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Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble (CRDE) records

Identifier: Dance-MS-Chicago-Repertory

Scope and Content of the Collection

Administrative, financial, and development records with photographs, press clippings, programs, fliers, press kits, posters, and audiovisual materials of the Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble. Materials in each series cover the entire lifespan of the Dance Ensemble from 1981 to 1992 with few gaps. Contains copies rather than original documents of press releases and clippings, grant materials, and program information.


  • Creation: 1981-1992



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble records are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble records are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of the Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble

Dance company established in 1981 by Artistic Director Tara Mitton which primarily performed repertory of dances by internationally renowned artists such as Paul Taylor, George De La Pena, and Paul Sansardo. Barbara Stein served as the Executive Director and Associate Artistic Director. The purpose of the Dance Ensemble was to “perform a spectrum of contemporary dance that will challenge and entertain both those familiar with dance and those new to the art form; to communicate dance through education; and to represent the best of Midwest dance throughout the nation.”

In 1984, the Dance Ensemble shifted its focus to a “Made in Chicago” artistic philosophy that invested in the promotion and growth of Chicago choreographers exclusively and took up residency in the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. The shift was partly inspired by their annual New Dances choreography project, which began in 1983, and was a major source of new choreography for the company’s repertory.

Educational and outreach programs included participation in Young Audiences, Inc. and Urban Gateways, a Branch Artists program that allowed company members to perform their own works, and Dance in the Parks in collaboration with the Chicago Park District. The Dance Ensemble toured both nationally and internationally, with appearances in Australia, Switzerland, France, and residences in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Alaska, Utah, and New Mexico.

Like other Chicago area dance companies, the Dance Ensemble experienced legal and financial difficulties in the late 1980s. They continued to perform in 1991, and officially dissolved in 1992.


5 Linear Feet (7 boxes and 1 oversize loose folder)

5 Linear Feet (AV cartons)


A troupe that showcased the works of Chicago choreographers, the Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble was founded in 1981 by Tara Mitton and headquartered at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts building until its dissolution in 1992. Records include administrative files, photographs, publicity, and audiovisual materials.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Administrative, 1981-1992
Boxes 1-4
Series 2: Photographs, 1981-1991
Box 4
Series 3: Publicity, 1981-1992
Boxes 5-7
Series 4: Audiovisual, 1981-1992
Audiovisual boxes (restricted)

Collection Stack Location

3a 48 3


Gift, Tara Mitton Catao, Frank Fishella, Barbara Stein, 1993.

Processed by

Catherine Grandgeorge, 2016.

Inventory of the Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble records, 1981-1992
Catherine Grandgeorge
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023-07-14: Audiovisual materials have been permanently removed from the collection for preservation. Access to the original audiovisual items is restricted.

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States