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The Margaret Lasica Collection: Home

The Margaret Lasica Collection is a collection of books, journals and ephemera relating to the pioneering Melbourne dance choreographer and teacher, Margaret Lasica (1926-1993).

Modern Dance Ensemble

 

Images from performances by Modern Dance Ensemble. Date unknown. Images from http://www.kinesismagazine.com.au/. Permission pending.

The Margaret Lasica Collection

 

The Margaret Lasica Collection is a collection of books, journals and ephemera relating to the pioneering Melbourne dance choreographer and teacher, Margaret Lasica (1926-1993).  The collection was donated to the Lenton Parr Music, Visual and Performing Arts Library (Southbank campus) by Shelley and Wendy Lasica in 2008.

Biographical information: Margaret Lasica was born Margaret Weiss in Vienna and migrated to Australia in 1939 with her family. Her family took the surname Wickham on arrival in Australia, and she later married William Lasica. Margaret was a student of Ruth Bergner and performed in the Modern Ballet Group in Melbourne in the 1950s. She was an early pioneer of modern dance in Australia. Margaret taught at the Melbourne Kindergarten Teacher's College, Institute of Early Childhood Development, Melbourne Teacher's College and the Melbourne College of Advanced Education.  She taught dance and movement classes for patients at Laurundel Psychiatric Hospital as well as in private studios.  She established the Modern Dance Ensemble in 1967, which under her guidance as artistic director had extensive connections with the University of Melbourne and Victorian Opera Company in the 1970s.  The Ensemble performed in the Union Theatre, University of Melbourne from 1969. A former dancer in this Ensemble was Lloyd Newson who founded the innovative dance company DV8 in London.  Her daughters continue to contribute to the performing arts -  Shelley a successful choreographer and performer, and Wendy, an independant theatre producer.

Contents: The collection consists of over 800 titles - books, journals and ephemera.  The collection covers a broad range of subjects including dance and human movement (choreography, notation, education, therapy, biographies, anatomy), psychology, art, history, philosophy, mysticism, music, theatre and costume.

Access: The collection is located in the Lenton Parr Music, Visual and Performing Arts Library, Southbank Campus, University of Melbourne, 234 St Kilda Road, Southbank 3006.  The collection is available for consultation.  To find items or browse the collection go to The University of Melbourne Library Catalogue.

Enquiries:  Contact Georgina Binns, Music, Visual and Performing Arts Librarian. Contacts: 03 9035 9050 or gbinns@unimelb.edu.au

Additional resources

* Biographical information about Margaret Lasica is detailed in the Australian Women's Register.  

* The Margaret Lasica Manuscript Collection is held in the National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. These papers document Lasica's involvement with a variety of Australian dance companies, her professional reading and the Modern Dance History Project and Archive.

* In addition biographical cuttings are held in the National Library of Australia Collection.

* For further information about the Modern Dance Ensemble:

* Dancing in Melbourne in the 70s by Shelley Lasica in Kinesis 37:2 2009

* Margaret Lasica's Modern Dance History Project and Archive. Interview by Elizabeth Dempster. Writings on Dance No.4 Spring 1989.

​​* Brissenden, Alan and Glennon, Keith, Australia Dances: Creating Australian Dance, 1945-1965, Wakefield Press, Kent Town, South Australia, 2010

* Fensham, Rachel; Lasica, Shelley and Lasica, Wendy, 'Studio practices 1, extensions: room to move', in Real Time, 9 Oct-Nov 1995 pg. 36.