This collection contains materials associated with Léonide Massine's Composition Course taught at The Royal Ballet Upper School between 1968 and 1976. It includes extensive typed manuscript notes for, Massine on Choreography: Theory and Exercises in Choreography by Léonide Massine, published by Faber & Faber, London, 1976. Also two hardback copies of the book, one volume has been extensively annotated in pencil by Audrey Harman. There are several photographs of Royal Ballet School students being taught the Choreographic Composition by Massine, and a large number of photographs recording his movement composition exercises written on a blackboard; also many 8 mm film recordings of student compositions, being performed by students of The Royal Ballet School (both Craftsman’s Course and Dancer’s Course students).
Records associated with the book Massine on Choreography; Theory and Exercises in Choreography, Faber & Faber, London, 1976:
- Extensive notes, drafts, final versions and proof copy; some are original typed manuscripts and there are some duplicate copies, annotated by Harman in pencil; includes original manuscript of Massine’s exercises for the book, written in Stepanov Notation; also Massine's movement notation set to John Gunter's music, which was especially written for the exercises (undated).
- Correspondence between Harman and Massine (February to August, 1969), while Massine was on a lecture tour of North America; in which Massine gives Harman detailed instructions to be followed in his absence, and largely approves Harman’s suggestions regarding the planned filming of student compositions at The Royal Ballet School. Further correspondence between them relating to the book’s editing and publication. Notes by Harman introducing the book, possibly on the occasion of the book launch (c.1976), and her explanation about the theory and use of the W. J. Stepanov Notation as adapted and used by Massine.
Records associated with Massine’s Choreographic Composition Course at The Royal Ballet Upper School include:
- A large number of black and white photographic prints of Massine’s Composition exercises, drawn on a blackboard customised with specific notation stave-lines; the exercises are identified on the board eg. Ex. 19-b Part I. In addition, the prints themselves are annotated by Audrey Harman to provide further identification, eg. ‘Ex 19 (4) Correct Version’ or ‘176, example of Restricted Intervals’ or ‘Hindemith Ensemble’.
- Original handwritten (named) students' compositions, notated in Stepanov notation, detailing the poems, text or visual inspiration for the compositions; some contain both the student’s version and Massine’s subsequent alterations (c.1968). Students include: Duygu Aykal, Kate Flatt, Suzi Della Pietra, Judith Hoare, Marguerite Banos, Deidre Watts and Julie Witford.
- A copy of the School timetable (1976); the students' examination schedule for the same year and assessment marks awarded. Named students include Karen Large, Joanna Woodcock, Susan Durant, Jennifer Hokaday, Virginia Markwick, Vivienne Saxton and Fiona Wyatt. There are three copies of blank diploma certificates awarded to students who successfully completed the Theory of Composition Course, only one is signed by Massine.
- Three photographs depicting Massine teaching (1968), students identified include Astrid Hayward, Michael Vernon, Diedre Watts, Suzi Della Pietra, Julie Witford and Margarita Bahos, photographer G.B.L. Wilson; 18 photographs by Fox Photographs Ltd depicting students in lessons with Massine (1969), students depicted include some who began studying with Massine in 1968 including Kate Flatt, Suzi Della Pietra, Deidre Watts, and Astrid Hayward. Michael Vernon, Deborah Simms, Audrey Harman and Lorna Mossford are also present in some photographs; there are eight further photographs including head shots of Massine and group shots depicting assessors and students of the final year of the course (1976). Students depicted include Karen Large, Joanna Woodcock, Susan Durant, Jennifer Hokaday, Virginia Markwick, Vivienne Saxton and Fiona Wyatt.
- Two copies of a draft of proposed programme content for The Royal Ballet School Dance Composition Course given at LAMDA Theatre (6 May 1979), dedicated to the memory of Léonide Massine, directed by Richard Glasstone and Kate Flatt.
- papers associated with the application for funds to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to enable the provision of a Choreographic Group. The application was accepted; in 1976 Richard Glasstone was appointed teacher responsible for delivering a new Composition Course at The Royal Ballet School (documents dated between 1975 and 1985).
Records associated with the video-recording of Massine’s course (1969-70) include:
- Filming schedules, with notes on the content of the choreographic composition studies of several named students; includes a detailed outline of the exercises to be filmed (Tuesday 6 May 1969, Thursday 8 May 1969 and Friday 9 May 1969) and other similar material (dated February 1970).
- Two audio tapes (cassettes); the first includes a recording of Massine speaking to students about some movement composition exercises and commenting back on their work; the second tape contains some of John Gunter’s original music designed to accompany the following named exercises: examples 3a, 11a, 9c, 12, 14c, 15a, 16 and 14d.