ArchiveUM
University LibrariesDigital CollectionsHomeCatalogResearch PortAsk us!Archives UM HomeSpecial CollectionsSearchAbout Archives UMHelpHow Do I...?Site Index A-ZSearch

Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Archives

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/1219

Abstract

Title:
Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Archives
Author/Creator:
Liz Lerman Dance Exchange
Collection number:
05-112-LLDE
Size:
129.5 Linear Feet; 2,260 Media Items
Bulk dates:
1979-2007
Inclusive dates:
1964- 2005
Collection Area:
Special Collections in Performing Arts
Repository:
Special Collections in Performing Arts, Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. Contact the curator: http://www.lib.umd.edu/scpa/contact
Abstract:

Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Archives is the administrative, programmatic, performance, press, and visual records of the company, its members, and its related groups. Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, based in the D.C./Montgomery County, Maryland area, was founded by Liz Lerman in 1976. Liz Lerman Dance Exchange pursues a broad definition of dance as a multi-disciplinary art form that encompasses movement, music, imagery, and the spoken word. The collection consists of the administrative materials of correspondence, reports, meeting materials, pamphlets, notes, publications, and statistics; the production materials of photographs, playbills, flyers, press kits, and contextual information; memorabilia; and video and audio cassettes, all of which relate to the activities and functions of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

The collection is open for research use.

Preferred citation:

Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Archives, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Publication rights:

Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Contact the curator for an appointment: http://www.lib.umd.edu/scpa/contact

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Liz Lerman, a choreographer, performer, writer, educator, and speaker, founded the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976. The company has produced over 100 innovative dance/theatre works and has toured throughout the United States and abroad.

By the mid 1980s the company was touring extensively, sometimes with the Dancers of the Third Age, an adjunct troupe of older dancers that also performed on its own for many years. On the road, the Dance Exchange combined performance with workshops and professional training, helping to pioneer the community residency as a model for touring engagements by dance companies.

Starting in 1993, with the support of a major grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, the company began to build its presence in the Washington, D.C. area with local partnerships, engagement projects for the urban community, intensive movement institutes, and self-produced seasons at the Lansburgh Theater. Liz Lerman Dance Exchange acquired a former U.S. post office in Takoma Park, Maryland, which it renovated into a three-studio complex for rehearsal, educational, and administrative activities. Community support enabled the Dance Exchange to purchase the building in 1999, becoming one of the few contemporary dance companies in the United States to own and operate its own facility.

As a choreographer, Liz Lerman's aesthetic approach spans the range from abstract to personal to political, while her working process emphasizes research, translation among artistic media, and intensive collaboration with dancers and communities. Liz Lerman has cultivated Dance Exchange's unique multi-generational ensemble, with dancers whose ages span six decades, into a leading force in contemporary dance. Lerman has recieved numerous honors, including the American Choreographer Award, the American Jewish Congress "Golda" Award, Washingtonian magazine's 1988 Washingtonian of the Year Award, and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture's Achievement Award. She is also a member of the University of Maryland's Hall of Fame. In 2002 she was named a MacArthur Fellow in recognition of her creative work, receiving a "genius grant" stipend to support her unqiue contributions to modern dance.

Lerman's work has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, American Dance Festival, BalletMet, the Kennedy Center, and Harvard University School of Law, to name a few. As a frequent keynote speaker and panelist, Lerman addresses arts, community, and business organizations both nationally and internationally. She is the author of Teaching Dance to Senior Adults (1983) and the co-author of Liz Lerman's Critical Response Process (2003), and has written numerous articles and essays.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Milwaukee, Lerman attended Bennington College and Brandeis University. She received her degrees in dance from the University of Maryland (earning a B.A.) and from the George Washington University (where she earned an M.A.).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Archives covers the period from 1964 to 2005; the bulk dates of the materials date from 1979 to 2002. The collection consists of the administrative materials of correspondence, reports, meeting materials, pamphlets, notes, publications, and statistics; the production materials of photographs, playbills, flyers, press kits, and contextual information; memorabilia; and video and audio cassettes, all of which relate to the activities and functions of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Liz Lerman Dance Exchange donated its archival materials to Special Collections in Performing Arts at the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, University of Maryland Libraries, in 2005.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Lauren Bené, July 2006; edited by Cassandra N. Berman, August 2010

Processing note:

