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Meriam Rosen Papers

 Collection 0083-SCPA
A choreographer, dancer, and professor, Meriam Levine Rosen (1927-2015) taught modern dance at the University of Maryland from 1954 until her retirement in 2009. An active participant in the Washington, D.C.-area performing arts community, Rosen founded and directed Improvisations Unlimited, a university-based improvisational dance company; conducted and participated in workshops, festivals, and master classes; choreographed works performed by dancers both in the United States and abroad; and helped establish the University of Maryland's Department of Dance. The papers consist of materials related to Rosen's career as a dancer, choreographer, and professor, including correspondence, awards and certificates, University of Maryland Department of Dance materials, performance programs and related publicity materials, grant applications, articles and reviews, photographs, video tapes, audio cassettes, and CDs.

Dates

  • 1942-2009
  • Majority of material found within 1956-2008

Use and Access to Collection

There are some restricted items in this collection. All restricted items have been moved to Box 18; facsimiles with sensitive material redacted are integrated into the rest of the collection.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Copyright was not transferred to the University of Maryland with the physical gift of the papers. The donor's heirs, assigns, or publishers retain any copyright possessed in the papers. The University of Maryland Libraries is granted permission for the use in scholarly research by the Libraries’ patrons under fair use in Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act.

Extent

10.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Meriam Rosen papers cover the period from 1942 to 2009; the bulk of the materials date from 1956 to 2008. The collection consists of both personal and professional papers including correspondence, awards and certificates, University of Maryland Department of Dance materials, performance programs and related publicity materials, grant applications, articles and reviews, photographs, video tapes, audio cassettes, and CDs. Materials pertain to Meriam Rosen's career as a dancer, choreographer, and professor, including her work at the University of Illinois, Mount Vernon Junior College, and the University of Maryland; with the Improvisations Unlimited dance company; as a leader and participant in local, regional, and national festivals and workshops; and as a an active artist within the Washington, D.C. area.

Biography

Meriam "Mim" Rosen was a modern dance choreographer and Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland, College Park. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on April 27, 1927, Rosen (nee Levine) studied ballet until entering the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The university did not offer ballet classes, so she began studying modern dance. She graduated in 1948 with a B.S. in physical education and a minor in dance. Rosen remained in Illinois until 1953, where she taught dance at the affiliated University High School.

In 1954, she began working at the University of Maryland, College Park as a modern dance instructor. In 1955, Rosen left the university and joined the staff of Mount Vernon Junior College in Washington, D.C., where she was Instructor of Dance and Head of Physical Education. She remained at Mount Vernon until 1961. In 1962, she returned to the University of Maryland as Guest Lecturer and Acting Head of the Dance Program within the Department of Physical Education. In 1965, she received an M.A. in Theater from the university, focusing on modern dance. When the Department of Dance was created in 1967, Rosen was promoted to Assistant Professor. She served as Acting Chair of the department from 1969 to 1970, and in 1988 she became a full professor.

In addition to her university training, Rosen's career as a dancer was cultivated at the Humphrey-Weidman Studio in New York, under Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, and at the Connecticut College School for the Dance, under Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Jose Limon, and Louis Horst. In 1956, she and three other dancers founded Dance Quartet, for which she both danced and choreographed; one of the company's goals was to make modern dance accessible within schools and colleges. She also performed with the Ethel Butler Studio.

As a choreographer, Rosen explored improvisational dance in addition to more traditional modern dance technique. In 1978, Rosen founded Improvisations Unlimited, a university-based company that performed extensively and conducted workshops for dancers and community members until its dissolution in 1992. In recognition of her contributions to the modern dance community, Rosen was awarded the Pola Nirenska Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2004 by the Washington Performing Arts Society, the Maryland Council for Dance Award for Outstanding Service to Dance in 2007, and the Dance Place Dance Educators Award, also in 2007. Rosen retired from UMD in 2009 and was designated Professor Emerita. She died from congestive heart failur in March 12, 2015.

Sources Meriam Rosen papers. Washington-area bituaries of note. "Meriam L. Rosen, dance professor." Washington Post, March 2015. Accessed online 19 June 2019.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into ten series.
  1. Series 1: Personal
  2. Series 2: University of Maryland
  3. Series 3: Artistic Collaborations
  4. Series 4: Companies
  5. Series 5: Festivals, Workshops, Master Classes
  6. Series 6: Grants
  7. Series 7: Works
  8. Series 8: Articles, Reviews, Clippings
  9. Series 9: Photographs
  10. Series 10: Media

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Gift of Meriam Rosen, received in five shipments from 2008 to 2009. Some materials were transferred to the Improvisations Unlimited Collection.

Related Material

Researchers should also consult the Improvisations Unlimited Collection, which contains important company records, performance videos, programs and publicity materials, photographs, and some material pertinent to the University of Maryland. Please note that the Meriam Rosen Papers contains materials related to the company as well, which were received as part of Rosen's personal papers, and have been maintained as such. Videos clearly pertaining to Improvisations Unlimited have been transferred to that collection.

Also see:
  1. Maryland Dance Ensemble [videorecording] (2008). Call number: WAP 0399. (Available for viewing in the Performing Arts Library; please see the libraries' catalog record for more information.)
  2. Maryland Dance Ensemble [videorecording] (2008). Call number: WAP 0400. (Available for viewing in the Performing Arts Library; please see the libraries' catalog record for more information.)
  3. University of Maryland Department of Dance Publications (1967-). Call number: UPUB D3. (Available for viewing in Hornbake Library's Maryland Room; please see the libraries' catalog record for more information.)
  4. Jerome Robbins: Total Man of the American Theatre. Meriam Levine Rosen, master's thesis (1966). Call number: LD3231.M70m Rosen, M. L. (Available in Hornbake Library's Maryland Room; please see the libraries' catalog record for more information.)
For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.
Title
Meriam Rosen Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Cassandra N. Berman.
Date
2010-06-01
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

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