Barr, Margaret (1904-1991)

Also known as
Barr, Margaret (-1991)
Hart, Margaret (1904-1991)
Field of activity
Choreographer; Teacher Of Dance-drama; Dancer; Playwright; Writer; Director; Assistant Producer; teacher of dance-drama
Libraries Australia
http://nla.gov.au/anbd.aut-an35224066
NLA Persistent Identifier
https://nla.gov.au/nla.party-487668

Biographies

Born In India. Arrived Sydney 1954. Margaret Barr is a Choreographer, Dancer, Playwright, Writer, Director, Assistant Producer who is mentioned in 9 events in the AusStage database

View the full record at AusStage

Margaret Barr (1904–1991), choreographer and teacher of dance-drama, was born on 29 November 1904 at Bombay (Mumbai), India, younger of two daughters of American-born Mungo Barr, dentist, and his English...

View the full record at Australian Dictionary of Biography

Margaret Barr was born in Bombay, India, and raised in England, India, and the USA. Receiving her initial dance training from Geordie Graham, she later trained at Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn's Denishawn School, and with Martha Graham in New York. In 1923 Barr choreographed her first work, Hebridean.

In the mid 1920s Barr travelled to England, where, with Joyce Peters she established the Workshop of Modern Dance in London. In 1930 Barr took up an appointment as the director of the School of Dance Mime at Dartington Hall, Devon, becoming head of the Dance Department the following year, a post she held till her resignation in 1934. During her time at Dartington Hall she choreographed a number of dance-dramas including The Family to music by Edmund Rubbra, The Breadline to music by Lord Berners, and The People to music by Donald Ponds. Many of the works she created during this time were to specially composed scores by the composer Edmund Rubbra.

After leaving Dartington Hall Barr continued teaching and choreographing work in London, subsidising her work by taking up a position as a movement and improvisation teacher at Ronald Adam's Embassy Theatre School during 1935. Strongly influenced by the left-wing views of her partner, and later husband, Bruce Hart, Barr began to choreograph increasingly socially and politically conscious dance-dramas, including The Three Sisters, Dance for Two with Chorus to music by Bartok, and Mill Girls, this latter about an industrial revolt by female mill workers.

In 1940 Barr travelled with her husband to Auckland, New Zealand, hoping to escape the outbreak of war. After an initially being forced by wartime regulations to work in a munitions factory for six months, Barr began working as a movement tutor at the Auckland Theatre School, which was run under the auspices of the Auckland University and the Adult Education Department. During her time at the Theatre School Barr choreographed the dance-drama The Factory. In 1948 Barr separated from Hart, a year later she married Walter Browne with whom she emigrated to Australia in 1949.

Barr restarted her performance and choreographic work in Australia with the establishment of the Margaret Barr Dance-Drama Group in the early 1950s, and later continued her teaching as the director of movement at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) from its inception in 1958, and held the position until 1975. Her choreography for the Margaret Barr Dance-Drama Group, for which she was sole choreographer and director, was motivated by strong social and political concerns. Her dance dramas ranged over diverse topics, and included such work as The Fence (1953), Voyageurs (1956), Poly Asian Nursery Rhyme (1960), The Explorers (1963), Vietnam (1970), Antique Forms in an Antique Sun (1972), Judith Wright (1974), Three Sisters of Katoomba (1975), Enclosures (1977), A Day in the Life of Mahatma Gandhi (1982), Celebration of the Desert (1984), The Wild Colonial Boy (1987). In all Barr choreographed over sixty works during her time in Australia.

Margaret Barr, who made a unique contribution to dance in Australia as a choreographer, director and teacher, died in Sydney on Wednesday, aged 86.

View the full record at Obituaries Australia

Related people and organisations

AusStage

Resources for Margaret Barr

Selected resources (13)