Materials are arranged chronologically to reflect the evolution of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange as well as to allow for collection growth.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup originally completed by Cassandra N. Berman, August 2010; updated by Amanda May, August 2012.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Administration, 1964-2004 and undated (65 linear feet)

Series 1 consists of the administrative files of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. It has been divided into eleven subseries.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 1.1: Administration, 1964-2004 (17 linear feet)

Subseries 1 documents the administrative offices and functions of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Included in the subseries are records pertaining to insurance, advertising, mailings, correspondence, programs, development, and studio rental and purchase. Types of materials include correspondence, reports, drafts, and email. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 1.2: Board of Directors, 1978-2002 (1.5 linear feet)

This subseries consists of information about, by, and for the Board of Directors of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, which documents its functions, goals, and activities. Types of materials include agendas, meeting minutes, correspondence, notes, reports, and memoranda. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 1.3: Bob Fogelgren, 1974-1996 (16 linear feet)

This subseriers contains the documents Bob Fogelgren, who worked with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange from 1976 to 1996, serving as executive director of Dancers of the Third Age and coordinating residencies. This subseries includes information on general administration, development, residency programs, contracts, personnel, production, bookings, conferences, studio space, and finance. Materials include correspondence, reports, proposals, budgets, itineraries, and schedules. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 1.4: Cathryn Harding, 1984-2004 (0.5 linear feet)

This subseries contains materials gathered by Cathryn Harding for her research on Liz Lerman for Harding's unfinished biography. This subseries contains transcripts, books, and articles written by and about Liz Lerman. Arrangement is chronological. Please note that audio cassette interviews have been transferred to Series 7, Media. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 1.5: Development, 1976-2004 (21.5 linear feet)

Subseries 5 documents the efforts of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange to obtain grants and other funding to support new works, performances, tours, facilities, and the Dance Exchange school. This subseries contains information on foundations, individual donations, benefits, and grants, as well as mailing lists and lists of potential donors. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 1.6: Executive Director, 1992-1996 (2 linear feet)

This subseries contains the records of the Executive Director of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, documenting the administrative functions of that office. They were created by Linda Reinsch, Executive Director from 1993-1995. Topics cover planning, restructuring, finance, development, personnel, and the Dance Exchange school. Types of materials include correspondence, reports, budgets, and residency files. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 1.7: Financial, 1976-2002 and undated (3.5 linear feet)

This subseries contains all materials dealing with the finances of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Materials include budgets, payroll lists, timesheets, audit reports, financial statements, tax forms, cash projections, and tallies. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 1.8: Lisa Traiger, 1969-2002 and undated (1 linear feet)

This subseries contains the materials gathered by Lisa Traiger - dance writer, scholar, and teacher - for her master's thesis research on Liz Lerman and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Materials pertain to womens issues and Jewish history and culture, in addition to Liz Lerman and Dance Exchange. Types of materials include books and audio and video cassettes. Please note that the cassettes have been transferred to Series 7, Media. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 1.9: Liz Lerman, undated (0 linear feet)

Subseries 9 will contain the files created by Liz Lerman during her work with the company. All materials in this subseries are forthcoming.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 1.10: Marketing, 1977-2001 and undated (1.5 linear feet)

This subseries documents the marketing and advertising efforts of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange related to its performances, tours, community programs, school, and residency programs. Types of materials include newsletters, PR materials, marketing plans, posters and flyers, and logos. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 1.11: Personnel, 1982-2000 (0.5 linear feet)

Subseries 9 contains the records of Dance Exchange's administrative employees, dancers, and faculty. Types of materials include timesheets, résumés, biographies, and correspondence. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Series 2: Programs, 1977-2004 and undated (20 linear feet)

The Programs series documents the various programs that Liz Lerman Dance Exchange created, ran, supported, or in which they participated. It has been divided into four subseries.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 2.1: Community, 1992-2002 (1.5 linear feet)

This subseries documents the community involvement of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Topics include site-specific performances, community-wide participatory events, festival projects, galas, the City of Takoma Park, and Hallelujah programs. Types of materials include project files, lists, and correspondence. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 2.2: Dancers of the Third Age, 1975-1992 and undated (4.5 linear feet)

