Guide to the American Dance Festival Records, circa 1924-1985, bulk 1934-1977
The American Dance Festival is a non-profit organization committed to serving the needs of dance, dancers, choreographers, and professionals in dance-related fields. It presents a summer festival of modern dance performances and educational programs, hosts community outreach activities, and sponsors numerous projects in the humanities. Its mission is to create and present new dance works, preserve the modern dance heritage, build wider national and international audiences and enhance public understanding and appreciation for modern dance, and provide training and education for dancers and choreographers. Contains correspondence, lists, administrative materials, memoranda, contracts, legal documents, financial records, class schedules, teaching materials, student records, clippings, press releases, publicity materials, brochures, tickets, posters, and other printed materials created by or related to the American Dance Festival.
- American Dance Festival records
- circa 1924-1988, bulk 1934-1977
- American Dance Festival
- 89.05 Linear Feet
- American Dance Festival Archives
- Material in English
- Administration, circa 1924-1981
- Performance, 1948-1977 and undated
- Special Projects, 1947-1985
- Press and Publicity Materials, 1934-1977
- School, 1934-1988 and undated
- General Correspondence, circa 1948-1977
- Printed Material, 1930-1977
- Awards and Tributes, 1959-1974 and undated
- Other Organizations, 1942-1977
Contains correspondence, lists, administrative materials, memoranda, contracts, legal documents, financial records, class schedules, teaching materials, student records, clippings, press releases, publicity materials, brochures, tickets, posters, and other printed materials created by or related to the American Dance Festival before the decision to move to Durham, North Carolina, in the fall of 1977.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Please contact the American Dance Festival Archives (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange for use of these materials.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended, the American Dance Festival Archives permits students to inspect their education records and limits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records.
Records, such as search committee files or others pertaining to employment where individuals are identified, are closed for 70 years.
Use & Permissions
Copyright for official American Dance Festival administrative records is held by the American Dance Festival; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], American Dance Festival Records, American Dance Festival Archives.
Contains correspondence, inventory lists, tee-shirt designs, order forms, and administrative papers related to the sale of merchandise during the festival and the management of the store at the theater and summer offices.
Contains administrative materials, correspondence, form letters, memoranda, mailing lists, mailings information, and listings of secretarial duties. In the 1960s, administrative assistants were secretaries working directly under the director. In later years, as the festival's administration became more complex, multiple administrative assistants were added and their duties were expanded beyond secretaries. Assistants included:
- Constance Carney, 1958
- Olive Hersant, 1963-1966
- Faith Gulick, 1964-1965
- Marjorie Chapman, 1967-1971
- Kay McGrath, 1971
Also included are files for Lisa Booth, Assistant to Charles Reinhart in New York, 1972-1977.
Contains administrative materials, correspondence, form letters, meeting notes and transcripts, newspaper clippings, drafts, messages, short notes, and memos, signed petitions, staff handbook, brochures, press releases, and a listing of statistics. Materials contain correspondence and documents written to and from the Administrative Director and the Administrative Assistant and the Director's office concerning daily activities, responsibilities and instructions as well as personal notes. Administrative director was a staff position from 1969 to 1993. Beginning in 1969, Charles Reinhart's first year as Director, an administrative director, a coordinator, an administrator, or an operations manager worked with Charles Reinhart and Martha Myers, the Dean, to coordinate the workings of ADF's school and festival. The Administrative Directors were:
- Robert Hale and C. Fred Grimsey (Administrators), 1969
- Olive Johns (Administrator), 1970
- Kay McGrath (Administrator), 1971-1973
- Ceilia Halstead and Cordette Grimsey (Coordinators), 1974-1975
- Mary Jane Inram and Lisa Booth (Administrators), 1976
- Lisa Booth (Administrative Director), 1977-1980
Contains correspondence, donation acknowledgements, form letters, sales notices, administrative materials, notes and memoranda, identification cards, rental agreements, photograph schedules, telegrams, ADF archives inventories, and a file storage survey of ADF files at Connecticut College, documenting ADF archival activities (except Labanotation and the Film Notation project), even when there was no formal archives program. Also included is correspondence between ADF and other institutions, such as the New York Performing Arts Library, regarding requests for ADF materials for other dance collections.
Contains information and correspondence about photographers and videographers who actively documented ADF activities, with the exception of personnel related information, such as hiring and firing correspondence. It also includes release forms and information and transcripts of oral histories. The oral histories include a 1959 group interview on the subject of the first year at Bennington with several people including the Limons, the Lloyds, Louis Horst, and Bessie Schonberg.
Contains information compiled by various ADF staff to document important ongoing events in ADF history such as premieres and commissions.
Contains materials concerning the administration and preservation of the collection. Some correspondence concerns other repositories collecting ADF materials. Includes correspondence with other dance collection repositories, such as NYPL and Ohio State University, regarding the reproduction of films resulting from the Film and Notation Project for their own collections.
Contains materials concerning reference services by the ADF Archives and use of archival documents. Consists primarily of correspondence between archivists and patrons, even before ADF had an archival program. Also includes forms and correspondence regarding film rentals for choreographic reconstruction (circa 1965-1969).
Contains correspondence and notes from annual reports including schedules, program information, and general summaries that document ADF's working relationship with Bennington College and Mills College as host institutions. Also includes research notes from various sources detailing information about the School of the Dance from 1934 to 1942.
Contains meeting minutes and correspondence related to the American Dance Festival Board of Directors, including correspondence from Charles Reinhart inviting Betty Ford to become the Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors was established during the first meeting of the incorporators of the American Dance Festival, Inc. on July 31, 1975. Charles L. Reinhart, Martha Myers, and Elizabeth Booth were nominated and elected by the incorporators.
Contains lists of people, including critics and VIPs, issued complementary tickets. Also includes administrative correspondence and notes, along with correspondence to and from those who were issued tickets, as well as form letters regarding festival schedules, form letters outlining complementary ticket policy, and faculty, staff, and student ticket sign-up sheets.
