential of DanceForms.

For me the fascination of DanceForms has always been that the brilliant Master of choreography, Merce Cunningham used this device to be able to continue creating his complex dance structures for many years, when his body could no longer move with the speed and ease of his younger dancing days. He learned to use this tool to co-ordinate onscreen the complex and rapidly changing movements of his imagination.

The clear logic and detailed explanations of Janet Randell are in themselves a monument to Cunningham’s genius. It must have been an arduous labour of love for Janet to undertake and the result is an extraordinary and creative educational resource for anyone who wants to explore what Danceforms can do”.

Richard Alston, CBE, is acknowledged internationally as one of the leading choreographers in contemporary dance. He studied in the nineteen seventies at the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio, worked as an independent choreographer and as Artistic Director for both the Ballet Rambert and The Place, (London’s foremost contemporary dance organization). Alston has been Artistic Director of the Richard Alston Dance Company since 1994. He has created many outstanding works for his company and internationally. Alston has been a passionate supporter of lifelong learning and the educational potential of dance.

The Fusion of Digital Technology & Dance