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THM/22 - Contemporary Dance Trust Archive
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Contemporary Dance Trust Archive

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This material is held at V&A Museum: Department of Theatre and Performance
Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22
Dates of Creation 1957-1998
Name of Creator Contemporary Dance Trust
Language of Material English
Physical Description 2999 files

Scope and Content

This collection consists of papers relating to the running of the Contemporary Dance Trust which incorporated the London Contemporary Dance Theatre and the London Contemporary Dance School. The papers are therefore concerned with the administration of the trust, the running of the school and with education projects. Almost every aspect of the running of the London Contemporary Dance Theatre is covered including production files, touring files and personnel files. A substantial number of photographs of productions and individuals also form part of the collection.

Administrative / Biographical History

Inspired by the Martha Graham Dance Company performances in Britain in March 1954 Robin Howard's enthusiasm for modern dance ultimately led to the formation of the London School of Contemporary Dance in 1966. The body running the school was known as the Contemporary Ballet Trust and was renamed in 1970 as the Contemporary Dance Trust.

In 1967 Robert Cohan was appointed as artistic director and under his direction the London Contemporary Dance Group using dancers from the London School of Contemporary Dance and the Martha Graham Dance Company performed for the first time. A home was found for the Trust in January 1969 in a building that became known as The Place. 1969 saw the first London season of the London Contemporary Dance Company and the company went form strength to strength, touring, doing London seasons and also promoting contemporary dance through workshops, demonstrations and education projects. A number of the dancers such as Siobhan Davies and Richard Alston who began their careers at the London Contemporary Dance School (as it became known) went on to choreograph their own works for the company and later to choreograph for other companies. In fact many went on to establish their own dance companies.

In 1994 the decision to restructure the Contemporary Dance Trust was taken. This was done with a view to providing the flexibility that choreographers increasingly required reflected in the trend towards choreographer led companies. Richard Alston was appointed as artistic director of the Trust and The London Contemporary Dance Theatre was replaced by a smaller choreographer-led company in Autumn 1994. The Contemporary Dance Trust and The Place continue to exist and run the London Contemporary Dance School, The Place Theatre, Education and Community Programmes, The Video Place and The Data Place. The Place also provides an administrative home for companies such as The Cholmondeleys and Featherstonehaughs, Shobana Jeyasingh, V-TOL and the Jonathan Burrows Group.

Arrangement

The collection has been divided into eleven series

  • THM/22/1 - Administration and finance
  • THM/22/2 - Robin Howard's papers
  • THM/22/3 - Papers relating to Robert Cohan
  • THM/22/4 - London Contemporary Dance Theatre productions
  • THM/22/5 - London Contemporary Dance Theatre performances
  • THM/22/6 - London Contemporary Dance School
  • THM/22/7 - Education work
  • THM/22/8 - The Place Theatre
  • THM/22/9 - Images
  • THM/22/10 - Press, publicity and marketing
  • THM/22/11 - Existing finding aids and information resources

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for consultation in the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance's Reading Room, which is located at Blythe House, 23 Blythe Rd, Olympia, London, W14 0QX. The Reading Room is open Tuesday to Friday between 10.15 am and 4.30 pm. Access to it is by appointment only. To request an appointment please email tmenquiries@vam.ac.uk or telephone 020 7942 2698.

Access to some of these files may be restricted. These are identified at file level. Closed records:

Material covered by the Data Protection Act 1998 will be closed for the lifetime of the individuals named. Where a file refers to more than one individual it will be closed until the demise of all the individuals named.

Financial information concerning living individual's will be closed for that individual's lifetime. Where a file refers to more than one individual it will be closed until the demise of all the individuals named.

Restricted records:

Material concerned with royalty payments is restricted until 1 January 2050.

Records of board meetings (agendas, papers and minutes) are restricted until 1 January 2050.

Robin Howard's personal correspondence is restricted until 1 January 2030.

Internal memoranda circulated by Jack Norton are restricted until 1 January 2030.

Permission to access and use restricted records must be granted by the designated officers of The Place, 17 Duke's Road, London, WC1H 9PY. Sue Hoyle and David Burnie will grant permission, consulting Janet Eager about issues of a sensitive nature.