Contains correspondence, form letters, and festival scheduling information regarding group ticket sales, which were primarily discounted sales to businesses and non-profit organizations.
Contains seating charts and pricing information, administrative materials, correspondence, usher and ticket taker lists, usher information sheets, application forms, box office schedules, box office summaries, complementary ticket sign-up sheets, concessions information, form letters, and payment and expenses information.
Contains payroll and scheduling information pertaining to the box office internship.
Contains correspondence, memos, form letters, administrative materials, ticket policy information, schedules, subscriber and single ticket requests and payment materials, ticket samples, seating plans and pricing information, ticket order forms, ticket sales locations, complementary ticket policy forms, discounted ticket information, box officer managers' final reports, budget information, box office manager application information, hotel information, and Ticketron contract materials.
Contains box office reports, administrative materials, seating charts, receipts, and correspondence. Includes information such as the number of tickets sold for each seating price for each show and the gross and net income of each performance. Correspondence includes box office policies, estimates of profits, and ticket returns.
Contains correspondence, forms, subscription forms, student and faculty lists, listings of ticket purchases, and administrative materials concerning single ticket sales and buyers.
Contains correspondence to and from subscribers, printed items, seating charts, forms, and administrative materials concerning subscriptions and subscribers.
Contains ticket order forms, event notices, and season brochures.
Contains performance tickets.
Contains materials on a variety of projects that involved bringing dance and other arts programs to the public, including contacts with government officials and arts patrons in attempts to find and continue support for dance and the arts. Also includes materials regarding classes held at Connecticut College that were open to non-Connecticut College students, such as the Folk and Square Dance class, offered during the summer festival, and children's modern dance classes and adult elementary ballet and modern dance classes offered during the academic year. Includes correspondence and materials regarding classes and workshops held as a part of the Community Outreach Program, established in 1969 under Walter Nicks to involve the community in dance. Dance and movement classes were offered to mothers and young children, teenagers, and the elderly. Also includes material regarding Friends of ADF, an organization formed in 1976 to generate income for the festival and to bring the festival and community closer together.
Arranged chronologically and alphabetically by subject.
Contains materials relating to ADF's search for and development of possible funding sources.
Contains correspondence, drafts, form letters, administrative materials, sponsors/patrons lists, receipts, lists of complementary tickets, ticket order forms, and donor solicitation letters and forms. Contains correspondence to and from individuals making donations and lists of donors receiving complementary tickets.
Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by subject or donor name.
Contains correspondence, publicity materials, administration materials, schedules, grant information, summary reports, and newspaper clippings. Groups contacted with funding requests included educational institutions, state and federal government organizations, and private corporations. Of interest are materials regarding various Ford Foundation grants including the 1972-1973 grant funding the ADF Repertory Company and the 1971-1976 National Endowment of the Arts funding for the Dance Critics Conference. Materials overlap with Community Development series, and in kind donations from local organizations are filed there.
Arranged alphabetically by organization name and then chronologically.
Contains correspondence, administrative materials, potential donors, form letters, budgets, publicity materials, schedules, and lists of grants received. Materials include correspondence regarding funding suggestions and publicity materials for a 1974 panel on government funding and the drive to find matching funds to keep ADF at Connecticut College during the summer of 1977.
Contains teaching materials, schedules, correspondence, budget information, recommendations for the ADF, in-house materials, a transcript, a telegram, advertising materials, and form letters. Of interest are the 1947 planning materials for the 1948 School of the Dance. These materials include information on locations, budget, and classes. Also, a 1966 form letter urging "Colleagues in Dance" to write to their congressmen to encourage congressional support of dance as a performing art and materials on the 1969 presentation of an honorary doctorate to Martha Hill Davies by the trustees and faculty of Bennington College.
Martha Hill, dance teacher and administrator, was a director of the Bennington summer school. From 1931 until 1951, she was a member of the dance faculty at Bennington and of the Department of Physical Education of the School of Education of New York University. In 1951 she became head of the new dance department of the Juilliard School in New York. In 1953, she became "advisory" co-director of the festival, leaving Ruth Bloomer as director. Though she no longer headed the administration, Hill remained an active member of the board of directors for the dance school and the festival.
Contains personal writings, technique card examples, personal notes, costume designs, course materials, programs, correspondence, form letters, advertisements, newspaper clippings, telegrams, recommendations, resumes, jobs listings, administrative materials, publicity materials, and information on a 1957 conference for festival managers. Much of the correspondence to and from Bloomer regards job placements and recommendations. Her writings include pieces on a variety of subjects pertaining to dance including oriental dance, men and dancing, application of methods, the function of criticism and critics, and teacher training.
Ruth Bloomer had been a student at the first Bennington session and subsequently received her B.S. and M.A. degrees from New York University. She taught at the University of Oregon, the University of Michigan, and Denison University, and in 1945, she came to Connecticut College as the modern dance teacher. In 1953, with Martha Hill assuming "advisory" status, Bloomer assumed responsibility for the administration of the summer program. She resigned her position in 1958, but stated that she would remain a member of the advisory board.
Contains correspondence, job openings and application materials, resumes, form letters, programs, brochures and advertising materials, schedule for the 1959 Dance Teachers Guild Annual Convention, newspaper clippings, surveys, invitations, and telegrams.
Jeanette Schlottmann had been a member of Anne Schley Duggan's modern dance group in Denton, TX. She received her M.A. in Denton at the Texas Woman's University and later joined its dance faculty. She taught there until 1950, when she moved to New York, studied with Jose Limon, Martha Graham, and Louis Horst, and found a position at Barnard College. In 1959, Schlottmann was appointed director of the Connecticut College School of the Dance and the American Dance Festival. One of her first decisions was to remove the "the" from the title and change the name to the Connecticut College School of Dance. In 1962, she established the summer touring company, Dance Advance, under the directorship of Janet Mansfield Soares. After the 1962 season, citing her marriage as a reason, Schlottmann resigned from Connecticut College and returned to Barnard College.
