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Dance Repertory Companies Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 028

Scope and Contents

This collection encompasses programs, playbills, and memorabilia pertaining to American and International dance companies, from the early 1900s to the 2000s. The bulk of the collection contains playbills, however there are also souvenir programs from various dance companies and a few newspaper articles pertaining to performances. The majority of the collection pertains to the Boston Ballet from the late 60s to the early 2000s.


  • 1934 - 2005

Language of Materials

Records in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Some materials may be subject to copyright. No part of the materials protected by copyright may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the copyright holder. Researchers are required to seek permission from the copyright holder to reproduce and/or publish materials under copyright.


1.5 linear feet; 2 boxes


This collection has been arranged alphabetically by dance company, then chronologically. Oversized and fragile materials have been removed and boxed separately as indicated. Newspaper clippings found within playbills have been photocopied and placed in the back of the corresponding folder.

Physical Location


Custodial History

This collection is a compilation of small collections donated by several donors. The collections were combined to create the Theater Playbills Collection (MSS 08) and the Dance Repertory Companies Collection (MSS 28). The donors who contributed to this collection are as follows: Lee Engler, Fort Worth Museum, Katherine Lee Gould, Gertrude Kovacs, Charlotte Lindgren & Donald Winslow, Irma Mann, William Marcione, David Panzer & Charles Rosen, Mary-Ann Sullivan, Gerald Tarantino, and Edythe Zimmerman. Materials from these collections that were not relevant to the Theatre Playbills Collection or the Dance Companies Collection were either discarded or donated to other institutions.


Dance Repertory Appendix:

Alvin Ailey Dance Company:

Based in New York City, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater began in 1958 as a group of young African-American modern dancers, directed by Alvin Ailey.

American Ballet Theatre:

American’s National Ballet Company, ABT was founded in 1939 in New York City.

Ballet Russe:

Prior to 1938 Ballet Russe was known as Colonel de Basil’s Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. Around 1938 the company split into two separate companies, Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and the Original Ballet Russe (information obtained from the materials in the collection).

Bolshoi Ballet:

A Russian based ballet company residing within the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. The Bolshoi Theatre opened in 1776 with a ballet performance.

Boston Ballet:

The first professional repertory ballet company in New England. Founded in 1963 by E. Virginia Williams.

Dance Theatre of Harlem

Based in New York City, Dance Theatre of Harlem was founded by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook in 1969.

Joffery Ballet

Founded in Chicago in 1956 by Robert Joffrey.

Martha Graham Dance Company

Led by renowned dancer Martha Graham, the Martha Graham Dance Company evolved from the Martha Graham Studio, which was founded in 1926, in New York City.

Moiseyev Dance Company

Russian dance company founded by Igor Moiseyev in 1936 (information obtained from the materials in the collection).

New York City Ballet

Founded by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein in 1948.

Paul Taylor Dance Company

Founded by Paul Taylor in 1993. Based in New York City.

Pilobolus Dance Theatre

Founded in 1971 by Dartmouth College students.

Royal Ballet

Britain’s largest ballet company, the Royal Ballet was orriginally the Vic-Wells Ballet, the Royal Ballet was founded by Dame Ninette de Valois circa 1931. Renamed the Royal Ballet in 1956

Twyla Tharp Dance

Renowned dancer and choreographer, Twyla Tharp founded Twyla Tharp Dance in 1965.

Processing Information

Finding aid completed by Elizabeth Wood; last updated August 8, 2014.

Dance Repertory Companies Collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Emerson College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Walker Building, Room 223
120 Boylston Street
Boston Massachusetts 02116 United States
(617) 824-8301