Bonnie Bird Collection

Scope and Content

The Bonnie Bird Collection comprises working files and notes, oral history tapes with transcripts, black and white photographs and videos mainly concerning Bonnie Bird's work at Laban for the period 1974-1994.

Administrative / Biographical History

Bonnie Bird (1915-1995) was an American modern dancer and internationally known teacher. She was born in Portland, Oregon and was educated at the Cornish School of Fine Arts in Seattle where she studied with Martha Graham. Graham invited her to join the Graham concert group in New York where she performed in many premieres over the period 1933-37. In 1937 she became head of the dance department at the Cornish School where she trained Merce Cunningham among many others, and where John Cage was an accompianist. She was among the first dance faculty at the 92nd Street Y in New York and taught there from 1951-1963, establishing the Merry-Go-Rounders, a highly successful company that presented dance for children. She played an important part in the founding and development of the American Dance Guild and the Congress on Research and Dance. From 1971-74 she was the Director of Education at the Dance Notation Bureau in New York. In 1974 she began a long association with the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance, helping to found Transitions Dance Company in 1982. An entry for Bonnie Bird can be found in Cohen-Stratyner, Barbara Naomi. (1982) Biographical Dictionary of Dance.New York: Schirmer.


This collection has not yet been sorted into series.

Access Information

Temporarily closed to the public.

Acquisition Information

Acquired from Marion North.

Other Finding Aids

Box lists for this collection are available to search on the Laban Archive catalogue

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Jane Fowler, Archivist, Laban.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies can be made according to copyright law and depending on the condition of the documents. Please consult the Archivist.

Appraisal Information

Duplicates have been weeded.

Custodial History

The collection was transferred to the Laban Library and Archive by Marion North.


Accruals continue to come in on an irregular basis.

Related Material

Material concerning Bonnie Bird and her work at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance can be found in the Marion North Collection, the Transitions Dance Company Archive and the Laban Centre Archive, all held in the Laban Archive.