Ann Hutchinson Guest Collection

The Ann Hutchinson Guest Collection contains materials relating to the work of the Language of Dance Centre, London (LDC) and to the work of Ann Hutchinson Guest as an individual, both before and after she founded the LDC in 1967. The collection contains 6 boxes, 106 volumes, 916 files, 101 items, 112 video cassettes, 96 DVDs, and 191 audio cassettes; plus c31 linear metres of publications. Materials in the collection were created between 1782 and 2010.

The collection’s catalogue can be downloaded at the link. The catalogue will be available to search online by the end of the year.

This collection can be accessed by appointment only. Email:

Arrangement of the Collection

  • AHG/1: Records relating to the administration of the LDC, the Language of Dance Association, and the Language of Dance Trust
  • AHG/2: Records relating to the creation of publications
  • AHG/3: Records relating to teaching, including the teaching of Labanotation and Motif Notation
  • AHG/4: Records relating to the involvement of Ann Hutchinson Guest and the LDC, with other organisations, groups and individuals
  • AHG/5: Records relating to the creation and collection of Labanotated scores
  • AHG/6: Records relating to publicity and the promotion of the work of Ann Hutchinson Guest and the LDC
  • AHG/7: Collected reference material
  • AHG/8: Video recordings
  • AHG/9: Audio recordings
  • AHG/10: Correspondence and autographs from well-known people collected by Ivor Guest (Ann Hutchinson Guest’s husband), including members of the royal family, dancers and choreographers (Jean Dauberval, Fanny Cerrito, Carlotta Grisi, Arthur Saint-Léon, Rosita Mauri, Ninette de Valois, Serge Lifar, others), composers and singers (Pauline Viardot, Clara Schumann, Giacommo Meyerbeer, Charles Gounod, Felix Mendelssohn, Richard Wagner, Georges Auric, Adelina Patti), and others
  • AHG/11: Issues of The Labanotator journal, with correspondence and notes, and of The Kinetographer journal; notes about various dances by Mary Skeaping
  • AHG/12: Documents relating to the work of the Dance Notation Bureau, New York and of the LDC, and to the proposed establishment of a Movement Notation Institute
  • AHG/13: Documents and correspondence relating to the running of the LDC; the use of Labanotation; the teaching of Labanotation
  • AHG/14: Guidelines for the certification of Labanotated scores by the Dance Notation Bureau, New York, with related correspondence and documents; teaching material and summaries of lessons for the choreography course ‘Balletmakers’ taught by Ann Hutchinson
  • AHG/15: Information about renting Labanotated scores and other material from the LDC
  • AHG/16: Correspondence about the Language of Dance Association and funding for the LDC; photocopies of material for the book Your Move by Ann Hutchinson Guest
  • AHG/17: Information about the Dance Notation Bureau Extension at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA; planning documents for the ‘Language of Dance’ series of published Labanotated scores; annotated drafts of the book Choreo-Graphics: A Comparison of Dance Notation Systems from the Fifteenth Century to the Present by Ann Hutchinson Guest
  • AHG/18: Documents relating to the Advanced Labanotation book series by Ann Hutchinson Guest; documents about the use of Labanotation in dance teaching and examinations in UK secondary education (O Level and A Level)
  • AHG/19: Notes and documents collected by Ann Hutchinson Guest relating to dance, dance notation, and the Ann Hutchinson Guest library and archive collection
  • AHG/20: LDC publications sent to the Froebel Institute, Roehampton, London (now the University of Roehampton)

About Ann Hutchinson Guest

Ann Hutchinson Guest is an author, researcher, dance notator, and teacher. She is an expert in the subject of dance notation, particularly Labanotation. Hutchinson Guest was born in New York City, USA, in 1918. In the 1930s, she trained in dance and learnt the Laban system for recording movement (also known as Labanotation) at the Jooss-Leeder School, Dartington Hall, UK. During the Second World War she returned to New York, dancing with the Welland Lathrop Company and in Broadway musicals. She was one of the founders of the Dance Notation Bureau in New York in 1940, and was its director until 1961 when she moved to London. In 1962 she married dance historian, Ivor Forbes Guest. She founded the Language of Dance Centre in London in 1967, and later founded the Language of Dance Center USA in Connecticut in 1997.

Her research interests include Labanotation, Motif Notation and other dance notation systems; she has published extensively on the subject, has promoted the use of dance notation, and has developed the Language of Dance teaching method. Throughout her career she has worked with people and groups from across the world, particularly in the UK and the USA, and has been a member of many organisations relating to dance and dance notation, including the International Council of Kinetography Laban. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan, USA, and Ohio State University, USA.

About the Language of Dance Centre

The Language of Dance Centre was established in London by Ann Hutchinson Guest in 1967. Language of Dance is a teaching method that teaches dance and dance notation through the Movement Alphabet and Motif Notation. The aim of the Language of Dance Centre is to use the Language of Dance teaching method to teach people of all ages, genders, cultural background and abilities. Work that has been carried out by the Centre includes: the teaching of dance; the teaching of Labanotation and Motif Notation; the creation of Labanotated scores; the creation of publications relating to Labanotation and Motif Notation, including the publication of Labanotated scores; and the collection and loaning-out of reference material relating to dance, dance notation, and movement.