This subseries contains the records of Dancers of the Third Age, a dance troupe of older dancers that performed and toured as a component of Dance Exchange until the company streamlined in 1993. The troupe developed out of Liz Lerman's Roosevelt dance classes for the elderly. Types of materials included are performance schedules, tours, letters of support, childrens letters from school performances, performance files, contacts lists, and completed performances forms. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 2.3: Residency, 1986-1999 (8.5 linear feet)

This subseries contains the residency files of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, including material on residencies that were considered but never realized. Dance Exchange residencies typically include public performances, community workshops, and professional training. Types of materials include planning documents, correspondence, project write-ups, and residency forms. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 2.4: School, 1983-2004 (5.5 linear feet)

Subseries 4 documents the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange-affiliated school, which operated periodically throughout the companys history., Materials pertain to workshops, institutes, classes, and teaching methods. Types of materials include schedules, rosters, class files and descriptions, registration forms, faculty contracts, informational write-ups, and flyers. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Series 3: Performance, 1964-2003 (16 linear feet)

The Performance series contains materials pertaining to the performance aspect of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. The series has been divided into three subseries.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 3.1: Contextual, 1964-2004 (6 linear feet)

Subseries 1 contains research materials gathered to contextualize the companys dance works. Materials cover fitness, Jewish culture, aging, conferences, dance training, and geographical locations. Formats represented includebooks, magazines, articles, annual reports, and conference reports. Materials are arranged chronologically; the particular dance works to which these materials relate are not undocumented. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 3.2: Playbills, circa 1970-circa2003 (2 linear feet)

This subseries contains the playbills of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and Dancers of the Third Age. Playbills represent both domestic and international performances. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 3.3: Production, circa 1970-circa 2000 (8 linear feet)

The Production subseries documents the performances and tours of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange via schedules, research, costume designs, rehearsal notes, set notations, lyrics, box office records, and performance spaces. Types of materials include correspondence, contracts, notes, schedules, and evaluations. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Series 4: Press, 1975-2003 (6 linear feet)

Series 4 contains press materials related to Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. These materials pertain to performances, workshops, and lectures, as well as to founder Liz Lerman and individual dancers. The series has been divided into the two subseries.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 4.1: Press Clippings, 1975-2002 (4 linear feet)

This subseries contains newspaper clippings related to Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, its performances, founder Liz Lerman, particular dancers in the company, residencies, and other community programs. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 4.2: Press Clippings, 1975-2002 (4 linear feet)

This subseries contains newspaper clippings related to Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, its performances, founder Liz Lerman, particular dancers in the company, residencies, and other community programs. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the subseries inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Subseries 4.3: Publications, circa 1970-circa 2000 (2 linear feet)

This subseries contains publications collected by and pertaining to Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Materials include articles, partner publications, event fliers, informational handouts, newsletters, press kits, and press releases. Formats include magazines, journals, press releases and kits, books, and posters. Arrangement is chronological.

The box inventory for this subseries is not currently available online. Please refer to the subseries description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Series 5: Visual Documentation, 1975-2002 (18 linear feet)

This series contains photographs, negatives, and slides of performances; studio shots; photographs of events such as galas and benefits; images used in performances; tourist shots; photographs of workshops and classes; and head shots. Arrangement is chronological. A PDF of the series inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Series 6: Memorabilia, circa 1970-circa 2000 (4.5 linear feet)

The Memorabilia subseries contains a variety of objects, including award plaques, rocks, a submarine statue, and t-shirts. A PDF of the series inventory is available here.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Series 7: Media, circa 1980-2007 (2,260 items)

This series contains over 2,000 audio and video recordings of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange performances, rehearsals, workshops, interviews and music/audio scores. The recordings exist on a variety of formats including, but not limited to, VHS, Beta, U-Matic, reel-to-reel, audio cassette.

A box inventory of the Media series is not available online, but is available for use in-person with assistance from the curator. Please contact the curator for more information about the Dance Exchange Media Database and using materials in the Media series.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Related Material

The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange website provides up-to-date information about the organization, its personnel, and its current projects.

The Dance Exchange website also features an Online Toolbox, which is "an ongoing, expanding effort to share the body of knowledge developed by Liz Lerman Dance Exchange since its beginnings in 1976." Using the database, visitors can learn about the company's practice, theory, and history; it is particularly geared towards those interested in choreography, or more generally in community building and human interaction.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.

Subjects

Names (Added Entries)