Chicago native Charles Grass began his professional dance career at age 12, performing with Bob Fosse as the Riff Brothers, a tap dance act in the vaudeville tradition. As an adult, he performed in the ballet companies of Ruth Page and John Petri and served as rehearsal director for Page’s Broadway musical, Music in My Heart. Grass was actively involved in the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Artists.
The Charles Grass Collection contains photographs, programs, letters, choreographic scores, and other documents spanning the 80-year career of tap and ballet dancer Charles Grass. Entities represented include the Chicago Academy of Theatre Arts; the Riff Brothers, a vaudeville duo comprised of Grass and Bob Fosse; Ruth Page’s Broadway production, Music In My Heart; the John Petri Ballet; the Park Ridge Civic Ballet; Chicago Dance Masters; and the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Artists. The Riff Brothers materials in this collection are the only remaining artifacts documenting the early career of Bob Fosse.
All images and video on this site are the property of Chicago Dance History Project. To request permission to use these materials, please contact CDHP.