University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Rhoda Winter Russell:

An Inventory of Her Papers at the Harry Ransom Center



Creator: Russell, Rhoda Winter, 1930-
Title: Rhoda Winter Russell Papers
Dates: circa 1932-2010 (bulk 1942-1959)
Abstract: The papers of dance educator and movement therapist Rhoda Winter Russell contain fliers, brochures, clippings, theater programs, and photographs collected by Russell and pertaining to dancers, choreographers, and dance companies that were active in the 1940s and 1950s, including Mary Wigman and Alwin Nikolais, with whom Russell studied, and the Henry Street Playhouse Dance Company.
Call Number: Performing Arts Collection PA-00209
Extent: 6 document boxes, 1 oversize box (osb), 1 oversize folder (osf)(2.52 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Biographical Sketch

Dance educator and movement therapist Rhoda Winter Russell (born 1930) studied with Mary Wigman in the 1950s. She grew up in Philadelphia, taking dances classes with Marion Cuyjet and Syvilla Fort, and also at Ballet Arts in New York. Her training continued at the University of Wisconsin where she studied with Margaret D’Houbler. After graduation she studied with Mary Wigman in Berlin and attended Wigman’s International Holiday Course in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1952. She obtained a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, taught dance at Ohio Weslayan University, and became an assistant in Hanya Holm’s School of Dance in New York. She continued her studies with Alwin Nikolais at the Henry Street Playhouse in New York. In 1956 she assisted Margret Dietz at the Connecticut College School of Dance.

Her career in movement therapy began around 1956, when she married the psychologist Albert Ellis (they divorced in 1958). Her second marriage ended with the death of her husband, Dr. Murray Russell, in 1958, at which time she took at a position in movement therapy at the Philadelphia State Hospital, working with the mentally ill. She retired from movement therapy in 1994. Since the 1980s she has been a judge for dog shows.


Scope and Contents

The bulk of the Rhoda Winter Russell papers, circa 1932-2010 (bulk 1942-1959), consists of fliers, brochures, clippings, theater programs, and photographs collected by Russell and pertaining to dancers, choreographers, and dance companies that were active in the 1940s and 1950s. The papers are arranged into four series: I. Dance Files, circa 1932-2009, undated; II. Photographs, 1952-circa 1956, undated; III. Correspondence, 1936-1959, undated; IV. Movement Therapy and Personal Papers, 1951-2010. Mary Wigman, Alwin Nikolais, and the Henry Street Playhouse Dance Company are well represented throughout the collection.

Series I. Dance Files is divided into three subseries: A. Dancers, Choreographers, and Dance Companies; B. Venues and Producing Organizations; C. Printed Material and Album. Material within each subseries is arranged alphabetically by subject. Many of the programs and fliers are for performances in New York between 1955 and 1957, and in Philadelphia in the 1940s.

Series II. Photographs includes black and white prints and negatives depicting classes taught by Mary Wigman, Harald Kreutzberg, and others at the International Holiday Courses in Montreux in 1952. This series also contains a photograph of Adolf Hitler with a dog, as well as a set of negatives and printouts of ships in a harbor.

Series III. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically and most notably contains letters from Mary Wigman to Russell.

Most of Series IV. Personal Papers pertains to Russell’s career in movement therapy.

Provenance

The collection was acquired from Russell by purchase and gift in 2012 and 2013. The photograph of Adolf Hitler and the accompanying negatives were previously in the possession of Russell’s uncle Earl Winter (also known as Earl Winters), a U.S. military officer based in Heidelberg who was in charge of postal exchanges in northern Italy and Germany after World War II.


Restrictions

Access:

Open for research. An advance appointment is required to view photographic negatives in the Reading Room.


