Pub. Date:
Moving With The Times

Moving With The Times

by Valerie Preston-Dunlop


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Uncompromising innovator, researcher,

dancer and scholar, mentor and matriarch

She is a bishop’s daughter with a silver-spoon

childhood and youthful traumas through

the death of her father, wartime separation

and teenage poverty. Valerie’s meeting, aged

sixteen, with the extraordinary Hungarian

Rudolf Laban, guru of expressionist dance,

set her on a life-long career devoted to

questioning, championing and developing

his initial insights into dance as a deeply

significant art form for human wellbeing.

Her writing exposes her battles to integrate

dance practice with dance scholarship in a

world set up to keep them apart.

She shares the difficulties of balancing the

demands of family with professional life

exacerbated by the catastrophic illness of her

husband John and her own experience of

mental breakdown.

She describes her travels taking dance all

over the globe and collecting evidence across

Europe of Laban’s leadership of German dance

in the 1920s and 1930s, work that the Nazi

regime almost succeeded in annihilating.

The book traces her support of what is

now Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music

and Dance, from being in its first cohort of

students in a grubby studio in Manchester to

being honoured as a Fellow in its Herzog and

de Meuron award-winning building in South


Valerie shares her wholehearted commitment

to whatever was on offer at difference stages of

her life from performing and choreographing,

renovating a Victorian garden and running

clubs for disadvantaged people, writing books

and directing documentaries, educating

dancers and dance makers, engaging with

all manner of people along the way from the

left-wing theatre director Joan Littlewood to

the establishment Archbishop of Canterbury

or the astounding choreographer William

Forsythe, while nurturing her family and embracing Quakerism.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781906830809
Publisher: Dance Books
Publication date: 05/19/2017
Pages: 210
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.63(d)

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