Conditions Governing Use

Archive material may not be photocopied. Arrangements can be made to photograph material in the reading room using non-flash photography.

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with the collection management policy.

Acquisition Information

The Contemporary Dance Trust Archive was catalogued with the generous support of The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. The Archive was received as a gift from the Contemporary Dance Trust in 1999.

Custodial History

While retained by the Contemporary Dance Trust the collection was under the care of the Trust's archivist. The archivist oversaw the transfer of material to the Theatre Museum.

Other Finding Aid

A preliminary list had been drawn up by the Contemporary Dance Trust's archivist. This listing has been incorporated into the catalogue and has itself been preserved and listed (ref: THM/22/11/2).

Related Material

Other material relating to the Contemporary Dance Trust can be found in the Department of Theatre and Perfromance's core collections. These include programmes as well as photographs particularly those by Anthony Crickmay.

Bibliography

Mary Clarke and Clement Crisp London Contemporary Dance Theatre: The First 21 YearsLondon, 1989,

Richard Mansfield London Contemporary Dance Theatre in Joan W White Twentieth Century Dance in Britain: A History of Five Dance Companies

Personal Names

Howard, Robin
Cohen, Robert
Davies, Siobhan. ( 1950-)
Alston, Richard. ( 1948-)

Corporate Names

Martha Graham Dance Company
London Contemporary Dance School
Contemporary Dance Trust

Cataloguing Info

Title Contemporary Dance Trust Archive
Sub-title Catalogue of records in the Victoria & Albert Museum: Department of Theatre and Performance
Author Catalogued by Clara Anderson

Administration and Finance

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1
Dates of Creation 1957 - 1998
Physical Description 601 files

Scope and Content

This series contains information on the overarching administration of the Contemporary Dance Trust. The series includes documents created by the Board and Trustees and by various organisational committees. There are reports on the activities and on structure and organisation of the trust and documents detailing reorganisation. There is correspondence with bodies such as the Arts Council of Great Britain and the National Music Council. There is also documentation of the daily running of the trust through administrative memos and through minutes of the meetings of the Heads of Departments, Co-ordination meetings and meetings of the divisional directors. Information on financial matters, insurance and fund-raising and building plans are all contained within the series. There are also personnel records and correspondence with organisations such as the British Actor's Equity Association and the Musician's Union representing those working for the Contemporary Dance Trust.

Arrangement

This series has been divided into fifteen sub-series

  • THM/22/1/1 - Board Papers
  • THM/22/1/2 - Trust Papers
  • THM/22/1/3 - Committee papers
  • THM/22/1/4 - Reorganisation
  • THM/22/1/10 - Administrative memoranda
  • THM/22/1/11 - Building management
  • THM/22/1/12 - British Actor's Equity Association and the Musicians' Union
  • THM/22/1/13 - General personnel and recruitment files
  • THM/22/1/14 - Personnel files for dancers, teachers, technicians and administrative staff
  • THM/22/1/15 - Personnel files for musicians and composers

Conditions Governing Access

Closed records:

Material covered by the Data Protection Act 1998 will be closed for the lifetime of the individuals named. Where a file refers to more than one individual it will be closed until the demise of all the individuals named.

Financial information concerning living individual's will be closed for that individual's lifetime. Where a file refers to more than one individual it will be closed until the demise of all the individuals named .

Restricted records:

Records of board meetings (agendas, papers and minutes) are restricted until 1 January 2050.

Robin Howard's personal correspondence is restricted until 1 January 2030.

Internal memoranda circulated by Jack Norton are restricted until 1 January 2030.

Permission to access and use restricted records must be granted by the designated officers of The Place, 17 Duke's Road, London, WC1H 9PY. Sue Hoyle and David Burnie will grant permission, consulting Janet Eager about issues of a sensitive nature.

For more details please see notes at sub-series and file level.


Board papers

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/1
Dates of Creation 1968 - 1998
Physical Description 7 files

Scope and Content

This sub-series contains agendas, correspondence and minutes of the meetings of the Board of Governors of the Contemporary Dance Trust. It also includes reports made to the board.