Contains correspondence, job openings and application materials, resumes, form letters, invitations, newspaper clippings, brochures and advertising materials, schedules, surveys, and telegrams. Of interest is a 1963 letter from Charles Reinhart regarding his previous summer as executive director and 1964-1965 correspondence regarding the possibility of Balasaraswati appearing at the 1965 festival. Also present is a listing of Theodora Wiesner's duties as director of the festival and a letter from Wiesner to Oakes Ames, President of Connecticut College regarding her analysis of the question of ADF property ownership.
In 1930, Theodora Wiesner received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She moved to New York to do graduate work at New York University and then divided her time between her studies and teaching at various universities. She attended all but two of the Bennington summer sessions. After serving as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy women's reserve during World War II, she returned to her studies on her doctorate, which she received in 1952. In 1949 she worked as an administrative assistant at the Connecticut College School of Dance. In 1950 she became director of the Dance program at Brooklyn College. With the 1962 retirement of Jeanette Schlottmann, the administrative board elected Wiesner director. In 1969, Wiesner recommended that a new director be appointed. In 1975, she retired from her directorship at Brooklyn College.
Contains correspondence, materials pertaining to a 1969 Performing Arts Aid Meeting, memos, form letters, information on the Harkness Memorial State Park submitted to the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, newspaper clippings, and resumes.
After having spent several years in publicity, including at Jacob's Pillow in the summers of 1960 and 1961, Charles Reinhart opened a management office in 1962. Paul Taylor was one of his first major clients. In 1966, he helped establish the NEA's Dance Touring Program. He then ran the DTP for ten years. In 1968, Theodora Wiesner decided to resign control of the festival and recommended that a new director be appointed. The festival board and Connecticut College's administrative staff appointed Charles Reinhart. Reinhart also served as director of Jacob's Pillow in 1974.
Contains correspondence, memos, form letters, articles of incorporation, legal documents, schedules, administrative materials, budgets, drafts, newspaper clippings, brochures, publicity materials, programs, application forms, floor plans, lists of faculty, staff, and students, policy information, library information including lists of overdue library books, campus maps and information, course lists, security reports, Connecticut visitor information, and a 1972 proposal to establish a MFA in dance at Connecticut College. The documents portray ADF's working relationship with Connecticut College and New York University as host institutions. Materials refer to decades of policy decisions, organization, and administration actions.
Contains correspondence, memos, form letters, floor plans, facilities measurements, facilities information, material requests, request forms, room assignments, contracts and rental agreements, schedules, sign-up sheets, administrative materials, and brochures and publicity materials. Documents refer to the use and maintenance of the facilities and materials utilized by the American Dance Festival at Connecticut College. Facilities include performance and rehearsal space, dormitories, and common areas such as the swimming pool and library. Correspondence between Facility Services and ADF refers to festival organization and closing coordination and supplies needed. Other correspondence refers to rehearsal space, scheduling, fire drills, materials needed, and police scheduling.
Contains finance records of the organization except for records of Development and Fundraising individual donors and funding organizations. Documents reflect the functions of the Finance Office.
Arranged first chronologically, then alphabetically within each year by the following subjects:
- General Ledger
Accounts are further divided into the following subjects:
- Community Projects
- Donations and Grant Income
- General and Administrative
- Special Projects
Contains IRS documents, correspondence, tax exemption information, press releases, articles of incorporations, bylaws, and nondiscrimination policy information. Materials refer to legal issues pertaining to the incorporation of ADF.
Contains correspondence, resumes, administrative materials, form letters, newspaper clippings, grant applications, job advertisements, and faculty and staff listings related to employment of ADF administrative staff.
Contains correspondence, press releases, drafts, form letters, invitation lists, mailing lists, schedules, budgets, telegrams, summary reports, advertising forms, publicity materials, radio interview information, advertisement materials, attendance lists, proofs, critics and press lists, critics' complementary tickets materials, newspaper clippings, reviews, advertisement distribution lists, and press conference materials. Materials relate publicity and press coverage for all aspects of ADF including school classes, festival performances, and community outreach programs. Materials also include coverage in publicity sources ranging from ADF press releases to newspaper reviews and radio interviews.
Contains correspondence, bulletins, publicity materials, drafts, proofs, costs sheets, program advertisement order forms, form letters, schedules, mailing lists, newspaper clippings, purchase orders, and receipts. Much of the materials refers to the annual school course guide, information booklets, ticket information, and the individual program playbills. These materials include schedules, course listings, artist information, lists of advertisers, and advertisement proofs.
Contains guest lists, faculty and student listings, correspondence, invitations, form letters, schedules, hostess lists, and food and supplies lists. Materials refer to the variety of brunches, dinners, receptions, and social gatherings that occurred during the American Dance Festival, including materials referring to the 25th Anniversary Opening Gala and Reception and the 1977 reception to honor Sir Peter Ramsbotham, Lady Ramsbotham, and the London Contemporary Dance theater Company.
In 1976, Connecticut College president Oakes Ames claimed that hosting ADF cost the college too much money and opted to charge the festival an additional yearly fee to cover operating costs. Festival Director Charles Reinhart, working with Administrative Directors Lisa Booth and Mary Jane Ingram, began considering a move to a different location. In August 1976, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts set up an inquiry into the future of ADF in Connecticut. The panel made two recommendations: that ADF should remain at Connecticut College for the 1977 season, and that both parties should undertake a joint study into the relationship between the festival and the college.
ADF decided to terminate its relationship with Connecticut College and issued a press release in November 1976 stating their intention to move, resulting in phone calls and written requests from prospective sites. ADF compiled an initial list of possible locations. Meanwhile, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts study continued, with those involved knowing that ADF was leaving. In addition to financial disputes, the study highlighted other problems, mainly a perceived change in Connecticut College's attitude towards the festival: study participants felt that the college viewed ADF as a business proposition rather than an artistic entity. Also mentioned was a shortage of adequate facilities at Connecticut College.