AusStage

  1. Margaret Barr's network
    See professional relationships in the AusStage database.
  2. Margaret Barr's map
    See places of activity in the AusStage database.
  3. What's New?
    Barr, Margaret (Choreographer)
    [1973-09-15]
    A performance staged at the New Theatre, Newtown, NSW
  4. The Sydney Dance Drama Group
    Barr, Margaret (Director)
    [1960-10-26]
    A performance staged at the New South Wales, , NSW
  5. The Royal Hunt of the Sun
    Barr, Margaret (Choreographer)
    [1966-03-14]
    A performance staged at the Bonython Hall, The University of Adelaide, SA
  6. The Alchemist
    Barr, Margaret (Assistant Producer)
    [1955-01-01]
    A performance staged at the WEA Studio Theatre, Newcastle, NSW
  7. On Stage Vietnam
    Barr, Margaret (Choreographer)
    [1967-06-10]
    A performance staged at the New Theatre, Darlinghurst, NSW
  8. Going, Going, Gone!
    Barr, Margaret (Playwright)
    [1968-11-23]
    A performance staged at the New Theatre, Darlinghurst, NSW
  9. Going, Going, Gone!
    Barr, Margaret (Choreographer)
    [1968-11-23]
    A performance staged at the New Theatre, Darlinghurst, NSW
  10. What's New
    Barr, Margaret (Choreographer)
    [1973-09-15]
    A performance staged at the New Theatre, Newtown, NSW
  11. Pueblo del Maiz
    Barr, Margaret (Director)
    [1987-09-01]
    A performance staged at the The Performance Space, Redfern, NSW
  12. Pueblo del Maiz
    Barr, Margaret (Playwright)
    [1987-09-01]
    A performance staged at the The Performance Space, Redfern, NSW
  13. Snowy
    Barr, Margaret (Director)
    [1961-09-02]
    A performance staged at the The University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW

Resources by Margaret Barr (6)

  1. Margaret Barr / research and interview, James Murdoch
    Barr, Margaret, 1904-1991
    [ Video : 1986 ]
    At 6 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 75,178.367)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 75,178.367)

  2. Margaret Barr : Hebridean Suite
    ABC-TV (Australia)
    [ Video : 2005-2007 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 74,936.227)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 74,936.227)

  3. Margaret Barr Collection, 1918-1991
    Barr, Margaret, 1904-1991
    [ Sound, Video : 1918-1991 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 55,795.262)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 55,795.262)

  4. China dances; script for a dance-drama by Margaret Barr : and other verses / by R.A.K. Mason
    Mason, R. A. K. (Ronald Allison Kells), 1905-1971
    [ Book : 1962 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31,140.029)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31,140.029)

  5. China : script / by R.A.K. Mason ; for a dance-drama by Margaret Barr
    Mason, R. A. K. (Ronald Allison Kells), 1905-1971
    [ Book : 1943 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 27,697.678)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 27,697.678)

  6. Climbers
    Prod Co: Silver Films/Australian Film Commission/Women's FilmFund
    [ Video : 1979-1980 ]
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 19,619.822)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 19,619.822)

Resources about Margaret Barr (27)

  1. Margaret Barr / research and interview, James Murdoch
    Barr, Margaret, 1904-1991
    [ Video : 1986 ]
    At 6 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 74,952.641)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 74,952.641)

  2. Margaret Barr : Hebridean Suite
    ABC-TV (Australia)
    [ Video : 2005-2007 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 74,930.008)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 74,930.008)

  3. Choreographer Margaret Barr and student, Sydney, 1969 / Douglas Thompson
    Thompson, Douglas, 1932-
    [ Photograph : 1969 ]
    Languages: No linguistic content
    View online
    At National Library
    Choreographer Margaret Barr and student, Sydney, 1969 / Douglas Thompson
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 61,679.02)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 61,679.02)

  4. Series 02: Margaret Barr slides and negatives, 1950s-1980s
    [ Photograph : 1980 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 54,766.488)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 54,766.488)

  5. Lesma Sturmer interviewed by Alex and Annette Hood in the Margaret Barr dancers oral history project
    Sturmer, Lesma, 1922-
    [ Sound : 2005 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 53,326.98)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 53,326.98)

  6. Margaret Barr : epic individual / Caryll von Sturmer
    Von Sturmer, Caryll
    [ Book : 1993 ]
    At 7 libraries
    Margaret Barr : epic individual / Caryll von Sturmer
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 51,701.191)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 51,701.191)

  7. Rosalind Gillespie interviewed by Alex and Annette Hood in the Margaret Barr dancers oral history project
    Gillespie, Rosalind, 1940-
    [ Sound : 2006 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 50,812.422)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 50,812.422)

  8. Julia Edwards interviewed by Alex Hood and Annette Hood in Margaret Barr dancers oral history project
    Edwards, Julia, 1940-
    [ Sound : 2005 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 50,685.875)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 50,685.875)

