From 1981-1997 she served as a jury member for choreographic competitions of the Fédération Internationale de Danse, and the Groningen and Bagnolet competitions. She gained sponsorship for Looking at Dances (1998), Dance Words (1995) and Dance and the Performative (2002) and acted as choreographic mentor in the Netherlands and Belgium.

She has been a guest artist in universities and festivals in North and South America, Europe, Australia and Japan.

In 2008 she collaborated with the William Forsythe Company to create an interactive web-based method of recording Forsythe’s creative processes in his making of The Loss of Small Detail project. Her recent work focused on Laban's groundbreaking dance theatre experiments in the 1920s and, in collaboration from dance and music artists from Trinity Laban London, she has directed radical recreations for today’s culture of dance theatre works from his repertoire of the 1920's.

Paddy Macmaster teaching at Beechmont Movement Study Centre

She opened Beechmont Movement Study Centre (1967-1971) providing specialist courses in dance and dance notation (Labanotation and Motif Writing) and collaborating with Her Majesty's Inspectors of Education on the possibility of designing the first BA (Hons) degree course in Dance in the UK. After a short break for her family (she has a son and daughter), she retrained (1977-1981) gaining an Adv Diploma in Education, a MA(dist) in Movement Studies and a PHD in Choreology concurrently teaching and researching at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance.

"Onwards, my favourite word, onwards to the next endeavour whatever that will be."

Valerie Preston-Dunlop

Valerie Preston-Dunlop
Dancers at Dartford College of Physical Education

From 1953-63 Valerie Preston-Dunlop trained dance students in modern educational dance, the creative dance for all ages initiated by Laban and promoted by the Ministry of Education.

Valerie performed with British Dance Theatre (1949 – 1952), Artistic Director Hettie Loman. The company toured the United Kingdom and took part in one of the first BBC television broadcasts (1950) from Alexandra Palace.

Rudolf Laban

Valerie's meeting, aged sixteen, with the extraordinary Hungarian Rudolf Laban, guru of expressionist dance, set her on a life-long career devoted to questioning, championing and developing his initial insights into dance as a deeply significant art form for human wellbeing.

Lisa Ullmann rehearsing at the Art of Movement Studio

In 1947 Valerie Preston-Dunlop began her training under Rudolf Laban in Manchester at the newly opened Art of Movement Studio, on completion receiving a Laban Diploma.

 

She attended the School of Russian Ballet in London and worked with Albrecht Knust and Kurt Jooss at the Folkwangschule in Essen. 

Biography

Dr Valerie Preston-Dunlop with Professor Anthony Bowne, Director of Trinity Laban

Valerie Preston-Dunlop speaking at the Forsythe Festival, Reggio Emilia
Ana Catalina Román from the William Forsythe Company and VPD demonstrating a Loss Project map
Rudolf Laban