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Ruth Emerson Wortis fonds
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Ruth Emerson Wortis fonds

  • MSC-185
  • Fonds
  • 1957 - 2017

Ruth Emerson Wortis was a pioneer of modern dance, as well as a prolific choreographer, performer and dance educator. She was one of the founding members of the Judson Dance Group, which itself is credited for the rise of the Postmodern dance movement. This fonds follows the development of Ruth’s career through an extensive collection of performance programs, photographs, music scores, publications and reviews, choreographic materials such as dance and movement scores, and both personal and professional notes. Also seen is the effect of Ruth’s academic and teaching career on her dancing style as, over the years, she shifts slightly from the avant-garde for performance sake towards breaking down gender stereotypes in dance education by encouraging dance for movement’s sake to children and community groups.
This fonds contains seven identifiable distinct series. Series 1: Dance, movement and music scores (1957-2002); Series 2: Photographs (1957-1991); Series 3: Flyers and programs (1959-2002); Series 4: Published reviews and articles (1959-2001); Series 5: Writings and correspondence (1978-2001); Series 6: Ruth Emerson Wortis biographical information (2015-2017); and Series 7: Ruth Emerson Wortis performances and interviews (1989-1998).

Emerson Wortis, Ruth

Programs and flyers

This series consists of promotional materials (flyers, posters, mailings, and some newspaper clippings) and programs of Ruth’s performances over the years. It is possible not only to trace the genesis and evolution of certain pieces, but the breadth of detail in the records serves to contextualize Ruth’s path geographically, stylistically, and professionally among her peers. Beginning with her initial performances with The Dancemakers to her work with the Judson Dance Theatre, her training abroad and graduate studies, her career in dance education and through to her efforts to coordinate community engagement in dance, it is possible to view Ruth’s career through these materials based on the depth of her participation and involvement. In some cases there are multiple copies of the same item.

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