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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).

Margaret Lasica Collection: 

Consists of approximately 1,200 books and journals relating mainly to dance, but including drama, costume, theatre production, psychology, art, literature and cultural studies, as supporting material.

Margaret Lasica Ephemera Collection: 

Includes materials relating to Margaret Lawrence's personal and professional life, including a handwritten notebook, handwritten notes on 16 cards, 3 photographs, 4 folders of clipping and dance articles, collected dance performance programmes (some with her annotations) and leaflets, birthday, Christmas and thankyou cards, postcards, copies of dance study and teaching materials, clippings from newspapers and magazines, bookmarks, catalogues from dancewear retailers and book distributors, meal menus, and receipts.

These collections provide a cohesive reflection of the influences behind the artistic creativity of Margaret Lasica’s career in dance. 

 Margaret Lasica migrated to Australia in 1939.   She was an early pioneer of modern dance in Australia.  Margaret taught at the Kindergarten Teachers College, Institute of Early Childhood Development, Melbourne Teacher’s College, Melbourne College of Advanced Education, and taught dance and movement classes for patients at Laurundel Psychiatric Hospital and private studios.  She established the Modern Dance Ensemble, 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. One former dance member was Lloyd Newson who founded the innovative dance company DV8 in London.

Further Resources

  • The collection complements the papers held in the National Library of Australia. These papers document Lasica’s involvement with a variety of Australian dance companies, her professional reading, and the Modern Dance History Project and Archive.


  •  There are further interviews and related materials contained in other Australian collections institutions and listed on TROVE.  
  • Further archival information about performances involving Margaret Lasica are available at the University of Melbourne Student Theatre Archive. Search on "lasica" at:


Images from performances by Modern Dance Ensemble. Date unknown. Images from Permission pending.