Happy Birthday Rudolf Laban

Rudolf Laban was born on this day (15th December) 137 years ago, 1879, in Bratislava. Archives & Special Collections hold the personal archive of this man who holds so much significance to the study of movement internationally. He was a visual artist, dancer, choreographer, movement analysis, educator and theoretician. The collection holds a wealth of material generated by Laban through his prolific and wide-ranging work, much of it between 1938 when he came to England until 1958 when he died but there are many items from his earlier life too. This includes manuscripts, published books, correspondence, many hundreds of drawings, printed ephemera, silent film footage and photographs.

The archive contains items linked to his birthdays such as cards sent to him, copies of his thank you letters and photograph such as the one here. This was taken on his 76th birthday in 1955 at the Art of Movement Studio in Addlestone, Surrey and was part of a tree planting ceremony.


1955. Photographer unknown. Ref No. L/F/3/70. Rudolf Laban Archive, University of Surrey.