Chicago Dance History Project seeks to investigate, preserve, and present the oral and corporeal histories of theatrical dance in Chicago. It honors the vast number of national and international dance artists with roots in the city; recovers the untold stories of individuals, organizations, and venues that have anchored Chicago’s strong local dance community; and links various collections of historical knowledge and traditions with present and future generations.

The foundational work of CDHP involves exploring Chicago dance histories through three primary modes of research: in-depth, on-camera interviews with area dancers, choreographers, educators, advocates, and others associated with the form; recorded panel discussions, exhibitions, and other public events that facilitate collaborative explorations of specific historical topics; and establishing partnerships with area institutions and individuals housing dance archives in order to connect disparate threads of knowledge maintained throughout the city.

These recorded interviews and events, along with various supplemental materials, will serve as a public platform for establishing a body of original and collected research that examines how Chicago has shaped dance — and how, in turn, dance has shaped Chicago — throughout the 20th century and into the present.

Founded in 2015, CDHP received a 2019 Ruth Page Award for its contributions to the cultural history of Chicago. 

Proudly supported by:

Martha Struthers Farley & Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation, The Gray Foundation,

PERT Foundation, and our generous individual donors

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