The files have been arranged in chronological order. There is also a file containing correspondence with the board.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these files is on a restricted basis until 1 January 2050.

Written permission granting access must be given by the designated officers of The Place. The designated officers authorised to grant access permission during the restricted period are Sue Hoyle and David Burnie, who will consult with Janet Eager (member of the Board of Governor) on any matters of particular sensitivity.


Correspondence, agendas, minutes and reports for board meetings

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/1/1/1-7
Dates of Creation 1969 - 1973
Physical Description 1 box (7 folders)

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these files is on a restricted basis until 1 January 2050. Please see note at sub-series level.


Correspondence, agendas, minutes and reports for board meetings

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/1/2/1-9
Dates of Creation 1974 - 1981
Physical Description 1 box (9 folders)

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these files is on a restricted basis until 1 January 2050. Please see note at sub-series level.


Correspondence, agendas, minutes and reports for board meetings

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/1/3/1-6
Dates of Creation 1981 - 1984
Physical Description 1 box (6 folders)

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these files is on a restricted basis until 1 January 2050. Please see note at sub-series level.


Correspondence, agendas, minutes and reports for board meetings

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/1/4/1-10
Dates of Creation 1985 - 1987
Physical Description 1 box (10 folders)

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these files is on a restricted basis until 1 January 2050. Please see note at sub-series level.


Correspondence, agendas, minutes and reports for board meetings

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/1/5/1-5
Dates of Creation 1987 - 1988
Physical Description 5 folders

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these files is on a restricted basis until 1 January 2050. Please see note at sub-series level.


Minutes, notes and correspondence of Internal Board Meetings and of the Executive Committee

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/1/6/1-3
Dates of Creation 1975 - 1982
Physical Description 3 folders

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these files is on a restricted basis until 1 January 2050. Please see note at sub-series level.


Correspondence with the Board of Governors

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/1/7/1-18
Dates of Creation 1974 - 1983
Physical Description 1 box (18 folders)

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these files is on a restricted basis until 1 January 2050. Please see note at sub-series level.


Trust Papers

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/2
Dates of Creation 1957 - 1980
Physical Description 11 files

Scope and Content

This sub-series contains papers relating to the establishment and running of the Contemporary Dance Trust. The papers mainly date from the early days of the Trust. They includes minutes of meetings of the trustees and correspondence concerning the high level organisation of the Trust.

The files have been arranged according to their subject and then in chronological order.


Correspondence with Radcliffes firm of solicitors concerning the Trust

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/2/1/1-2
Dates of Creation 1957 - 1973
Physical Description 2 folders

Minute book of meetings of Trustees

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/2/2
Dates of Creation 1965 - 1966
Physical Description 1 volume

Reports and correspondence relating to the Robin Howard Trust

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/2/3
Dates of Creation 1965
Physical Description 1 folder

Memorandum and articles of association of Contemporary Ballet Trust Limited and minutes of meetings of the Finance committee and the council of management

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/2/4
Dates of Creation 1966
Physical Description 1 folder

Minutes of meetings of Trustees

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/2/5
Dates of Creation 1964 - 1966
Physical Description 1 folder

Minutes and notes for meetings of Trustees

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/2/6
Dates of Creation 1967
Physical Description 1 folders

Minutes and reports to the Council of the Contemporary Dance Trust

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/2/7
Dates of Creation 1968
Physical Description 1 folder

Notes and correspondence on the organisation of the Contemporary Dance Trust

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/2/8
Dates of Creation 1968 - 1969
Physical Description 1 folder

Notes, reports and minutes on the running of the Contemporary Dance Trust

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/2/9
Dates of Creation 1969
Physical Description 1 volume

Notes, reports and memoranda on the running of the Contemporary Dance Trust

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/2/10
Dates of Creation 1969 - 1980
Physical Description 1 volume

Correspondence concerning the running of the Contemporary Dance Trust

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/22/1/2/11
Dates of Creation 1976 - 1979
Physical Description 1 volume