Laban in Berlin
Rudolf Laban his life and work
Der Freie Tanz - The Free Dance
Laban and two women by a tree
Laban in Zurich
Laban schools in 1927
A floorplan for Titan
A drawing from the 1920s
Laban in Berlin
The 1936 Berlin Olympics
The Art of Movement Studio
Laban moved to Berlin in 1930 to become the Ballet Master at the Berlin State Opera.
He had just turned 50 years old. They year before, several specialist dance and movement journals had run special issues dedicated to Laban to celebrate his birthday.
This was his first salaried post and the financial security prompted his wife Maja to begin divorce proceedings to secure maintenance for their four children.
The archive has copies of their divorce papers, which shed light on his personal life and approach to fatherhood. These contrast with Laban's correspondence with Suzy Perrottet and their son, Andre, in the 1950s. Here he expresses regret for not being a more attentive father.
While in Berlin Laban tried to retain some of his experimental edge by insisting that there would be no distinction between chorus and soloists.
This programme (see image) is for his performances of Dornröschen and Die Puppenfee, both staged in 1934. However his choreographic work after 1930 was not as distinguished as that of his “wonder years” in the 1920s.
One production of note was his work on the Venusberg Bacchanal in Wagner's Tannhaüser, which was performed in Bayreuth.
Laban left his post as Head of Ballet at the Opera soon after the Nazis came to power in 1933 and went on to focus on his beloved “Lay Dance”.