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"Before you know it, people are making these beautiful dances that come from themselves."

woman jumping in a theater wearing a flowy costume with long sleeves

Shirley Mordine began her dance training in San Francisco with Welland Lathrop and Chicago native Anna Halprin. She studied dance at Mills College, later moving with her family to Chicago. Mordine founded the Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago in 1969 and served as Chair until 1999. As director of Mordine & Company Dance Theater, also founded in 1969 as the Chicago Dance Troupe, Shirley has choreographed over 50 pieces and collaborated with several local, national, and international artists.

January 28, 2016: In addition to reflecting on the circumstances that brought her to Chicago and led her to establishing her company and the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Shirley shares her ideas and methods of choreographing and teaching dance. She describes several past works and what inspired her to make them and discusses the challenges of being the only female department chair at the time at Columbia College.

"I found my physical practice and my performative sense through the work with Shirley."                         -Jan Erkert

"She was one of those ground-floor people. Modern dance was still really developing with her generation.         -Carol Bobrow

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