Index Terms

People
Kreutzberg, Harald, 1902-1968.
Nikolais, Alwin.
Russell, Rhoda Winter.
Wigman, Mary, 1886-1973.
Organizations
Henry Street Playhouse Dance Company.
Subjects
Dance -- United States -- 20th century.
Movement therapy.
Document Types
Brochures.
Fliers (printed matter).
Clippings (information artifacts).
Photographs.
Letters (correspondence).

Related Material

Additional holdings for Mary Wigman are located in the Ransom Center Dance Collection.


Separated Material

Russell’s programs for theater and music performances are uncataloged. Books received with the collection were transferred to the Ransom Center Book Collection. Dance periodicals were transferred to Performing Arts Dance Periodicals.


Administrative Information

Acquisition:

Gifts and purchases, 2012-2013 (12-05-015-P, 13-04-004-P, 13-07-012-G, 13-07-013-G)

Processed by:

Helen Baer, 2012-13 and Grace Hansen, 2016


Sources:

Seitz, Jonelle, "Dance of the Century,"The Austin Chronicle, 10 August 2012.


Container List

Series I. Dance Files, circa 1932-2009, undated

Subseries A. Dancers, Choreographers, and Dance Companies, circa 1932-2009, undated
Container
1.1 Actors and Dancers Repertory Theatre, undated
Container
1.2 Ailey, Alvin, 1972
Container
1.3 Akesson, Birgit, 1954, undated
Container
1.4 Amaya, Carmen, undated
Container
1.5 Amaya, Carmen, and Antonio Triana, 1942
Container
1.6 Mary Anthony Dance Theatre, undated
Container
1.7 Antonio and His Spanish Ballet Company, 1955
Container
1.8 Azuma Kabuki Dancers and Musicians, 1954
Container
1.9 Balanchine, George, 1985
Container
1.10 Ballet Americana, 1958
Container
1.11 Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, 1942-1954, undated
Container
1.12 Ballet Theatre, 1942-1954, undated
Container
1.13 Ballets de Marigny, 1952
Container
1.14 Les Ballets de Paris (Roland Petit), 1949-1954, undated
Container
1.15 Beatty, Talley, 1948, undated
Container
1.16 Beddow, Margery, undated
Container
1.17 Bettis, Valerie, 1956
Container
1.18 Bolshoi Ballet, 1959
Container
1.19 Borde, Percival, with guest artist Pearl Primus, undated
Container
1.20 Burton, Irving, 1956
Container
1.21 Butler, John, 1952
Container
1.22 Collins, Janet, 1954
Container
1.23 Cullberg, Birgit, 1961
Container
1.24 Cunningham, Merce, 1957-2009, undated
Container
1.25 Dafora, Asadata, undated
Container
1.26 Dancers of Bali, 1952, undated
Container
1.27 Dayton Theatre Dance Group, with Meredith Dallas and Dorothy Laming, 1955
Container
2.1 Deering, Jane, 1942
Container
2.2 D’Houbler, Margaret, 1953, undated
Container
2.3 Dietz, Margret, 1953, undated
Container
2.4 Dunham, Katherine, 1944-1955, undated
Container
2.5 Enters, Angna, 1956
Container
2.6 Escudero, 1955
Container
2.7 Essen, Medha von, 1952
Container
2.8 Flade, Tina, circa 1981
Container
2.9 Frankel, Emily, and Mark Ryder, undated
Container
2.10 Garth, Midi, 1956
Container
2.11 Graham, Martha, 1947-1990, undated
Container
2.12 Gray, Harriette Ann, 1954
Container
2.13 Greco, José, 1951-1954, undated
Container
2.14 Hadassah, with Joseph Gifford and company, 1956
Container
2.15 Halprin, Anna, 1962
Container
2.16 Hawkins, Erick, circa 1957
Container
2.17 Holder, Geoffrey, 1956-1957
Container
2.18 Holder, Geoffrey, and Louis Johnson, 1955
Container
2.19 Holm, Hanya, 1946-1966
Container
2.20 Horst, Louis, 1961
Container
2.21 Johnson, Louis, undated
Container
2.22 Jooss Ballet, 1946
Container
2.23 Kabuki Theatre, 1954
Container
2.24 Kinch, Myra, 1955
Container
3.1 Kitchell, Iva, 1947
Container
3.2 Kreutzberg, Harald, 1947-1951, undated
Container
3.3 Lang, Pearl, 1956
Container
3.4 Leath, A. A., undated
Container
3.5 Lebrun, Rico, undated
Container