  9. Philip Piggin interviewed by Alex and Annette Hood in the Margaret Barr dancers oral history project
    Piggin, Philip, 1953-
    [ Sound : 2006 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 50,163.117)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 50,163.117)

  10. Diane Wilder and John Donvito interviewed by Alex and Annette Hood in the Margaret Barr dancers oral history project
    Wilder, Diane, 1963-
    [ Sound : 2005 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 50,102.262)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 50,102.262)

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  1. Barr, Mary-Margaret H., (Mary-Margaret Harrison) (1903-)
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 36,988.75)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 36,988.75)

  2. Mitchell, Erlistoun (1868-1913)
    Artist;
    ... Barr Smith, Robert ... Barr Smith, Joanna ... of the thirteen children of Robert and Joanna Barr Smith. The Barr Smiths were a rich South ... . In 1898 Erlistoun Barr Smith married William Mitchell (1861-1962), an academic; they had two children ...
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 34,919.023)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 34,919.023)

  3. Barr, Margaret Scolari (1901-1987)
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 33,793.641)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 33,793.641)

  1. JOHN BARR, formerly of Springwood, New South Wales,
    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Friday 10 August 1962 [Issue No.75] p 2388

    Government Gazette Private Notices

    ... Robert Cameron Barr and Margaret Walker Barr (born Park). — Pursuant to a decretal order of the Supreme ... John Barr, formerly of Springwood, New South Wales, architect, deceased, stated to be the son of ... 257 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,874.789)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,874.789)

  2. RE will of MARGARET KILKELLY, late of Cowper, in the
    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Friday 9 September 1949 [Issue No.173] p 2712

    Government Gazette Private Notices

    ... RE will of MARGARET KILKELLY, late of Cowper, in the State of New South Wales, widow, deceased. ... the said Margaret Kilkelly, "who died on 22nd May, 1949, hereby give notice that creditors and others ... 180 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,253.144)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,253.144)

  3. IN the Supreme Court of New South Wales.—Probate Division.—In the estate of ETHEL MARGARET HAZELL, late
    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Friday 27 February 1981 [Issue No.35] p 1249

    Government Gazette Private Notices

    ... , and Trustee Act, 1925, Doris May Barr, the administratrix of the estate of the said Ethel Margaret ... IN the Supreme Court of New South Wales.—Probate Division.—In the estate of ETHEL MARGARET HAZELL ... 198 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 879.572)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 879.572)

  1. Choreographer Margaret Barr and stu ...
    Thompson, Dougl ...
    [ Photograph : 1969 ]
    Choreographer Margaret Barr and student, Sydney, 1969 / Douglas Thompson
  2. Series 02: Margaret Barr slides and ...
    [ Photograph : 1980 ]
  3. Series 06: Photographs of the dance ...
    [ Poster, chart, other : 1980 ]
    Series 06: Photographs of the dance dramas of Margaret Barr, 1930s-1980s
  4. Series 03: Margaret Barr albums and ...
    [ Photograph : 1988 ]
  5. Series 05: Margaret Barr miscellane ...
    [ Poster, chart, other : 1987 ]
  6. Leeton Cannery, 1951 ; Theatrical a ...
    Thompson, Dougl ...
    [ Art work : 1978 ]
  1. Margaret Barr’s Climbers
    Tharunka (Kensington, NSW : 1953 - 2010) Wednesday 28 July 1976 p 16 Article Illustrated
    ... Maccjaret Barr's Climbers This year's major work by Margaret Barr Dance Drama Group is based on the ... Information Centre in Sydney. There, the Group saw films on the Kabuke A distinguishing feature of Ms Barr ... 535 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 4,959.71)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 4,959.71)

  2. The trouble with Margaret Barr
    Tribune (Sydney, NSW : 1939 - 1976) Wednesday 2 August 1967 p 6 Article Illustrated
    ... The trouble with Margaret Barr jj By Our Sydney Theatre Cffjjp ; "THE trouble with Margaret Barr is ... until stopped still in their tracks by the nation's biggest annual event. Margaret Barr. Forum of ideas ... 879 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 4,374.846)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 4,374.846)

