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Improvisations Unlimited Collection

 Collection 0056-SCPA
Improvisations Unlimited was a modern dance company based at the University of Maryland, College Park, from 1978-1992. Founded and directed by university dance professor Meriam Rosen, the company began with informal performances of improvised movement, but gradually introduced more structured choreography, though still within a largely improvisational framework. Improvisations Unlimited commissioned works by well-known choreographers and developed a repertoire of works and workshops, which they performed and conducted for a wide array of audiences, including dancers, children, older adults, and populations with special needs throughout the Washington, D.C.-area and the Eastern Seaboard. The Improvisations Unlimited Collection covers the period from 1970-1997; the bulk of the materials date from 1978-1992. The collection consists of administrative files, financial records, correspondence, grant and other applications, programs, publicity materials, reviews, clippings, press releases, photographs, and video tapes.

Dates

  • 1970-1997
  • Majority of material found within 1978-1992

Use and Access to Collection

The collection is open for research use.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Contact the curator for an appointment: http://www.lib.umd.edu/scpa/contact

Extent

14.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Improvisations Unlimited Collection covers the period from 1970-1997; the bulk of the materials date from 1978-1992. The collection consists of administrative files, financial records, correspondence, grant and other applications, programs, publicity materials, reviews, clippings, press releases, photographs, and video tapes. These materials pertain to the University of Maryland-based modern dance company Improvisations Unlimited, which was founded and directed by dance professor Meriam Rosen.

Administrative History

Improvisations Unlimited was a modern dance company based at the University of Maryland, College Park, from 1978-1992. The company grew out of an advanced improvisation class led by dance professor Meriam "Mim" Rosen. When students began performing outside the classroom, Rosen approached the university dance department for permission to start a company, and Improvisations Unlimited was founded the same year. Rosen served as director throughout the company's duration.

The company began with informal performances of improvised movement, but gradually introduced more structured choreography, though still within a largely improvisational framework. Improvisations Unlimited commissioned or performed works by choreographers including Ping Chong, Jeff Duncan, Daniel Nagrin, Don Redlich, Kei Takei, and Dan Wagoner; many of these choreographers traveled to the university to work directly with the company as visiting artists. The company developed a repertoire of works and workshops, which they performed and conducted for a wide array of audiences, including dancers, children, older adults, and populations with special needs throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and the Eastern Seaboard.

Improvisations Unlimited was incorporated in 1985. It was governed by a Board of Directors and supported by Friends of Improvisations Unlimited, as well as nationally and regionally administered grants. Citing lack of financial and other support, Rosen disbanded the company in 1992.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into eight series.
  1. Series 1: Company Information
  2. Series 2: Financial
  3. Series 3: Artistic Collaborations and Residencies
  4. Series 4: Grants and Fundraising
  5. Series 5: Works
  6. Series 6: Press and Publicity
  7. Series 7: Photographs and Scrapbooks
  8. Series 8: Media

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Gift of Meriam Rosen, received in one shipment in May 2000. Some materials transferred to the collection from the Meriam Rosen Papers in 2010.

Related Material

Researchers should also consult the Meriam Rosen Papers, which contains important materials related to Improvisations Unlimited. See particularly Subseries 4.3, which contains administrative records, programs, publicity materials, reviews, sketches, and information on alumni; and Subseries 9.4, which contains photographs of Improvisations Unlimited performances and workshops. Videos that were originally part of the Meriam Rosen Papers, but that clearly pertain to Improvisations Unlimited, have been transferred to the Improvisations Unlimited Collection.

The Meriam Rosen Papers consists primarily of Rosen's personal and professional papers, much of which relates to the University of Maryland and to Rosen's work as a choreographer.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.
Title
Improvisations Unlimited Collection
Status
edited-full-draft
Author
Cassandra N. Berman, September 2010
Date
2010-09-01
Language of description
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • 2011-02-09: EAD markup checked and verified using JEdit software by Jennie Levine Knies, February 2011.

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library Library

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States