Mordine & Company Dance Theater, celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2019, is the Midwest's longest-running contemporary dance company. Under the direction of Shirley Mordine, the Company has produced works whose coalition of choreography and theatre has won critical acclaim. Praised for original choreography combining wit and sheer movement with technical sophistication, the Company's work has been described as "a two-edged sword of comedy and drama" and "adventurous, audacious, gutsy, and energetic". In September 2018, Shirley Mordine received the Legacy Award from See Chicago Dance, honoring her outstanding artistic command in the field and meaningful contribution in Chicago’s dance community.
Mordine & Company, having performed throughout the United States, as well as internationally at numerous festivals, is a renowned Chicago institution; as the Chicago Tribune said about the Dances for The Open Spaces project: “the larger achievement is Mordine's ability to create new audiences for dance in a found space surrounded by the familiar pulse of the city." In the 1970s, the Company produced the first experimental dance pieces in Chicago, including Journey, set in a three-story building in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood; RSVP, performed in the original location of the Museum of Contemporary Art; and Sky Tale, which took place in an abandoned theatre space in Chicago’s Uptown.
The Company consistently performing in the Chicago area, often producing two major seasons a year and has received numerous accolades for its choreography. As Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times states, “Shirley Mordine's artfully crafted dances convey wit, sensitivity and a flair for the theatrical. They speak with choreographic authority, and her company interprets them with articulate technique” Profiled by Dance magazine in 2009, Mordine was recognized as “a choreographer clearly capable of remarkable freshness and originality.” Mordine is renowned for her craftsmanship, as the Chicago Reader states, “Her canny manipulation of the raw material of dance - sheer movement of space and time - knows no peer."
Over the years, Mordine & Company has had the honor to work with a number of illustrious collaborators from diverse artistic disciplines, including choreographers Miguel Mancillas and Ishmael Houston-Jones; composers Tatsu Aoki, Henry Threadgill, Shawn Decker, Richard Woodbury, and David Pavkovic; visual designers John Boesche and Ken Bowen; puppeteer Michael Montenegro; and video artist Miroslaw Rogala. This collaborative spirit is part of an ongoing effort by Mordine & Company to infuse the field of dance with new modes of performance and expression.