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Chicago Dancemakers Forum supports the work of Chicago’s aesthetically and culturally diverse dance creators and provides programs which stimulate artistic innovation, increase dynamic interaction among makers, and build awareness of dance in Chicago.
Subjects include history, ballet, biography, and folk dance. The Dance Video Collection holds more than 450 titles covering many types of dance, including classical, modern, jazz, tap, and ethnic. The Folk Dance Index has step-by-step instruction for folk dances from many countries. The Elisa Stigler Dance Book Collection includes over 200 books with an emphasis on Spanish dancing. The Ruth Page Dance Collection contains memorabilia from the long career of this famous Chicago dancer.
The dance collections at the Newberry Library focus largely on regional dance history. They include personal papers as well as studio and company archives. A variety of dancers and styles are represented, including ballet, jazz, tap, belly dancing and show dancing. Of particular note is the Ann Barzel Research Collection. It holds clippings, correspondence, photographs, press releases, posters, scrapbooks, magazines and videotapes. International in scope, the Barzel collection also includes some 1,200 dance books.
Voices and opinions of dance luminaries of the past, such as Margot Fonteyn, Ruth Page, Ann Barzel, and Robert Joffrey. In addition, there is input from many founders of Chicago dance companies, such as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Lou Conte and Natya Dance Theatre’s Hema Rajagopalan.
For 45 years, from 1952 to 1997, Studs Terkel conducted radio interviews with a variety of people on WFMT. In this long tenure, Studs interviewed many dancers, both native Chicagoans and visiting artists.