Trinity Laban celebrates Rudolf Laban legacy through movement choir to commemorate World War 1 centenary

Rudolf Laban -body

This summer Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance will produce In Memoriam 2014, a dance film celebration of the legacy of Rudolf Laban through the creation of an original movement choir work featuring 100 dancers and musicians.

This dance film project is an artistic collaboration between Dr Valerie Preston-Dunlop and dance photographer and film maker Ros Chesher, supported by Trinity Laban faculty, alumni and students. The project leader is Dr Valerie Preston-Dunlop, internationally renowned author and practical scholar at Trinity Laban, and Honorary Fellow. Funding for the project has kindly been provided by the Dorothy Whitney Elmhirst Trust.

Rudolf Laban, from whom Trinity Laban's Faculty of Dance takes its name, was a pioneer of expressionist dance. His theories of choreography and movement are now foundations of contemporary dance and choreology. Laban developed the art ofmovement choir, wherein large numbers of people move together creatively and expressively.

Dance artists from around the world will come together to create the movement choir dance film event using Rudolf Laban's methodology. The creation of the piece will reference two of Laban's dance theatre works made in the 1920s in response to the aftermath, chaos and suffering of WW1, namely the colour theme from The Swinging Temple and the War and Dying Procession from Green Clowns.

The performers will include student dancers and musicians as well as participants from Trinity Laban's Learning and Participation programme; local school children; dancers from the Retired not Tired programme and Centre for Advanced Training students who have been recreating Green Clowns as a performance piece with Trinity Laban dance artist Alison Curtis-Jones.

Film production company Vitafilms will use the sculpted grass of the Laban Building in Deptford as a multifaceted film set The final film, due for both general and digital release, will also include images of studio rehearsal as well as the performance on set.

Dr Preston-Dunlop said: "In Memoriam 2014 sprang from work done this year during CoLab, a Trinity Laban project that brings together students from both music and dance faculties to work in collaboration. I worked with 50 dance and music students to explore the themes forIn Memoriam 2014and develop the movement material and musical accompaniment, which includes brass percussion and a four part choir.

"In Memoriam 2014 is designed to not only celebrate Rudolf Laban's legacy now but ensure that it has the same resonance and meaning for dance students and artist into the 21st century and beyond."

Dr Valerie Preston-Dunlop

Dr Valerie Preston-Dunlop has been working with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance for years to secure Rudolf Laban's legacy and develop it for the future through training practitioners and dance artists and by authoring books and articles as well as re-creating and filming his repertoire.

Valerie Preston-Dunlop is a consultant at Trinity Laban where she pioneered the development of choreological studies. A practical scholar, she received her initial training from Rudolf Laban, Lisa Ullman, Kurt Jooss and Albrecht Knust.

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