  3. "MARGARET."
    Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954) Friday 21 February 1913 p 52 Article
    ... think that thete ' arc ves being "lived so empty, so barren, so Sonely-Margaret is only a sample of many ... "MARGARET.^ By D.M. The young doctor had just finished his round of the big' hospital, and was ... 2429 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 3,943.216)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 3,943.216)

  1. Margaret Barr Dancers
    [ Unpublished : 1985-1995 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 604.233)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 604.233)

  2. [Biographical cuttings on Margaret Barr, dancer, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]
    [ Published : 1900-1990 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 464.743)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 464.743)

  3. [Margaret Barr Dance Drama Group : programs and related material collected by the National Library of Australia]
    [ Published : 1900 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 362.487)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 362.487)

  1. Margaret Barr, storyteller: Snowy [Ballet]
    Harris, Joanne
    Brolga
    [ Article : 2004 ]
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 587.014)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 587.014)

  2. Profile of Margaret Barr. -Teacher and choreographer of modern dance-
    Eadie, Joolee
    Womanspeak
    [ Article : 1987 ]
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 414.247)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 414.247)

  3. Margaret Barr Dance Drama Group (17 July 1980 - 19 July 1980) [Event Description]
    [ Article : 1980 ]
    At AusStage
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 403.532)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 403.532)

  4. Galvanising Community (Part 2): Margaret Barr at Dartington Hall 1930 - 1934
    Lester, Garry
    Brolga: An Australian Journal about Dance
    [ Article : 2007 ]
    View online (conditions apply)
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 401.824)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 401.824)

  1. Margaret Barr
    Margaret Barr
    Created by marghanita, 6 items.

    Margaret Barr opened a Studio in Annandale circa 1951

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,138.782)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,138.782)

  2. FLETCHER, Duncan McGilvray, 1850-1901
    FLETCHER, Duncan McGilvray, 1850-1901
    Created by markauturnbull, 1 item.

    Duncan McGilvray FLETCHER, 1850-1901, son of Duncan FLETCHER and Margaret BARR, father of Robert Kennedy FLETCHER, 1881-1919.

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 125.501)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 125.501)

  3. Antique Forms in an Antique Sun (1972 - )
    Antique Forms in an Antique Sun (1972 - )
    Created by NLAdance, 5 items.

    Antique Forms in an Antique Sun was entered by Margaret Barr in the 1972 Ballet Australia Choreographic Competition. It premiered on 14 May 1972 at the Elizabethan Theatre, Newtown, and re...

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 63.771)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 63.771)

  1. Margaret Barr
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Radio National
    [ Sound : 2004 ]
    View online
    At ABC Radio National
    Margaret Barr
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 953.411)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 953.411)

  2. Margaret Barr
    AFI [au]
    [ Video : 1986 ]
    At Moving Image Coll
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 726.644)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 726.644)

  3. Margaret Barr
    Victoria. Audio-Visual Education Centre
    [ Video : 1978 ]
    At Moving Image Coll
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 698.559)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 698.559)

  4. Series 01: Margaret Barr - papers, 1919-1991
    [ Video : 1919-1991 ]
    View online
    At State Library of NSW
    Series 01: Margaret Barr - papers, 1919-1991
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 670.756)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 670.756)

  1. Margaret Barr : a universal soul / edited and compiled by Y. Surrendra Paul
    Paul, Y. Surrendra
    [ Book : 1975 ]
    At University of Sydney
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 827.901)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 827.901)

  2. Southern Peace families and the Barr descendants of Margaret Scott Barr Peace / by Joseph S. Rowland, Jr
    Rowland, Joseph S
    [ Book : 1995 ]
    View online (access conditions)
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 668.694)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 668.694)

  3. Kharang : an eye-witness account of the work of Margaret Barr among the villages of the Khasi Hills, Assam, India / by Bruce Findlow ; with an introduction by Margaret Barr
    Findlow, Bruce
    [ Book : 1955 ]
    At University of Sydney
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 470.344)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 470.344)

  4. Maggie & me / by Damian Barr
    Barr, Damian
    [ Book : 2013-2014 ]
    View online (access conditions)
    At 61 libraries
    Maggie & me / by Damian Barr
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 445.238)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 445.238)

  1. Kim / Rudyard Kipling
    Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936
    [ Book, Audio book : 1897-2020 ]
    Languages: English;French;German;Italian, [11 others]
    Read online at Hathi Trust
    View online
    At 158 libraries
    Kim / Rudyard Kipling
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.344)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.344)