Trinity Laban dance alumni and teaching staff triumph at Laban centenary celebration

Laban Event (credit: Kyle Stevenson)

Trinity Laban dance teaching staff and alumni took centre stage at the recent Laban Event 2013, in Ascona, Switzerland, a celebration of the centenary of Laban's first school at Monte Verita in 1913.

Dr Valerie Preston-Dunlop, Honorary Fellow and Alison Curtis Jones took Rudolf Laban'sSuite '24- a series of Solos and Duos, and the politically charged dance theatre work,Nacht,choreographed by Laban in 1927, to the celebration. Alison Curtis-Jones and Rosemary Brandt also taught masterclasses and took part in public conferences. A Laban Training Area was also inaugurated in Monte Verita, thanks in part to the hard work of alumni from the Trinity Laban Specialist Diploma in Choreological Studies. The entire event was organized by Nunzia Tirelli, Trinity Laban alumnus and graduate of that diploma.

The dance pieces, Nacht (1927) and Solos and Duos (1924) were performed by seven Trinity Laban dance alumni at Teatro San Materno, and accompanied by composer and musician Oli Newman. The sold out performances were a huge success, receiving standing ovations and encores, and repeated, again to a full house and great acclaim.

Ali said: "There was a huge response and many leading Laban scholars and practitioners commented on the physical articulation and high level of training of our seven Trinity Laban alumni who performed the work."

As a result of this, Ali and Dr Preston-Dunlop have been invited by the Suisse Minister for Culture, to apply for funding to recreate two more Laban works for performance in Monte Verita in 2015-16, as well as invitations to academic institutions and venues in Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden and Essen.

Dr Preston-Dunlop is also in the headlines for her latest book, Rudolf Laban: Man of the Theatre, which will be available, together with four DVDs of the performance, from 1 November from

Dr Preston-Dunlop said: "Rudolf Laban's provocative, experimental, explosive dance theatre works have lain hidden since the Third Reich deliberately annihilated his name. This book exposes Laban's audacity and his significance for dance theatre today, giving access to his creative practices as he provided dance audiences with shock, amusement, awe, curiosity, beauty and meaning."

Together with Ali and other artists and dancers, Dr Preston-Dunlop has researched and recreated for today's audiences four groundbreaking works: Swinging Temple (1922), Suite (1924), Nacht (1927), and Green Clowns. Each of the four pieces can be viewed on separate DVDs.

Picture - Nacht, recreated by Alison Curtis-Jones. Picture credit - Kyle Stevenson.

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