3.6 Leeder, Sigurd, 1956
Container
3.7 Limón, José, 1956
Container
3.8 Limón, José, and the Julliard Dance Theater, 1956, undated
Container
3.9 Linn, Bambi, and Rod Alexander, undated
Container
3.10 Lippincott, Gertrude, 1950
Container
3.11 London Festival Ballet, 1955
Container
3.12 Louis, Murray, 1964, undated
Container
3.13 Marceau, Marcel, 1955-1958
Container
3.14 Marchowsky, Marie, 1956-1957, undated
Container
3.15 Mariscano, Merle, 1958
Container
3.16 Massine, Leonid, undated
Container
3.17 Mettler, Barbara, late 1940s
Container
3.18 Nagrin, Daniel, 1966
Container
3.19 New York City Ballet, 1949-1958, undated
Container
3.20-22, osf 1 Nikolais, Alwin / Henry Street Playhouse Dance Company, 1955-1970, undated
Container
4.1 O’Donnell, May, 1956
Container
4.2 Original Ballet Russe, 1946
Container
4.3 Paris Opera Ballet, 1948
Container
4.4 Pennsylvania Ballet, 1971
Container
4.5 Philadanco, 1982
Container
4.6 Primus, Pearl, 1946
Container
4.7 Rao, Shanta, undated
Container
4.8 Royal Ballet, 1967
Container
4.9 Sadler’s Wells Ballet, 1949-1955
Container
4.10 Shankar, Udi, 1949-1952
Container
4.11 Shawn, Ted, undated
Container
4.12 Shearer, Sybil, 1948-1955
Container
4.13 Slavenska, Mia, 1944
Container
4.14 Slavenska-Franklin Ballet, 1953
Container
4.15 Sokolow, Anna, 1956, undated
Container
4.16 St. Denis, Ruth, 1957
Container
4.17 Takei, Kei, undated
Container
4.18 Tallchief, Maria, 1951, undated
Container
4.19 Taylor, Paul, undated
Container
4.20 Teresa and Luisillo, Ballets Espagnols, 1954
Container
4.21 Theatre Dance, Inc., 1951
Container
4.22 Vashi and Veena, 1951-1952
Container
4.23 Weidman, Charles, 1946
Wigman, Mary
Container
4.24 Biographical sketch and notes by Russell, undated
Container
4.25 Clippings, 1956-1975
Container
4.26 German Dance Art by Mary Wigman, translated by Carl Reissner, 1935, undated typescript
Container
4.27 Mary Wigman Studio, fliers and brochure, 1950-1959
Container
4.28 Souvenir program for American tour presented by Sol Hurok, circa 1932
Container
4.29 Ximenez and Vargas, circa 1958
Container
4.30 Yugoslav National Folk Ballet, undated
Subseries B. Venues and Producing Organizations, 1945-1997, undated
Container
5.1 American Dance Festival, undated
Container
5.2 Ballet for America, 1946
Container
5.3 Bennington College, 1955
Container
5.4 Connecticut College School of the Dance (New London, Conn.), 1950-1958
Container
5.5 Dance Notation Bureau, 1972
Container
5.6 Germantown YWCA (Philadelphia, Penn.), 1948
Container
5.7 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, 1950-1953
Container
5.8 Julliard School of Music, Department of Dance, 1951
Container
5.9 Laban Institute of Movement Studies / Labanotation, 1951-1979
Container
5.10 New Dance Group Festival Series, 1945
Container
5.11 Philadelphia College Dance Council, 1949
Container
5.12 School of Performing Arts (New York, N.Y.), 1957
Container
5.13 Students’ Dance Recitals, 1953
Container
5.14 Swiss Association of Professional Dancers and Gymnasts, International Holiday Courses, 1952-1956
Container
5.15 Terry, Walter, The Dance World columns in the New York Herald Tribune, 1950-1956, undated
Container
5.16 University of Illinois (Orchesis), 1956
Container
5.17 University of Pennsylvania, 1951-1953
Container
5.18-20 University of Wisconsin (Orchesis), 1948-1997, undated
Container
5.21 The "Y" Dance Center, 1956-1958, undated
Subseries C. Printed Material and Album, 1943-2003, undated
Container
6.1 Autograph album signed by dancers, 1943, undated
Container
6.2 Dance publications and films, fliers and brochures, 1953-1987, undated
Container
6.3 Jobs and Futures for Dance Majors, reprinted from Mademoiselle, 1950



