Summer visitors to the archive 2015


We welcomed Eva Giese-Wiesweg and her family to the Laban Archive this summer. Eva is the great-niece of Lisa Ullmann and she visited the Faculty of Dance to find out more about her heritage. We were happy to get out the hundreds of photographs we have in the archive of Lisa Ullmann, Laban-trained dancer, teacher and pioneer who helped to master-mind the founding of the Art of Movement Studio (now the Faculty of Dance, Trinity Laban) in 1946 and was a major supporter of, and constant companion of Rudolf Laban throughout the last twenty years of his life.


Ullmann, pictured above, had been a pupil of the Laban School of Lotte Wedekind in the 1920s and she went on to work with Kurt Jooss as a member of his staff at the Dance Department of his Folkwangschule Essen, in Germany. In 1934, she travelled to Dartington Hall in England with Ballets Jooss to teach at the Jooss-Leeder School. During this time, she became involved with her own movement choir, and conducted evening classes for the Worker’s Educational Association in Plymouth and for teachers at the University of Exeter. She stayed at Dartington Hall as a teacher until 1940. Working closely with Rudolf Laban after he came to England in 1938 she became more and more interested in the psychological and educational aspect of dance and movement. The Art of Movement Studio opened in 1946 and for 30 years a great number of teachers from schools and colleges studied there on secondment. A great number of her students had distinguished educational careers and played a major part in raising the status of dance to that of a degree subject not just a practical art.
To find out more about Lisa Ullmann, search for her on our Laban Archive catalogue and to see her many publications, our Laban Library catalogue.

Keeping fit with the Laban Archive

We’ve been having a bit of a ‘keep fit’ theme in the archive recently. Felicity Croydon, archive assistant, has been cataloguing a box of papers from the Keep Fit Association and Central Council of Physical Recreation and came across this gem of a book featuring exercises with Eileen Fowler.

Keep Fit Collection5Keep Fit Collection4

Keep Fit Collection2Keep Fit Collection1

The Keep Fit Association’s exercises are based on Rudolf Laban’s principles.

And Ann Lewis, one of our inspiring ‘Retired not Tired’ archive volunteers found a booklet of exercises sent to Peter Brinson, former Head of Postgraduate studies at Laban, from the ‘Laurance Institute of Health and Stamina Ltd’ in the 1940s.

Ann Lewis with keep fit diagram2Ann Lewis with keep fit letter

We’re looking forward to trying some of these out in the office!

Both these items will be available to view soon on the archive catalogue

We’ve reached a total of 17,000 searchable catalogue records on the Laban Archive catalogue!

Jean Tiguely

And the 17,000th record is for a photograph of Jean Tinguely, photographed by Reg Wilson. Tinguely was a Swiss painter and sculptor, best known for his kinetic art in the Dada tradition, officially known as metamechanics. His most famous sculpture was a self-detonating one called Homage to New York (1960) which only partially self destructed at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City!

The photograph is one of c50,000 photographs held in the Peter WIlliams Collection in the Laban Archive and was catalogued by our dedicated archive volunteer, Sara Manazza. What a dynamo! Search for the photograph on our online archive catalogue