Throughout the study, ADF had been moving forward with plans to research potential locations. By August 1977 Reinhart, Booth, and Ingram had narrowed their choices and asked for proposals from 14 institutions. An advisory panel to help choose the new site was created. Unable to make a final selection, the panel decided to request more information from three front-runners: the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Duke University. After receiving the additional information, the panel reconvened to discuss their findings and ultimately chose Duke University.
Contains correspondence, press releases, meeting drafts, and notes explaining the events leading up to and the motivation behind the move, encompassing a time frame beginning in August 1976 with a Connecticut Commission on the Arts inquiry into a financial dispute between ADF and Connecticut College, and ending with work generated by an Advisory Panel assembled to choose the ADF's new location. Also included is a study of ADF's purpose and its relationship to Connecticut College and initial work regarding selecting a new site.
Contains information and correspondence from over 40 universities, colleges, and arts organizations interested in hosting ADF. The 11 proposals from the most seriously considered sites are included, as well as additional requested information from the three final candidates.
From 1948 to 1968, festival performances were held during the last part of the dance school's six-week course and were open to the public as well as the dance school community. For several years, the performances were held during the last week or extended weekend of the school. Gradually, performances began to be held during the last two or three weeks. Beginning in 1972, performances were given throughout the summer. In 1976 and 1977, ADF also held a public performance season in Newport, Rhode Island, in addition to the regular season in New London, Connecticut.
Arranged chronologically and within each year alphabetically by company or artist name.
Contains proposals and correspondence commissioning artists, both dancers and musicians, to create works for performance during the ADF summer season.
1954 marked the first year that the School of the Dance commissioned choreography. The recipient was long-time ADF faculty member and noted choreographer, Jose Limon, and he created "The Traitor" for the summer season. Funds for Limon's work came from a surplus in the previous season's budget, but in subsequent years, ADF sought foundations and individuals to sponsor commissions. During the Connecticut period, commissioned artists included Jose Limon, Doris Humphrey, Erick Hawkins, Vivian Fine, Paul Draper, Lucas Hoving, Paul Taylor, Ruth Currier, and Rudy Perez.
Contains correspondence, administrative lists, dormitory floor plans, and itineraries concerning performing companies', orchestras', and musical accompanists' travel arrangements, housing, and meals.
Contains contracts and letters of agreement between ADF and performing companies and musicians and musical groups, including companies that were brought to ADF as a part of special projects, such as Music and Dance.
Arranged in chronologically and divided into special project categories when applicable. Within each year and special project category, materials are arranged alphabetically by company or artist name.
Contains letters to and from performers, schedules, company rosters, blank copies of contracts, and limited biographical materials relating to the company, solo and duet performers, or guest artists. Records often discuss plans for choreography, as well as logistics about scheduling, housing, production, performance, and publicity. Performers' Files include performers and musicians involved in special projects that were active during the 1970s, such as Music and Dance, Emerging Generation, and the Dance Touring Project.
Arranged chronologically and within each year alphabetically by surname within company name.
Contains records that document the administrative side of coordinating performances, but not the decision-making processes of season programming (see Season Programming series), including information about mailings regarding the performance season, requests for performance season schedules (letters of interest), correspondence regarding contracting musicians and/or musical groups to accompany festival performances, correspondence with ADF-hired orchestra managers, such as Arnold Goldberg, and internal correspondence about the administration of the performance season. No official "Performance Office" existed during ADF's years at Connecticut College.
Contains correspondence, schedules, lighting cues and plots, costume and set design notes and sketches, lists of orchestra personnel, and production notes. Occasionally includes materials regarding other events that took place in the theater which required technical assistance. Crew Correspondence documents the participation of individual crew members, such as the Technical Director, Stage Manager, and Lighting Designer. Other correspondence in this series covers requests for theater equipment from theater supply companies or dance companies, including correspondence in early years with Jean Rosenthal at Theater Production Service. Also includes correspondence and notes from artists, such as Doris Humphrey, Pauline Lawrence Limon (for Jose Limon), and Paul Taylor, about costume and set design or specific production needs for choreographic works. Costume files may include correspondence from the choreographer, measurements for specific dancers, and lists of materials used to construct costumes for various choreographic pieces. Set designs may also include correspondence from the choreographer, notes, and diagrams for set designs. Although light plots and cues do not exist for every year or for every piece performed, a fair number of diagrams are available in this series, and are labeled by choreographer or performing group if known.
Arranged chronologically with subdivisions by subject: Crew Correspondence, Rehearsal Schedules, Costume Designs, and Music Permissions.
Contains lists of repertory to be performed in a given ADF season, correspondence from performers listing choreography to be performed, program notes, and rough drafts and proofs of programs. Includes program materials of most performances, formal and informal, that were used to create printed programs that accompanied performances. Final versions of programs are files in Printed Material in the Programs series. Playbills are filed in Playbills in the Printed Material series.
Contains letters of interest to and from potential performers, lists of the season's performers, correspondence, and administrative materials concerning planning the season as a whole. Also includes materials created by the Festival Committee (initially known as the Executive Council), a group that determined the season programming from 1948 to 1968.
Arranged chronologically with categories, where materials exist: Letters of Interest, Festival Committee, and Performers unable to attend.
Contains materials that document the history of the 1972 American Dance Festival Repertory Company from its organization through its performance reviews.
The American Dance Festival Repertory Company was formed in 1972, recreating several important, older works. From its conception, the company was organized with the intent to exist for only one season. ADF also produced a film with Ted Steeg Productions documenting the choreography performed. The ADF Repertory Company Advisory Committee members included Charles Reinhart, Martha Hill, Teddy Wiesner, Jeannette Roosevelt, and Walter Terry. Each member submitted a list of potential works to recreate and then together, the committee narrowed the list to five works: Martha Graham's El Penitente, Doris Humphrey's New Dance and With My Red Fires, Jose Limon's Emperor Jones, and Charles Weidman's Flickers. In addition, Rudy Perez was asked to create a new work to commemorate the achievements of the ADF.
