CodeDS/UK/P3939
Dates1900-1981
Person NameBartenieff; Irmgard (1900-1981)
SurnameBartenieff
ForenamesIrmgard
ActivityPhysical therapist, movement analysis, researcher, dance therapist, writer, choreographer
GenderFemale
Dates and PlacesBirth: Berlin, Germany (24 February 1900) Death: New York City (27 August 1981)
HistoryFollowing her university studies in Art and Bontany, Irmgard Bartenieff began studying with Rudolf Laban in Berlin 1925. During the two year program, she studied Choreutics (Space harmony) with Gertrude Loeser, Eukinetics (Effort) with Dussia Bereska, dance technique with Herman Robst, and notation and composition with Rudolf Laban. Later she and her Russian husband founded 'The Romantic Dance Theater', which toured Germany until the rise of the Nazi regime. The company disbanded after the dancers were forced to resign or risk being expelled from the union by the Nazis. In 1936 Irmgard Bartenieff and her husband left Germany to emigrate to New York. After emigration, Bartenieff practiced Swedish massage, lectured on Labanotation, and wrote the first published book on the subject in America with Irma Otte-Betz. Bartenieff borught the work of Laban and his colleagues to North America where she taught Laban theory. Furthermore, she augmented Laban's work with what came to be known as Bartenieff Fundamentals.

She studied at New York University and gradutated as a physical therapist in 1943. She was appointed Chief Physical Therapist for the Polio Service of New York City at Willard Parker Hospital. She combined her Laban-based understanding of movement with her physical therapy training in a clinical environment. Between 1953 and 1957 she was chief therapist and co-ordinator of activity programs at Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla, New York. The hospital was a residential treatment center for orthopedically and neurologically handicapped children. Bartenieff's work at Blythedale led to developmental studies on newborns and infants at Long Island Hospital in collaboration with Dr Judith Kestenberg. Whilst employed at Blythedale, Bartenieff also worked at the Institute for the Crippled and Disabled where she learned connective tissue massage.

In 1950 Irmgard Bartenieff resumed her study of Effort Theory with Laban in England and also studied Shape Theory with Warren Lamb. Following her return to New York, Bartenieff applied the theories of Effort and Shape to her own physical therapy practice and also set up training programs for dance therapists and other movement professionals. During the following decade she began working with psychiatric patients at Bronx State Hospital, and from 1957 to 1967 Bartenieff worked as a dance therapy resarch assistant to Dr Israel Zwerling at the Day Hospital Unit of Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

In 1965 Bartenieff established the Effort/Shape Cerification program at the Dance Notation Bureau. It was the first North American training program to teach Laban-based theory. However, Bartenieff found that her students were lacking whole body 'connectedness' which prevented them from fully experiencing the range of Effort qualities, so she began to teach classes in 'correctives' which came to be known as Bartenieff Fundamentals.

Between 1964 and 1966 Bartenieff worked in collaboration with Alan Lomax and Forrestine Paulay on the Choreometrics Project, a study of the correlations between climate, work movement and dance movement in different cultures.

The last Effort/Shape Certification program at the Dance Notation Bureau ran in 1977-1978. The program was reformed as the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS). Bartenieff continued her research and teaching, and in 1980 she published her book 'Body Movement: coping with the environment' written with Dori Lewis.
SourcetaggedICKL
Catalogue
RefNoTitleDate
XZB/1522Making Connections: Total Body Integration Through Bartenieff Fundamentals
L/E/61/10Rudolf Laban's Pupils \ Irmgard Bartenieff \ Laban Effort-Shape (Antrieb-Form) Theorie, ihre Anwendung in Tanztraining und der Analyse von Tanzstil, Die1964
LU/E/16/14Letters \ Irmgard Bartenieff1951-1952
LU/E/5/3Laban Institute of Movement Studies \ Irmgard Bartenieff1980-1981
XZL/E/2/6Space Harmony1977
XZK/C2049/3423Laban Art of Movement Guild News SheetOctober 1952
DH/B/2544Body Movement: Coping with the Environment
L/B/3Body Movement \ Coping with the Environment
XZE/9/6Effort-Shape Analysis of Movement: The Unity of Expression and Function1965
L/E/61/8Rudolf Laban's Pupils \ Irmgard Bartenieff \ Effort Observation and Effort Assessment in Rehabilitation1962
KL/E/2/3Conferences \ 5th \ Sept. 1965 - August 1967 \ Fifth Biennial Conference1965-1967
NCPE/1/61Vogel-Tanz aus 'Die Feenk├Ânigin' (Jooss)\ Ballettoper nach William Shakespeares Sommernachtstraum [Bird dance from 'The Fairy Queen'(Jooss) \ Ballet from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream]1959
NCPE/1/6Rigaudon de la Paix \ von Feuillet (Paris 1700)n.d.
KL/E/3/4Correspondence 1976-1978 (2 of 2)1976-1987
L/E/61/6Rudolf Laban's Pupils \ Irmgard Bartenieff \ Effort-Shape Analysis of Movement1965
XZK/C2049/3433Laban Art of Movement Guild MagazineMarch 1958
KL/E/22/4Conferences \ 5th \ ICKL 19671967
NCPE/1/8Menuett aus dem XIX Jahrhundert \ nach dem Buch von Bernhard Klemm (1855) [Minuet from the 19th Century \ after the book of Bernhard Klemm (1885)]1960
L/B/4Notes from a course in Correctives
L/E/61/9Rudolf Laban's Pupils \ Irmgard Bartenieff \ Attributes of Verticality, Then.d.
L/E/61/7Rudolf Laban's Pupils \ Irmgard Bartenieff \ Laban Theory as an Aesthetic Formulationn.d.
L/E/68/44Biographical Information \ Rudolf Laban \ Biographies of Rudolf Laban, Irmgard Bartenieff, Sylvia Bodmer, Martin Gleisner, Warren Lamb and Lisa Ullmannn.d.
L/E/50/15Letters \ Correspondence1950-1955
L/E/63/13Industrial Rhythm \ Assessments \ George Bartenieff23 November 1952-29 December 1952
XZB/2924Notes from a Course in Correctives
XZE/9/5Full Report of Labananalysis Research Workshop \ June 17-July 4, 19731973
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