Ann Hutchinson Guest Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Records of Ann Hutchinson Guest and the Language of Dance Centre, London. This includes records relating to the work of the Language of Dance Centre, London; and records relating to the work of Ann Hutchinson Guest as an individual. (The records relating to the work of Ann Hutchinson Guest as an individual cover the work of Ann Hutchinson Guest both before and after the Language of Dance Centre was founded in London in 1967.)

Some of the main types of records that can be found in the collection are: Labanotated scores of dances and other movements; published books; teaching material for Labanotation; video recordings; audio recordings; musical scores; further information about dance and dance notation; and further information about the work of Ann Hutchinson Guest and the Language of Dance Centre, London.

The collection includes records that were created through the following activities:

  • The administration of the Language of Dance Centre, London, the Language of Dance Association, and the Language of Dance Trust.
  • The creation of publications.
  • Teaching, including the teaching of Labanotation and Motif Notation.
  • The involvement of Ann Hutchinson Guest and the Language of Dance Centre, London, with other organisations, groups and individuals.
  • The creation and collection of Labanotated scores.
  • Publicity and the promotion of the work of Ann Hutchinson Guest and the Language of Dance Centre, London.
  • The collection of a library and other reference material.

Also included in the collection are two files of correspondence and autographs from well-known people, collected by Ivor Guest (husband of Ann Hutchinson Guest).

Administrative / Biographical History

Ann Hutchinson Guest is an author, researcher, dance notator, and teacher. She is an expert in the subject of dance notation, particularly Labanotation.

Ann Hutchinson Guest was born in New York City, USA, in 1918. In the 1930s, she trained in dance and learnt the Laban system for recording movement (also known as Labanotation) at the Jooss-Leeder School, Dartington Hall, UK. During the Second World War she returned to New York, dancing with the Welland Lathrop Company and in Broadway musicals. She was one of the founders of the Dance Notation Bureau in New York in 1940, and was its director until 1961 when she moved to London. In 1962 she married dance historian, Ivor Forbes Guest. She founded the Language of Dance Centre in London in 1967, and later founded the Language of Dance Center USA in Connecticut in 1997. Her research interests include Labanotation, Motif Notation and other dance notation systems; she has published extensively on the subject, has promoted the use of dance notation, and has developed the Language of Dance teaching method. Throughout her career she has worked with people and groups from across the world, particularly in the UK and the USA, and has been a member of many organisations relating to dance and dance notation, including the International Council of Kinetography Laban. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan, USA, and Ohio State University, USA.

The Language of Dance Centre was established in London by Ann Hutchinson Guest in 1967. Language of Dance is a teaching method that teaches dance and dance notation through the Movement Alphabet and Motif Notation. The aim of the Language of Dance Centre is to use the Language of Dance teaching method to teach people of all ages, genders, cultural background and abilities. Work that has been carried out by the Centre includes: the teaching of dance; the teaching of Labanotation and Motif Notation; the creation of Labanotated scores; the creation of publications relating to Labanotation and Motif Notation, including the publication of Labanotated scores; and the collection and loaning-out of reference material relating to dance, dance notation, and movement.

Arrangement

Some of the series in the collection had a very clear original order; these include the "ringbinders" series of reference material; the video recordings; and the audio recordings. For the rest of the material in the collection the original order is unclear and an artificial arrangement has had to be imposed.

In this arrangement, no distinction has been made between those records that relate to the work of the Language of Dance Centre, London, and those records that relate to the work of Ann Hutchinson Guest as an individual. The contents of the files themselves suggest that no such distinction was made when the records were created and that the records relating to the Language of Dance Centre, London, and to Ann Hutchinson Guest's other work have always been kept together as one collection.

The records in the collection have been arranged by the functions or activities that they appear to relate to. These functions are:

  • The administration of the Language of Dance Centre, London, the Language of Dance Association, and the Language of Dance Trust.
  • The creation of publications.
  • Teaching, including the teaching of Labanotation and Motif Notation.
  • The involvement of Ann Hutchinson Guest and the Language of Dance Centre, London, with other organisations, groups and individuals.
  • The creation and collection of Labanotated scores.
  • Publicity and the promotion of the work of Ann Hutchinson Guest and the Language of Dance Centre, London.
  • The collection of a library and other reference material.

The only records that haven't been arranged by function are:

  • The series of video recordings (this appears to relate to multiple functions and so has been kept as a separate series by itself).
  • The series of audio recordings (this appears to relate to multiple functions and so has been kept as a separate series by itself).
  • Individual files that appear to relate to multiple functions (these have been catalogued as separate files within the collection).
  • Records collected by Ivor Guest, husband of Ann Hutchinson Guest (these records were not created through the work of Ann Hutchinson Guest or the Language of Dance Centre, London, and so have been catalogued as a separate sub-fonds).

(AHG/20 has been catalogued as the final file in this collection, although its provenance is unclear and it may possibly have originated from Froebel College at the University of Roehampton. Further records relating to Froebel College can be found in this repository under the reference code: FA)

Conditions Governing Access

Most records within this collection are open for access.

Archives and manuscripts are available for consultation by appointment only; we require a 24 hour notice. (Please note that you need to contact us by Thursday afternoon if you wish to visit us on the following Tuesday.) Books and publications can be viewed without an appointment at any time during the archive opening hours.

Opening times: In term time, the Archives and Special Collections are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – 10am - 4pm. Outside term time the Archives and Special Collections are open by appointment only.

Appointments can be made by contacting the archivist using any of the methods below:

Email: archives@roehampton.ac.uk

Telephone: 020 8392 3323

Postal address: Archives and Special Collections, Library and Learning Services, University of Roehampton, Roehampton Lane, London, SW15 5SZ.

The Archives and Special Collections are located on the fourth floor of the University Library.

(Some records within this collection are closed and not available for research. For further information, please contact the archivist using the contact details above.)

Acquisition Information

Deposited by Ann Hutchinson Guest on behalf of the Language of Dance Centre in 2003-2010.

Other Finding Aids

The books, journals and publications in the collection have been individually catalogued in the University of Roehampton's library catalogue (choose collection "Ann Hutchinson Guest" in advanced search if you want to limit your search to this collection only): http://capitadiscovery.co.uk/roehampton

A full catalogue of the archival material in the collection can be obtained by contacting the archivist ( archives@roehampton.ac.uk).

Archivist's Note

Description created in February 2016.

Appraisal Information

The following items have been disposed of:

  • Duplicates.
  • A few of the publications that are available elsewhere.
  • Slips recording unsuccessful entries in prize draws run by the Language of Dance Centre.
  • Where there are multiple of draft copies of the same publication, those draft copies containing substantial annotations and substantial changes have been kept, whilst those draft copies containing only minor corrections have been disposed of.

Custodial History

After the collection was deposited, a number of video recordings in the collection that are stored on video cassette tape were copied onto DVD by Archives and Special Collections for access purposes; these DVDs are now also included in the collection. (The DVD copies were created in 2009-2010.)

Related Material

Further collections relating to dance that are held by Archives and Special Collections at the University of Roehampton include:

  • The Monica Collingwood Collection, containing scrapbooks, photograph albums, programmes and other material relating to ballet in the 20th Century, collected by Monica Collingwood, a lifetime ballet fan. See reference code: MC
  • The Naseem Khan Collection, containing published books relating to South Asian classical dance that had been collected by Naseem Khan, a writer and former dance critic. See reference code: NK

A further collection of papers from Ann Hutchinson Guest can be found at the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library under the call number: (S) *MGZMC-Res. 4