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Newberry dance exhibit running through July 6
2019-04-30

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A new exhibition at the Newberry Library, entitled "The Legacy of Chicago Dance," surveys the history of the city's vibrant dance community, showing how distinct dance styles not only co-existed but often converged in unexpected and creative ways.

"Legacy" will run through Saturday, July 6.

The exhibition draws on the Newberry's vast dance archives, covering a wide range of dancers, studios, and styles—including jazz, tap, ballet, modern, world and folk—and featuring items such as ballet shoes belonging to Anna Pavlova, the star ballerina who called Chicago home while World War I raged in Europe.

Although the exhibition includes items from across the Newberry's collections, it draws primarily on the library's Midwest Dance Collection, and especially the Ann Barzel Papers and Dance Research Collection, which together make up more than 400 boxes of material—including manuscripts, photographs, scrapbooks, posters, and various artifacts—collected by Chicago-based dance teacher, critic and historian Ann Barzel over her 101-year life.

There will also be interactive items, such as an "honor stage" and a tree that shows the professional relationships of some of Chicago's best-known dancers through the city's history.

Many leaders in the world of dance got their start in Chicago and its surrounding regions. Choreographers, dancers and founders of dance companies not only performed in Chicago, but some stayed and continued their work in the Windy City.

Several dance genres are represented in the dance exhibition—the first of its kind since 1985, according to co-curator Alison Hinderliter.

There will also be specific events related to the exhibition:

—On Saturday, May 18, "Symposium on Dance in the Midwest" will take place, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. in Ruggles Hall;

—On Thursday, June 13, "Preservation, Tradition, and Innovation from Sybil Shearer through the Present" will take place 6-7:30 p.m. in Ruggles Hall; and

—Curators Alison Hinderliter and Samantha Smith will periodically conduct free tours throughout the exhibition's run.

Like all Newberry exhibitions, "The Legacy of Chicago Dance" is free and open to all. The library is at 60 W. Walton St.; visit Newberry.org .


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