Contains Advisory committee materials, correspondence with dancers and choreographers, administrative materials, forms and form letters, and reviews and background materials on certain pieces.
Contains a proposal for film, administrative materials, contracts, and correspondence.
Contains organization materials, transcription, form letters, correspondence, workshop materials, and information packets pertaining to the Artists in the Schools program.
ADF hosted the annual workshop for this program beginning in the summer of 1972. Charles Reinhart was National Coordinator of the program from 1972-1977.
Consists of correspondence relating to performance, schedules of performance, and printed programs listing pieces, choreographers, and performers, at Dance Advance events.
Dance Advance was a touring group of advanced students attending the summer session of the Connecticut College School of Dance. The group was instituted to acquaint a greater audience with modern dance and to provide students with performance and choreography opportunities. The students were expected to audition previously created pieces and to provide their own costumes and music. Dance Advance performed several dates each summer at many sites in New England, including colleges, camps, and local festivals. The group was also filmed by several New England television stations.
Contains a list of participants, organizational materials, correspondence, form letters, application forms, conference reviews from participants, and film request materials. While a participants list contains the names of attendees from 1970-1985, other materials in this series end in 1977.
The Dance Critics Conference grew out of a 1967 summer course in critical writing taught by Selma Jeanne Cohen. The Conference was a three week (initially four week) seminar that brought together a small group of practicing journalists from the United States and Canada to gain greater understanding of how to review and write about dance. Dance criticism techniques were expanded through methods such as a daily movement class, ADF program attendance, ADF class visitation, dance film observation, and active critique sessions with respected dance critics. In these sessions, participants discussed topics such as writing style and problems relating to dance and dance review in the critics' home communities, completed writing assignments including reviews, and discussed one another's reviews.
Consists of a schedule for the 1976-1977 Artists-In-Schools Dance Component Summer Workshop comprised of the Dance Touring Program Coordinator's Workshop and the June 25-July 1, 1976 American Dance Festival at the New London campus of Connecticut College. More information about the ADF's involvement in the Dance Touring Program, a National Endowment for the Arts-sponsored program, can be found in the Administration series, under the Foundations and Funding Organizations sub series.
Contains correspondence, letters of interest, applications, publicity, administrative materials, and participant evaluations pertaining to workshops held at ADF for television professionals.
Contains correspondence, personal notation, form letters, and a press release regarding the 1974 Emerging Generation program designed to highlight up-and-coming choreographers and their companies, including Trisha Brown and Group, Laura Dean and Dance Company, Nora Guthrie and Ted Rotante, the Multigravitational Experiment Group, Sara and Jerry Pearson, and Pilobolus Dance Theatre.
Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Contains correspondence, form letters, administrative materials, and reviews regarding exhibits held at, or circulated by, the American Dance Festival, including traveling exhibits in the 1960s of slides and photographs designed to cultivate interest in the School of Dance.
Contains correspondence, administration papers, form letters, Labanotation notes, a notated musical score, contract information, newsletters, magazine and newspaper clippings, advertisements, and reviews.
The Film Notation project was an effort to preserve contemporary dances on film and in notation. Films were made under the direction of Helen Priest Rogers. Lucy Venable, President of the Dance Notation Bureau, directed the notation. Initial films were silent, but beginning in 1962, some films were made with sound. After 1965, all of films were made with sound. Many works were filmed and notated including those of Doris Humphrey, Jose Limon, Pauline Koner, Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Alwin Nikolais, Ruth Currier, Helen Tamiris, and Charles Weidman.
Consists of correspondence, promotional materials, brochures, film lists, press releases, administrative materials, rental requests, and ordering information, much of it referring to dance films that were available for rental, purchase, or loan from various companies and institutions. Also included are correspondence and film lists referring to films viewed either individually or as part of a semi-annual film series at the School of Dance under the auspices of Selma Jeanne Cohen.
Series contains schedules, dance step instructions, lecture notes, correspondence, form letters, registration sheets, newspaper clippings, and programs relating to a variety of lectures and demonstrations, including a 1953 Festival appearance by Virginia Tanner and members of the Children's Dance Theatre of Brigham Young University, a 1964 demonstration of Labanotation in Creative Dance Teaching by students of Nadia Chilkovsky of the Philadelphia Dance Academy, a 1965 lecture-demonstration on Classical Japanese Dance by Shozo Sato, a 1969 critics conference that laid the foundation for the 1970 Dance Critics Conference, and lectures for 1970s "Horizons in Dance" courses.
Contains correspondence, form letters, publicity materials, administration materials, tickets, reviews, newspaper and magazine clippings, course information, and lecture notes referring to a lecture series begun in 1951. Included is correspondence with potential lecturers (Aaron Copeland and William Schuman, for example) as well as those who did lecture including Walter Terry, Martha Graham, Jose Limon, Doris Humphrey, and Agnes de Mille. In 1956, the lecture series served as a portion of the Backgrounds and Aesthetics of Dance lecture-discussion course directed by George Beiswanger. In 1959 the series name was changed to the Little Concert-Lecture Series.
Contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, form letters, postcards, tourism materials, rental forms, budget sheets, press releases, a 1976 prospectus on the benefits of Newport, RI, schedules, real estate agency contact information, and permits referring to the ADF's stay in Newport during 1976 and 1977. Also contains letters and in house documents related to the search for a new site for the festival.
In 1976, Mayor Humphrey J. Donnelly of Rhode Island invited the festival to Newport. After holding its 1976 season of classes and performances in New London, ADF also gave a week of performances in Newport. In addition, the festival also held community classes and workshops.
Contains schedules, newspaper articles, correspondence, contracts, administration materials, press releases, and a NEA grant application regarding Project: Music and Dance.
