News

99 and still dancing

2 Oct 2017

By The Language of Dance Centre team

Dr Ann Hutchinson Guest, a world-renowned expert in dance notation, dance author and researcher and founder of the Language of Dance Centre (LODC), will celebrate her 99th birthday in November 2017.

Born in New York City in 1918, Ann was given five hours to live at age eight because of acute appendicitis. As she puts it, she “obviously made it”. She started taking dance classes for recovery, and then dedicated her life to the development of dance across the world.

Ann learnt the Laban system of movement notation early in her dance training, and her interest then led her to study other notation systems. Thanks to her research and dedication, many works from the past have been revived for major ballet companies: the Ballet of the Nuns from the opera Robert the Devil, the Vivandière Pas de Six, Nijinsky’s L’Après-midi d’un Faune – to name just a few. Notable among her books are Dance Notation – The Process of Recording Movement on Paper, and Your Moves – A New Approach to the Study of Movement and Dance. Through her extensive exploration and analysis of movement, she has developed the educationally rich Language of Dance Teaching Method.

Ann continues to dance today, and this year alone she has travelled to Switzerland to complete her 45th dance publication (on Sigurd Leeder), presented at conferences in Bejing and the USA, and travelled to New York for rehearsal and final performances of Nijinsky’s L’apres-midi d’un Faune with the New York City Ballet – while continuing to be involved in many projects with people all over the world and with the Language of Dance Centre UK, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. She is a truly remarkable and inspiring person, who emanates every reason why dance enriches people’s lives.

For over 50 years, working to promote Ann’s vision of dance literacy for all, the Language of Dance Centre has been providing people with the opportunity to experience Ann’s codified Movement Alphabet through sessions delivered in schools and colleges and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses for teachers and dancers.

To celebrate this milestone anniversary and continue to move Ann’s vision forward, LODC will offer 50 bursaries for teachers who would like to get the necessary training to deliver our NCFE accredited Level 1 Award in Language of Dance Movement Exploration, specifically designed to be accessible to young people with special educational needs but also applicable in community, primary and secondary school settings. From January 2018, the Centre will be hosting free workshops open to everyone who would like to experience Dr. Ann Hutchinson Guest’s Language of Dance.

To learn more about Ann and sign up to a free Language of Dance workshop, visit the LODC website.