Barbara Mettler Papers, 1931-2002

Title

Barbara Mettler Papers, 1931-2002

Description

Barbara Mettler, dancer, dance educator, author, and film and video producer, developed her own style of modern dance, which emphasized improvisation. Her core principles were beauty, freedom, and democracy. Dance was conceived as a fundamental human activity, of which all people are capable, as opposed to an elite, choreographed, performance art. She taught widely, to diverse lay people, including adults, children, and the handicapped, primarily from her own Mettler Studios. Her students later formed the International Association for Creative Dance to carry the principles of her work forward.

The Barbara Mettler Archive came to Hampshire College in 2003, bequeathed to Hampshire in her will. The Finding Aid for the collection is a complete description of the material in the collection. The digital items in this website which represent her work were made possible by a grant from the Barbara Mettler Trust in 2011.

Items in the Barbara Mettler Papers, 1931-2002 Collection

Dresden Portrait 4
One in a series of portraits of Mettler taken during her time as a student at the Mary Wigman School in Dresden, Germany.

Dresden Portrait 3
One in a series of portraits of Mettler taken during her time as a student at the Mary Wigman School in Dresden, Germany.

Dresden Portrait 2
One in a series of portraits of Mettler taken during her time as a student at the Mary Wigman School in Dresden, Germany.

Mettler Studios Portrait
Portrait taken by Barbara Mettler's New York Dance Company by photographer Gerda Peterich.

Barbara Mettler Portrait 2, New York City
Portrait of Barbara Hammer taken by her then husband Allan Hammer in their New York City Studio.

All Age Class
People of all age gather at the Tucson Center for Creative Dance to learn group improvisation techniques.

Student-Made Instruments
Instruments made by students from New Hampshire and Boston for use during movement and sound improvisation.

Drums
Three of Barbara Mettler's New York students demonstrate group improvisation using instruments.

Voice
One of Mettler's New York Students demonstrates sound improvisation using her voice.

Children's Lesson
Children practice the basic elements of body movement in a class with Barbara Mettler in December of 1963.