In 1974, Project: Music and Dance (MAD), also known as the Composers-Choreographers Workshop, paired experienced choreographers with composers to create new works. The works created through the collaborations were Bella Lewitzky's Fire, music by Max Lifchitz, Jennifer Muller's Winter Pieces, music by Charles O. B. Curtis-Smith, Manuel Alum's Yemaya, music by Ira Taxin, and Nancy Meehan's Yellow Paint, music by Rocco di Pietra. The music was performed by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Dennis Russel Davies. In 1975, MAD teamed Kathryn Posin and composer Laurie Spiegel and Pilobolus and composer Robert Dennis. 1976 included Murray Louis's Glances to music by Dave Brubeck.
Contains programs, administrative materials, diagrams, newspaper clippings, artwork, correspondence, schedules, form letters, contracts, and a NEA grant application referring to a variety of projects with some association with the American Dance Festival, Dance Symposiums held by the Connecticut College Dance Group featuring classes and critiques by Louis Horst, Walter Terry, Hazel Johnson, June Dunbar, Ella Lukk, Pauline Koner, and David Wood (1954 and 1958), children's programs by the Merry-Go-Rounders and the Merrymobile (1959), international projects (1959 and 1961), a documentary on the American Dance Festival (1972), and the Total Theatre Project film Taylor's Follies (1975-1977).
Contains press clippings referring to the American Dance Festival and its performers and participants.
Individual files devoted to Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, and Louis Horst, are followed by files arranged chronologically.
Contains press kits made and distributed by ADF containing press releases describing the various activities at the school and festival including schedules of events, companies performing at the festival, festival programs, projects offered by the Community Outreach Program, and workshops and mini-conferences including the Critics Conference and the Dance Educators' Workshop. Also includes individual companies' publicity materials that were distributed as part of the general press kits.
Contains press releases, schedules, correspondence, and lists of students organized according to home state for publicity purposes. Releases include information on faculty members, classes, artists, programs to be held, and descriptions of programs after the performances. Also includes correspondence regarding press releases, ticket order forms, and administrative materials.
Contains letters of interest, correspondence, notes, student lists, credit explanations, form letters, and administrative materials that address ADF's policies and practices toward academic credit in relation to ADF courses. Records address Connecticut College students receiving academic credit for ADF courses, inquiries from other academic institutions about ADF's course work, and inquiries from students regarding academic credit. Also includes correspondence initiated by ADF with similar summer dance schools and programs regarding academic credit.
Contains ADF School administrative materials such as information about school policies, procedures, programs, and student application and registration, forms and form letters, letters of interest from prospective students and faculty, correspondence with faculty and students unable to attend, information about mass mailings, schedules for classes (working copies), master calendars, weekly status reports about school applicants, correspondence, and notes. Subseries is organized chronologically with categories within each year. Items of interest include correspondence with faculty unable to attend, such as Mary Wigman (1951), Anna Halprin (1958), Merce Cunningham (1962), Norman and Ruth Lloyd (1962), Eleo Pomare (1965), and Martha Graham (1968).
Contains correspondence, agenda, meeting minutes, and notes pertaining to the planning of the ADF School and the upcoming season. The Advisory Board, in conjunction with the Festival Committee, was the decision-making body for nearly all activities of the School of Dance and the Festival season including faculty, accompanists, workshops, scholarships and scholarship winners, the dates of the school, and special projects. The Board also made decisions about funding and administrative personnel.
Contains correspondence between the ADF School and Wright and Ditson, a dance clothing supply house, discussing the styles and colors of the regulation costume, consisting of a choice of leotard and tights, required by the ADF School. Also includes Wright and Ditson order forms and notices to students about their dance attire.
Contains statistical reports of ailments and injuries treated by the Connecticut College infirmary, correspondence between ADF and Connecticut College regarding usage of the infirmary during the summer, and general information about the infirmary hours and emergency contacts for students.
Contains housing and dining room lists, dormitory floor plans, correspondence, forms, housing meeting minutes, meal tickets, notes regarding housing preferences and decisions, and car registration forms. Also includes completed questionnaires or information from local residents who rented their homes to members of the ADF community.
Contains materials, such as mailing lists of college dance departments and forms for a traveling ADF School photo exhibit, concerning the recruitment of students for the school.
Contains school catalogs or bulletins listing faculty, classes, and other school information. Drafts of the catalogs and bulletins, proof copies, or administrative materials concerning the creation or printing of catalogs and bulletins are filed in Administration under the Publications Office series.
Contains correspondence, forms and form letters, class lists, applications, and course materials relating to classes for children (under 12) at Connecticut College for young non-residential students. Children's classes were distinct from the ADF's community classes offered by the Community Outreach Program and the program was known alternately as the Young Dancers Workshop and the Childrens Dance Workshop. Teachers included Ruth Ferguson, Harriet Berg, Bonnie Bird, and Virginia Tanner.
Contains audition lists and audition schedules relating to required group auditions held for technique class placement at the beginning of the summer term. Also includes correspondence, notes, schedules, and procedure lists for arranging and holding auditions.
Contains tentative and final printed schedules of classes offered during the summer session.
Contains information about various courses and special workshops, including course descriptions, teachers' and students' notes, syllabi, blank exams, handouts, and handbooks.
Arranged chronologically and arranged alphabetically within each year by course title.
Contains memoranda, correspondence, minutes, and notes recording discussions, meetings, and suggestions about the development of the school as a whole and its curricula, faculty, and quality of applicants. Also included are correspondence and curriculum proposals by Bessie Schonberg. Of interest are the 1967-1968 proposals of a Master of Arts in Dance with a teaching emphasis or a Master of Arts in Fine Arts through the ADF School. Also of interest are the notes on the development of the Theater Component (1976) and Weekend Workshops (1977).
Contains programs, program materials, memoranda, correspondence, and sign-up sheets regarding informal performances of student choreography, improvisation, and movement studies. Class Showings were informal programs of specific classes, performed by students and reflecting their "in progress" work developed during their daily classes. Student Workshops were informal weekly performances, and approximately six were presented during a summer session. Student Concerts were informal performances of student-choreographed compositions performed by students.
Arranged chronologically and within each year arranged into categories of Class Showings, Student Concerts, and Student Workshops.
Contains posters advertising the school curriculum and faculty.
Contains posters advertising the school curriculum and faculty.
