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RepositoryNational Resource Centre for Dance Archive
LevelItem
Ref NoNM/M/3
Alt Ref NoNM/N/4
TitleMadge Atkinson 1925-1970
Date1925-1970
DescriptionLabelled number 20 inside. Reviews of and advertisements for Natural Movement performances and other related events from 25 December 1925 to 1951 - also loose material which dates to 1970.

This time period covered the heyday of Natural Movement. In 1925 Atkinson was invited by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) to form the Natural Movement Branch and in the same year she formulated the first elementary examination for Natural Movement. From 1925-1939 Natural Movement was widely taught in Manchester Schools, and in 1930 the ISTD requested that a syllabus of graded examinations be drawn up by the Natural Movement Branch Committee. Also in this time Anita Heyworth began work at the Bergman-Osterberg Physical Training College at Dartford (where she remained until 1944), and she also worked at the Cone School of Dancing in London.
In 1936 the Atkinson-Suffield partnership ended in Manchester and the School moved to London where Atkinson opened her studio with Anita Heyworth at 22 Holland Park, Kensington. In 1939 the school was evacuated to Newquay, Cornwall and in 1944 Atkinson and Heyworth were invited by Grace Cone to participate in the founding of the London College of Educational Dance (later the London College of Dance and Drama, (LCDD), the first teacher training college of its kind). The children's examinations syllabi were revised in 1947 and in 1953 a primary grade was added.
Atkinson withdrew from active teaching in 1954 due to an accident which left her dependent on the use of crutches. She resigned from the Committee of the Sunshine Dancing Competition in 1958 and in 1960 major revisions were made to the Elementary syllabus with later revisions to the Intermediate and Advanced syllabi. Atkinson also retired from the Chairmanship of the Natural Movement Branch in 1967. She died on the 19th February, 1970 after a long illness.

Topics/venues/performances covered are:
The Art of Movement article with images in Town and Country 25 December 1925; Old English Dances at the Arts Club; Ancoats Holiday School 14 August 1926; photographs of Mary Halksworth and Dot Simister; articles from The Ballroom 1926; dance matinees by the Haines and Madge Atkinson Schools; demonstration at the Nelson Clef Club October 1926; Purcell's "Fairy Queen"; images of New World Symphony, The Passepied and BoureƩ and The Spirit of the Bush Fire 1927; Holiday School in Fallowfield July 1927; Manchester Opera House performance 1927; Houldsworth Hall; article regarding the forming of the Dancing Circle in Manchester 3 December 1927; image of Spirits of the Dance, The Captive Maid; performance at the Colne Clef Club and Nelson Clef Club 1928; image of students from Hedwig Baasch School, images of North of England Dance Festival, Pan and the Fairies, rehearsal for Manchester Opera Festival 1929; The Flirtation and The Witches of Baba Yaga; Ballet dancers "Off the Boards" article on preparing for the British Opera Festival; The Dance of the Seasons performed at manchester University jubilee garden party; Salford garden party; Health Exhibition at the City Hall, Manchester; Blackpool Dance Festival 1931; The Dance of the Wind 1932; Peter and Ann's Journey to the Moon" and "A Dance to the Sun"; article Dancing as a Career and Dance throughout the ages; teaching children and babies; Garrick Playhouse; Soaring; The Sigh; Home Exercises that lead to health and grace article in the Evening Chronicle 1933; The Hoop Dance; Mary Thornley at the Blackpool Dance Festival 1933; Dancing as a Career for the Modern Girl; British system of physical culture at the John Perryn School; images of Trina and the Fairies and Traffic (Suffield); Parsifal 1934; lecture at Kingsmoor School; teaching babies; Hansel and Gretel; "A Florentine Ivory" L Stanley Jast's play at the Little Theatre in the Central Library Manchester; article announcing Atkinson's farewell stage appearance at the London Palladium 19 March 1935; performance by blind girls; Atkinson-Suffield School moving to London 1936; The Moon Maiden 1937; the spread of Natural Movement 'from China to Peru'; images of The Stolen Child; The Sigh of Autumn, Toil; article on Dartford Physical Training Students; article on Atkinson and her studio; Landler; Rudolf Steiner Hall July 1938; Dancing in the Girls' Schools in South Africa; Mother Goose; Natural Movement Branch Silver Jubilee 1950; ballet of Louis XIV.

A page from The Sketch, 23 July 1930, is glued to the inside back cover showing Miss Edna Squire-Brown.

Loose material:
Three images, obituary for Atkinson (perhaps added by Anita Heyworth), Rudolf Steiner reviews and a page of a newspaper The Illustrated Weekly of India showing the Madge Atkinson dancers rehearsing for the ballet of the Opera Festival in Manchester, the paper is dated 20 October 1929. (A3 stored separately)

Some cuttings are replicated in NM/M/6 and NM/M/7
LanguageEnglish
Extent1 blue scrapbook of cuttings
FormatNewspaper Cuttings
Persons
CodePerson NameDates
DS/UK/P3147Atkinson; Madge (1885-1970); dance practitioner1885-1970
DS/UK/P1348Heyworth; Anita Elizabeth M (1906-1991)1906-1991
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