Archive Animation: inspiring creative practice through innovative dance heritage with Alison Curtis-Jones and the Rudolf Laban Archive


10:00 am - 1:00 pm


Guildford School of Acting/University of Surrey
Stag Hill Campus, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, South East
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23rd June 10 am– 1pm at the Guildford School of Acting, University of Surrey.

Archive Animation: Inspiring your practice through innovative dance heritage


Alison Curtis-Jones (Trinity Laban; Summit Dance Theatre) in collaboration with the Rudolf Laban Archive, University of Surrey.  A practical workshop which reflects upon dance innovations through archive resources including original drawings, texts and photographs from the Rudolf Laban Archive and explores how reconsidering transformations in dance heritage can inform, inspire and reinvigorate current artistic practice.

The workshop will explore Ali’s contemporary practice of re-imagining; exploring interpretation and the shift from two dimensional to three dimensional embodied form. Drawing from the multi-sensory body and the environment to explore the interplay between past/present, movement as living architecture and the dynamic body in space.

Rudolf Laban Archive, University of Surrey

Within the Archives of the National Resource Centre for Dance, part of the University of Surrey’s Archives & Special Collections department, the University houses the personal archive of Rudolf Laban (1879-1958), the leading movement theorist of the 20th century. Laban was a key initiator of German Expressionist Dance (or Ausdruckstanz) and he also created a written means of recording movement, Labanotation or Kinetography Laban, which is used world-wide. At the heart of his theoretical work is a complex system of analysing the characteristics of movement, particularly its pathways through space, and its ‘effort’ and ‘shape’. The Rudolf Laban Archive contains over 4,500 items, particularly writings on his philosophies and drawings which represent the working out of these theories. The archive also contains architectural sketches, portraits, caricatures and landscapes, over 800 photographs, film records and material on Laban-Lawrence Industrial Rhythm.  Due to Laban’s significance, the NRCD has also gathered other special collections related to the Rudolf Laban Archive. These show the use of his theories in a variety of contexts and their impact not only on dance and choreography, but also on other areas such as education, therapy, acting, and the workplace.

 The workshop will be followed by a display from the Rudolf Laban Archive and a tour of the archive store at the National Resource Centre for Dance.

Supported by the Institute of Performance, GSA and the Doctoral College at the University of Surrey.



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