The Legacy of Chicago Dance

Event Type
Other Event
Event Description

Saturday, April 27, 2019 – Saturday, July 6, 2019
Roger J. Trienens Galleries
Free and open to the public

What defines and distinguishes Chicago dance and the city’s dance community? Many dance styles converge and coexist in Chicago, from ballet and flamenco to jazz, tap, contemporary/modern, house, and dances from around the world. Influenced not only by early European dance styles and trends, but also by Indigenous communities and their dances, Chicago continues to serve as a uniquely wide-ranging hub for dance.

In order to understand the brilliance of the Chicago dance community today, it is necessary to uncover its history. The Legacy of Chicago Dance explores this vast and rich history through the Newberry Library’s extensive dance collection—much of which is derived from the archives of Chicago’s powerhouse dancers, choreographers, teachers, and companies.

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. Many were born and raised in the area and developed their artistic forms in Chicago throughout their lives. Others left Chicago and returned later on, bringing back new stylistic influences that would be absorbed into the Chicago dance culture.

This exhibition is curated by Alison Hinderliter and Samantha Smith, of the Newberry’s Modern Manuscripts Section.

Our exhibition galleries are open 8:15 am to 5 pm Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 8:15 am to 7:30 pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; closed Sundays.


Running Time


Newberry Library

60 W. Walton St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 943-9090