Contains sign-up sheets, schedules, and flyers advertising special and master classes that were offered in addition to the regular course offerings as a one-time opportunity for students to receive instruction from visiting dance artists, including Rudy Perez, Louis Falco, and Murray Louis.
Contains correspondence, course materials, printed materials, letters of interest, and student papers and evaluations pertaining to workshops held for dance and movement educators and dance accompanists. These were special "refresher" or "intensive" workshops tailored specifically for professionals in the dance field who were dance or movement teachers, dance accompanists, or dance therapists. Workshop instructors included Delia Hussey, Ruth Murray, Barbara Beiswanger, Theodora Wiesner, Bonnie Bird, Marion North, and Virginia Tanner.
Contains correspondence, recommendation letters, and notes relating to Myers' activities associated with the school and with her professional activities at Connecticut College and in the dance world.
Contains lists of teaching faculty, faculty assistants, and accompanists. Lists may contain information such as biographical blurbs or informal salary and expense information.
Contains correspondence, contracts, housing forms, notes, memos to individual faculty members, and recommendations regarding teaching faculty, teaching assistants, accompanists, and workshop directors (Dance Educators, Dance Therapy, and Dance Accompanists). Also includes some biographical materials and some materials regarding ADF classes. Several faculty members played multiple roles at the festival (e.g. performer, workshop director, faculty member). Materials relating to the individual roles a participant played will be filed by the subject of the materials. For example, Helen Priest Rogers' correspondence about the Film and Notation project is filed in the Special Projects subgroup, and her correspondence relating to plans for teaching a Labanotation course will be filed in the Faculty Files. Her course materials, such as syllabi and handouts, is filed in Courses in the Curriculum subseries. Materials regarding faculty who were invited but could not attend and letters of interest from potential faculty members are filed in the School Administration series under Administration.
Arranged chronologically and within each year alphabetically by surname of faculty member.
From 1948 through the mid to late 1960s, ADF's faculty consisted of a core group of teachers, many of whom were also involved as regular festival performers and advisors to the festival and the school including Martha Graham, Jose and Pauline Limon, Doris Humphrey, Louis Horst, William Bales, Helen Priest Rogers, George and Barbara Beiswanger, Norman and Ruth Lloyd, Hazel Johnson, and George McGeary. ADF Directors Ruth Bloomer and Theodora Wiesner also taught during this period. Other faculty of note from this period are Alwin Nikolais, Murray Louis, Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle, Glenn Mack, Jane Dudley, Sophie Maslow, Betty Jones, Ruth Currier, Doris Rudko, David and Marnie Wood, Martha and Josef Wittman, Lucas Hoving, Daniel Nagrin, Pauline Koner, Bessie Schonberg, and Yuriko. Later faculty included Walter Nicks, Meredith Monk, Arthur Hall, Anna Halprin, Peter Saul, and Mel Wong.
Contains correspondence, notes, and evaluation forms from faculty members on the previous season and their recommendations for the next year's school and festival.
Contains memos sent to faculty members and advisors as a group, not to individuals. Individual correspondence and memos sent to faculty members are filed in Faculty Files. Memos include announcements regarding class grades and credits, scheduling classes, tentative class schedules for faculty review, advising students, student registration, the season's teaching faculty and school, visitors and guests at the festival, complimentary tickets, housing and meals, and invitations to faculty meetings and social gatherings. In the 1970s, memos were often sent out as packets to faculty members before they arrived for the season.
Contains agenda and meeting minutes of faculty meetings. Minutes exist as unedited drafts, handwritten and typed notes, and final copies that were distributed to the faculty or to the Director and Dean.
Contains lists of students who participated in classes at the ADF School, equivalent to attendance sheets or grade sheets. Grades are frequently on the class lists or grade books included.
Arranged chronologically and within each year by the surname of faculty member.
Contains administrative enrollment lists and statistics regarding acceptance and enrollment in the ADF School and enrollment in individual classes and workshops (though not Special Project workshops). Also contains administrative information about class drop/adds.
Contains completed student evaluation forms and administrative compilations of evaluations quoting students' reactions on their experiences as members of the ADF School. Also contains limited correspondence from students evaluating their experiences. Most evaluations are anonymous. May also include faculty evaluations where the author could not be distinguished as faculty or student.
Contains printed material, such as memos, schedules, forms, and information sheets, generated by the ADF School and disseminated to all students. Topics include registration, classes, housing, cafeteria, recreation, and other information relating to the student's life on campus.
Contains correspondence, letters of interest, official materials and information from the Veterans Administration, and applications of accepted G.I. Bill of Rights students who could not attend. Correspondence in this subseries is largely between Connecticut College officials and School of the Dance Directors regarding procedures for attending the School of the Dance on the GI Bill.
Contains handbooks or packets for ADF School students. Handbooks and packets contain general information compiled to orient students about the school, the festival, and the college where the school was held.
Contains memos, flyers, and correspondence concerning activities and excursions organized by ADF for the students outside the curriculum and the ADF School, including square dances, special films, and trips to Mystic Seaport and to other attractions in the surrounding region.
Contains administrative documents and correspondence related to publicizing and arranging scholarships and financial aid for ADF School applicants, including forms and form letters, letters of interest from students about specific scholarships, all applications for the Doris Humphrey Fellow (except for the winner, whose materials are filed in her student record), and a sampling of student records of students who either applied for or were awarded financial aid (scholarships particularly) but were unable to attend. All correspondence relating to individual students who attended the School and received scholarships is filed in the Student Records subseries. Notable documents include letters of recommendation from Mary Wigman (1958), Martha Graham (1963), and Arthur Mitchell (1974).
Arranged chronologically and then into the following subject categories: Apprenticeships and Assistantships, Cooperative Scholarships, Doris Humphrey Fellowships, Foreign Scholarships, Ruth Bloomer Loan Fund, and Scholarships.
