On November 10th, 2017, I attended “Irmgard Bartenieff: A Symposium.” It was a lovely symposium presented by The Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library (MSPAL) at the University Of Maryland.
I met Irmgard Bartenieff many years ago when I was a student at New York University and again at the Dance Notation Bureau (DNB), New York. Bartenieff studied at the Rudolph Laban School in Munich, Germany, and taught an application of Laban’s Effort and Shape Charts in America including at NYU. She developed the Bartenieff Fundamentals. I vividly remember Bartenieff at that time as an amazing little woman who, although she was in her seventies, moved with the agility of a youngster. She was definitely an inspiration.
The Symposium was filled with many Laban enthusiasts and professionals who use their Laban influences in their daily work, some in similar ways that I do, through teaching. A special highlight for me was speaking with Dr. Ann Hutchinson Guest, the author of Labanotation The System of Analyzing and Recording Movement (a required text for anyone seriously studying Labanotation). Guest is considered the preeminent world authority on Labanotation. In 1940, she co-founded the Dance Notation Bureau. Earlier this month, she turned 99 years.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time and was filled with precious memories that continue to walk with me each day.