So far this summer the Laban Archive has had a bumper crop of visitors from the United States!
Firstly we welcomed Mark Bocek, Media Specialist at the Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle.
Mark has been researching the life and work of Bonnie Bird, an alumna of Cornish College who was one of the original dancers in the Martha Graham Dance Company back in 1930. Bonnie Bird’s career included heading the Cornish College Dance Department from 1937-1940 where she taught Merce Cunningham and worked with John Cage; helping found the American Dance Guild, the Dance Notation Bureau, and the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD), and working with youth dance education and special dance education for disabled children. And then at a time of life when most people would be considering settling down to a comfortable retirement, Bird was coaxed over to the UK by Marion North in 1974 to help the Laban Centre found Britain’s first BA (Hons) degree in Dance Theatre studies, and subsequently Britain’s first MA and PhD degrees in Dance Studies, as well as setting up Transitions Dance Company, Britain’s foremost professional training company for young dancers. No wonder we have named our theatre after her!
Read more about Mark’s research into Bonnie Bird on his Cornish News post
And then we welcomed Professor Stacy Reischman Fletcher, Interim Director, School of Music, Professor and Chair, Department of Dance at the University of Southern Mississippi. Stacy brought four of her dance students with her to view items from the Laban Collection in the Laban Archive.
They also had a tour of the building by Ralph Cox, Head of the Laban Library and Archive and a talk by Mirella Bartrip, Director of Dance, on the postgraduate courses we offer. And they came back in the evening to see our first year BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance students perform. We hope to see all of them back soon!