Contains student records for the Six-Week School, the Four-Week School for Young Dancers, participants in workshops such as Dance Educators and Dance Therapy, members of the Theatre Component, Doris Humphrey Fellows and all scholarship and financial aid students, faculty and staff members who took one or two classes, and part-time students. Not included are participants in Community Workshops, Special Projects, or Children's Classes.
Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically.
Contains audition sign-up sheets, audition rating sheets, memos, notes, correspondence, and programs pertaining to Young Choreographers' Concerts held during the summer session as a main stage performance. Participants in the Young Choreographers' auditions appear to be mostly students, but other participants were up-and-coming dancers who were not current students at the school. Auditioners and finalists include Trisha Brown (1962), Meredith Monk (1963), Martha Clarke (1962), Betty Jones (1960), Lar Lubovitch (1962), Carla Maxwell (1965), and Senta Driver (1965). The Young Choreographers' Concerts were active during the 1960s and are not related to the Young Choreographers and Composers program, 1983-1995.
Contains correspondence between audience and participants and ADF members. Materials include correspondence from audience members writing to express appreciation or unhappiness regarding ADF presentations and inquiries regarding programs, school visitation, and local accommodations. Series also includes congratulatory letters and telegrams from ADF personnel and students and personal letters to the directors regarding administrative details and personal appreciation for the festival. In addition, there are miscellaneous form letters to the community such as a 1951 form letter inviting local artists to sketch dance classes.
Contains most printed materials created by ADF. Some printed materials are in other series. For example, school catalogs are under School, Curriculum, Bulletins and Catalogs.
Contains ADF marketing materials for the school, festival performances, and special projects held during the summer festival, including brochures, newspaper inserts, handbills, and advertisements printed in newspapers and magazines. Also includes some Connecticut College materials, Connecticut and New England educational and tourism brochures, and national dance publications in which ADF placed advertisements.
Contains ADF published items including booklets and newsletters.
Arranged alphabetically by title.
Contains materials that provide information about the school and festival in narrative, list, and statistical formats, including narrative materials about ADF's history, descriptions of special project programs that developed during the 1970s, lists of choreographic works and premieres performed at ADF, documentation of opening and closing dates for the ADF School, a listing of students who achieved recognition in the dance field, and fact sheets. The information from these documents was often used for publicity or grant-writing purposes.
Contains dance and music bibliographies and dance film and costume catalogs. Most of the bibliographies were compiled for student and ADF community usage during the ADF School. In some years, Connecticut College compiled a "Library Reporter" bibliography of dance books especially for the ADF School during the summer. Other bibliographies may have been compiled by ADF faculty for summer courses at the ADF School or by ADF directors in their own teaching endeavors. Catalogs represent a sampling of film, music, and costume catalogs that ADF used to order literature or costume for courses or special film series and lectures.
Contains phone and address directories for participants in the ADF School, workshops, and performances, as well as faculty and staff members. Most years contain directories for both home and summer (at ADF) addresses and phone numbers, and most all directories identify the individual's occupation.
Contains student meal tickets, identification cards, ADF letterhead, small flyers circulated to advertise the performance season, and a sampling of materials generated by the Friends' organization in New London.
Contains invitations issued by ADF to various members of the ADF community, such as faculty, staff, performers, students, as well as members of the Connecticut College staff and potential donors. Types of events include open houses, opening parties at the beginning of the season, post-performance parties and receptions, brunches, cocktail receptions, lecture demonstrations, and performances.
Contains press releases, scores, textbooks, correspondence, and notes referring to Labanotation.
Contains printed materials sent to members of the ADF community, prospective students, and potential ticket buyers, including performance and school announcements, schedules of performances, ticket order forms, informational brochures, schedules and calendars, school bulletins and catalogs, and advertising flyers and posters that were sent through the mail. Form letters are not included in this series.
Playbills contain artist information, school and festival information, and advertisements.
Contains narrative and statistical reports of both the ADF School and festival performances. School statistics include enrollment numbers, average ages of students, and their geographical distribution.
Contains schedules and calendars circulated internally among the ADF students, faculty, and performers, and publicly to members of the ADF community and prospective students and ticket buyers. Includes schedules and calendars of performances, ticket order forms, school schedules, opening week schedules, weekly schedules, meal schedules, schedules of events open to the public, and lecture series schedules.
Contains correspondence informing interested parties of the death of Ruth Bloomer, donations to the scholarship fund established in her honor, and acknowledgements of these donations, correspondence regarding the loss of Doris Humphrey and materials regarding a Doris Humphrey memorial program, funding requests and acknowledgements regarding the Louis Horst Memorial Fund and the 1964 Louis Horst Memorial Concert, materials regarding the 1973 Jose Limon Memorial Film Program, and materials regarding the Simon Sadoff Award to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of musical conductors in dance.
Contains printed materials concerning organizations with parallel or related activities (e.g., Jacob's Pillow and the Dance Notation Bureau).
The American Dance Festival is a non-profit organization committed to serving the needs of dance, dancers, choreographers, and professionals in dance-related fields. It presents a summer festival of modern dance performances and educational programs, hosts community outreach activities, and sponsors numerous projects in the humanities. Its mission is to create and present new dance works, preserve the modern dance heritage, build wider national and international audiences and enhance public understanding and appreciation for modern dance, and provide training and education for dancers and choreographers.
The American Dance Festival traces its origins to the Bennington School of Dance, founded in 1934 in Bennington, Vermont by several notable figures in the emerging art of modern dance: Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, Doris Humphrey, and Charles Weidman. The school, led by Martha Hill, allowed choreographers to experiment and teach dance techniques. A performance series, held in conjunction with the school, provided the choreographers with opportunities to present their newly created works. For one season, in 1939, the festival was held at Mills College in Oakland, California, but returned to Bennington the following year. Beginning in 1948, the festival was held at Connecticut College, and in 1977, the decision was made to move it to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- American Dance Festival.
- Bennington School of the Dance.
- Connecticut College American Dance Festival.
Processed by ADF Archives Staff, Oct. 2004
Encoded by Dean Jeffrey, Nov. 2008
Accessions were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.