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Jan Erkert and Dancers Records

Identifier: Dance-MS-Erkert

Scope and Content of the Collection

Press clippings, articles, flyers, posters, brochures, programs, and other publicity information for the dance company and their productions are included as well as some promotional materials from international tours. A large number of photographs and negatives of dancers and productions are also included. Various videocassettes of dance productions from Jan Erkert and Dancers are included. Some tapes contain interviews with Jan Erkert and one with photographer Bill Frederking. All audiovisual material is currently unavailable until digitized. Some material such as newspaper clippings and posters are oversized.


  • Creation: 1974-2000



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Jan Erkert and Dancers Records are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Conditions Governing Audiovisual Access

Most audiovisual recordings in this collection have not been digitized and are unavailable for use at this time.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Jan Erkert and Dancers Records are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

History of Jan Erkert and Dancers

Chicago dance company.

A native of Detroit, Jan Erkert began ballet classes at the age of four. She graduated cum laude from the University of Utah in 1973 with a B.F.A in modern dance. The following year she joined Mordine and Company in Chicago as an assistant director and dancer. She taught at the Dance Center of Columbia College until 1979 when she became an independent choreographer and formed her own dance company, jansdances, later Jan Erkert and Dancers. Thereafter, she served on the faculties of MoMing Dance and Arts Center and the University of Chicago, was resident artist and adjudicator at a variety of locations. She toured the company several times, including overseas, and was the recipient of many awards and grants for her choreography. Erkert, whose interests gradually evolved into perceiving dance as a healing art, decided to disband the company in October 2000 in order to pursue a book commitment and to devote more time to teaching at the Dance Center

Erkert studied with Bill Evans, Larry Clark, Sally Bowden, June Finch, Shirley Mordine, and John Wilson. Her 1991 work, “Minutes, Hours, Days, Decades,” was written to celebrate Chicago modern dance pioneers, Nana Shineflug, Maggie Kast, and Shirley Mordine.


7.6 Linear Feet (3 boxes, 2 record cartons, 1 oversize box, and loose materials)


Jan Erkert founded jansdances in 1979 as a vehicle for her own works. The company evolved to Jan Erkert & Dancers and explored collaboration with other types of artists and dance presentations. The records include awards, clippings, newsletters, photographs, publicity materials, and videocassettes.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Publicity, 1974-2000
Boxes 1-2
Series 2: Photographs, 1979-1999
Boxes 2-3
Series 3: Oversized Materials, 1982-1999
Box 4
Series 4: Videos, 1979-2000
Boxes 5-6

Collection Stack Location

3a 45 4, 4a flat file drawers


Gift of Jan Erkert, 2001.

Processed by

Diana Haskell, approximately 2001 and Kelly Schulz, 2018.

Inventory of the Jan Erkert and Dancers Records1974-2000
Kelly Schulz
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States