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New Dance Ensemble records

Identifier: PA073

Scope and Content Note

Throughout this finding aid, the abbreviation NDE represents New Dance Ensemble. In addition, FY represents Fiscal Year.

The collection contains business records comprised of building leases, insurance policies, clippings, promotional flyers, postcards, newspaper advertisements, concert programs, contracts, schedules, and employee and artist files; correspondence and memos; financial records comprised of ticket sales, budgets, tax records, grants, and audit reports; audiovisual materials; and photographs which document the work of the modern dance repertory. A small amount of items in the collection is dated before and after the dates of incorporation, largely reflecting work of Linda Shapiro, Co-founder of NDE.


  • Creation: 1980-1995, undated

Language of Materials


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open and available for use in the Andersen Library Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use

Contact the archivist regarding the copyright of these materials.

Historical Note

The New Dance Ensemble (NDE) was incorporated in Minneapolis, Minnesota in September, 1981. Formed by Artistic Directors Linda Shapiroand Leigh Dillard, the mission of the modern dance repertory was, according to promotional materials, to "employ a company of highly trained, professional dancers and to commission works by nationally recognized and locally prominent choreographers." Seed money was provided by grants from Jerome and Northwest Area Foundations. "The aesthetic focus of the company [was] based on the work of Merce Cunninghamand the Judson Church group of the 1960s" as stated in materials found in the collection.

Also central to NDE's mission was the introduction of modern dance to high school and grade school audiences. NDE provided lectures and demonstrations at local schools in Minnesota. In addition, it created "Danceablilty" workshops to explore movement for physically disabled people.

Throughout the history of NDE, the company toured in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, New York City, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. In May 1990, Leigh Dillard resigned her position. In 1991, NDE changed direction to a performance laboratory, and their name became New Dance Laboratory. The goal was to invite choreographers for a period of time to experiment and develop new material to perform, versus hiring them only for commissioned (already "completed") works.

Due to the challenge of financially sustaining the creative endeavor, The New Dance Ensemble / New Dance Laboratory ceased its operations on May 31, 1994.


20 Cubic Feet (12 record cartons, 1 hollinger box, 4 flat boxes, 1 slide box)


This collection contains business records, correspondence, financial records, audiovisual materials, and photographs of the New Dance Ensemble which incorporated in 1981. Founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota under the artistic direction of Linda Shapiro and Leigh Dillard, its stated mission was to create a modern dance repertory company, encouraging experimentation in dance. The New Dance Ensemble ceased operations on May 31, 1994.


The collection is organized into the following categories:

Administrative Records

Production Materials

Restricted Administrative Records

Physical Location



The collection was donated by Co-founder, Linda Shapiroin 2003.

Processing Information

The collection was processed and finding written by Ann Mulfort in 2010.


New Dance Ensemble records PA073
Ann Mulfort
June 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Collecting Area Details

Contact The Performing Arts Archives Collecting Area