Beatrice Loeb Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Original drawings, photographs and letters of Beatrice Mazzoni Loeb, including drawings by artist Fritz Kramer.

Administrative / Biographical History

Beatrice Loeb first met Rudolf Laban at a performance of the Tanzbuhne Laban in Constance in the 1920s when she was only 14 years of age and became a 'Labanite' thereafter. She enrolled as a student of Dussia Bereska at the short-lived Rome Laban school in 1924. Dussia Bereska formed the Balletto Laban but it proved a difficult task introducing German dance to reluctant Italians. In 1925 Bereska returned to Hamburg with the Kammertanz group which included Beatrice Mazzoni. In 1927 Beatrice joined the Choreographisches Institut in Gillstrasse, Berlin and continued her dance studies under the direction of Laban who became her life-long mentor. She married Edwin Loeb, a Jewish businessman from Stuttgart in the early 1930s. Beatrice opened a children's home in Rapello, Italy for displaced Jewish children and their relatives who were escaping Nazi Germany and seeking refuge elsewhere. In 1934 Beatrice gave birth to a daughter in Rapello and, in 1936, the family of three settled in England to start a new life. Beatrice taught dancing at the preparatory school attended by her daughters in Chesham during the war years until 1945, when the family finally settled in Beckenham, Kent. Beatrice continued to give dance and movement lessons, both privately and at her dauhgter's school. By this time she became increasingly interested in dance studies; twelve of the original drawings still exist [now in the Laban Archive], others unfortunately have been lost. During the 1950s Beatrice assisted Laban and Lisa Ullmann when they ran Modern Dance Holiday courses at Dartington Hall. In the early fifties when the Art of Movement Studio moved from Manchester to Addlestone, Weybridge and funds were badly needed to improve the buildings for additional teaching and performance space, Edwin and Beatrice Loeb donated £5,000, together with £600 by the Laban Guild. Addlestone was bought for £15,000 in 1953 and was the gift of Bill Elmhirst. In the following 13 years grants from the Ministry of Education and Local Education Authorities provided 72% of the centre's income. On 1 March 1955 a list of possible members of an Advisory Committee was discussed. Edwin Loeb's name was included but the Committee was never formed. Beatrice continued to support Laban and Ullmann throughout the 1950s and Laban visited the Loeb family home in Beckenham on several occasions. Laban died in 1958 and Beatrice's husband in 1959. This double loss affected her health and she eventually retired to Rome where she led a quiet life in a religious house well into old age. In 1959 she was made an honorary member of the Laban Guild in recognition of her association with Laban and for her contribution to the furtherance of his work through the means she herself had developed and practised.

Arrangement

This collection has not yet been arranged into series and files. It has been box listed.

Conditions Governing Access

Access by appointment only. Contact the Archivist to make an appointment.

Other Finding Aids

Box lists for this collection can be searched 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.