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Summary

of
Margaret
Barr
Article
o Choreographer and teacher of dance and drama
o
Born
on
29th
of
November
in
Bombay
(India)
o Two sisters, Mungo Barr (father), Margret ne Aukett (mother)
o Spent most of their younger years living in the care of relatives.
o Contact with parents was cut off due to WW1 but regained
connection
and
sailed
to
the
US
in
1919.
o
Once
reached,
they
settled
in
Santa
Barbara
o The Barr sisters took part in the local arts scene while
completing
school
o They trained in drama with Murice Browne and Ellen Van
Volkenburg.
o They studied the Denishawn dance style, with Geordie Graham,
sister
of
Martha
Graham.
o They opened a Studio of the Dance: Aesthetic, pantomime and
Character
dancing
in
1925
o They moved to New York in 1927 to study acting with Eva Le
Glliene.
o She later fell under the spell of Martha Graham and modern
dance.
o The association with Graham lasted no more than eighteen
months and she had the greatest influence on her life than
anyone.
In 1929, Barr moved to London and began a group called The
Workshop
of
the
Dance.
She then established a school of dance-mime at Dartington Hall
Estate
in
Devon.
Within her tenure at Dartington she produced a number of highly
acclaimed
works.
Barr then transferred back to London in 1934 and choreographed
theatrical pieces that expressed political messages about
contemporary
economic
and
social
conditions.
These were anti-war based and drew on communist ideologies.
She then lived with Douglas Bruce and moved to New Zealand in
1939.
- Briefly worked in a munitions factory before teaching movement
and dramatic improvisation for the Workers Educational
Association
- Collaborated with R.A.K. Mason in China (1943) and Refugee
(1945)
Keen
interest
in
travel
(yachts)
- Married and divorced several times, moved to Australia (1949)
- 1951 opened a studio and formed Sydney Dance-Drama Group

(Margaret
Barr
Dance-Drama
Group
1968)
Created
a
major
work
each
year
Collaborated
with
Australian
composers
- Final work was The Countess in 1990 L
-Barrs insistence on dance-drama distinguished her work from
other modern dance.
-Her works fall into three broad categories
1. An Australian Suite: including Flood (1955), Bushfire (1955),
and The Breaking of the Drought (1958), Households (1959), Our
Son, Our Daughter (1960), and Three Sisters of Katoomba (1975) .
2. Works such as New Sonnets from the Portuguese (1975)
championed the endeavour of strong women.
3. A number of anti-war works: Processions (1943), A Small
People (1966), The Hurdlers (1969), and O Padre (1984).
- Be the inaugural movement tutor at the National Institute for
Dramatic Art (NIDA) from 1959 and lasted for seventeen years.
- She died on 29 May 1991 in Sydney, and was cremated.
- She had no children.
- A portrait by Anita Rezevska hangs in the Rogues Gallery at
NIDA.