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Larry Warren papers

 Collection 0134-SCPA

A choreographer, dancer, and professor, Larry Warren (1932-2009) taught modern dance at the University of Maryland from 1971 until 1995. The collection consists of historic dance materials collected by Warren, specifically programs and promotional materials programs, but also art, photographs and documents.


  • 1913-1995
  • Majority of material found within 1930-1977

Use and Access to Collection

The collection is open for research use. Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room during SCPA’s operating hours. Please contact the curator for an appointment or if you have questions related to digital access of the materials.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Copyright was not transferred to the University of Maryland with the gift of any copyrighted materials. All rights remain with the creators and rights holders. 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.

To inquire about duplication of materials for research or for publication, please contact SCPA’s curator.


4.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Larry Warren papers cover the period from 1913 to 1995; the bulk of the materials date from 1930 to 1977. The collection consists of historic dance materials collected by Warren, specifically programs and promotional materials programs, but also art, photographs and documents.


Larry Warren (b. 1932 - d. 2009) was a dance biographer, choreographer, teacher, and director. He was the author of two dance books, Lester Horton: Modern Dance Pioneer and Anna Sokolow: The Rebellious Spirit. For the latter, he received the 1991-92 De la Torre Bueno special citation awarded by Dance Perspectives.

Born in Brooklyn, Larry moved to North Hollywood with his family in 1948. He began his dance training in Los Angeles at the Ruth St. Denis Studio with Denishawn-trained dancer Karoun Tootikian and performed with the Concert Dance Group of the Ruth St. Denis Studio. Evening-long chats with St. Denis in the tiny patio behind her California studio triggered a life-long interest in dance history and research. He received his undergraduate degree in Theater Arts from UCLA, where his love of dance theater was furthered by his success in his senior year in the lead role in the dance drama performance of John Steinbeck's, "The Pearl." After graduating from UCLA in 1955, he continued his studies with St. Denis, Bella Lewitzky, and James Truitte in Los Angeles, and then at the Martha Graham School and with the ballet master Benjamin Harkarvy in New York City.

Returning to Southern California, Larry launched "Dance in Concert," a modern dance producing unit, and was one of the producers of "Directions in Dance," based at the Lester Horton Dance Theater. During that period, he danced with Valentina Oumansky, Gloria Newman, Richard Oliver, and in the San Francisco Opera Ballet. His teaching credits include Eugene Loring's American School of Dance, the Petroff-Gollner School, and Immaculate Heart College. Returning to UCLA for graduate work in dance at the School of Arts and Architecture, Larry completed his Master's thesis on Lester Horton, and, with encouragement from John Martin, began to work on a biography of Horton. Larry joined the faculty at the University of Maryland in 1971. During that year he assisted Dorothy Madden in founding Maryland Dance Theater, a critically acclaimed repertory company in residence at the University of Maryland at College Park. Larry served as Associate Director of the company from 1972-1975 and Director from 1976 until the company disbanded in 1988. His own choreography for the company earned him praise for his wit, his imagination, and his ability to create dramatic structures, characters and atmosphere. Larry was recipient of a 1982 award from the Metropolitan Dance Association for service rendered to Dance in Washington, D.C. and co-recipient, with Anne Warren, of the 1986 "Outstanding Service to Dance in Maryland" award from the Maryland Council for Dance and the 2000-2001 Pola Nirenska Lifetime Achievement Award in Dance presented by the Washington Performing Arts Society. Upon his retirement in 1995, Larry became Professor Emeritus of Dance at the University of Maryland in College Park.


This collection is organized into six series:

  1. Programs
  2. Promotional materials
  3. Photographs
  4. Oral history
  5. Papers
  6. Art

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Gift of Anne Warren, Larry Warren's wife, on June 13, 2011, plus multiple additions made between 2012 and 2013

Related Material

Maryland Dance Theater records, Special Collections in Performing Arts, University of Maryland Libraries. (finding aid)

University of Maryland Department of Dance records, Special Collections in Performing Arts, University of Maryland Libraries. (finding aid)

Larry Warren papers
Vincent J. Novara, updated by Sarah Lindblom
July 2011; updated January 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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

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