Series II. Photographs, 1952-circa 1956, undated

Container
osb 7 13 negatives of ships in a harbor, undated
Container
6.4 Printouts from 13 negatives of ships in a harbor, undated
Container
6.5 B&W print of Hitler, undated
International Holiday Courses in Montreux
Container
6.6 Class photographs, 11 B&W prints of Margaret Erlanger, Joan Grant, Harald Kreutzberg, Ellen Moore, Rosalia Mereno[?], Mary Wigman, Rhoda Winter, and others, [1952]
Container
6.7 Personal photographs, 16 B&W prints of teachers and fellows students including Margret Dietz, Rosalia Chladek, Nahami Abbell, and Ellen Moore, 1952-circa 1956, undated
Wigman, Mary
Container
6.8 Head shot, 1 B&W print, undated
Container
6.9 In Berlin[?], 3 B&W prints, undated



Series III. Correspondence, 1936-1959, undated

Container
6.10 A-L, 1936-1957, undated
Container
6.11 N-V, 1947-1959, undated
Container
6.12 Wigman, Mary, 1952-1959
Container
6.13 Unidentified, 1956
Container
6.14 Photocopy of original box of correspondence with Russell’s notes, undated



Series IV. Movement Therapy and Personal Papers, 1951-2010

Container
6.15 Dog training article titled Modern Dance and the Mastino in Center Stage, 2010
Container
6.16 Headley-Whitney Museum, brochure, undated
Movement therapy
Container
6.17 Association for Humanistic Psychology, conference program and clipping regarding Russell’s presentation, 1983
Container
6.18 Body Code: The Meaning in Movement by Warren Lamb and Elizabeth Watson, fliers, circa 1979-1987
Container
6.19 C. G. Jung Educational Center of Houston, flier, 1980
Container
6.20 Institute for Experimental Learning and Development, flier for Russell workshop, early 1960s
Container
6.21 Motion and Emotion, article by Russell in Dance Magazine, 1958
Philadelphia State Hospital
Container
6.22 Clippings, 1970-1971
Container
6.23 Movement Therapy Discipline, Philadelphia State Hospital, manual/procedural document, 1977
Container
6.24 Resumes, 1974-circa 1980
Container
6.25 University of Wisconsin term paper and grade report, 1951
Container
6.26 Performance-related clippings, 1952-2003, undated



Index of Correspondents

  • Aid for the Allies (The Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania)--6.9
  • Bohrod, Aaron--6.9
  • Brown, N. O. (Norman O.)--6.9
  • Dallapiccola, Luigi--6.9
  • Dietz, Margret--6.9
  • Fowler, Freelon M.--6.9
  • Fuller, Rebecca (Impulse Publications)--6.9
  • Hill, Martha (Julliard School of Music)--6.9
  • Kroll, Leon--6.9
  • Lee, Virginia (Ballet Arts)--6.9
  • Lowe, Warner L. (Alfred Adler Consultation Center and Mental Hygiene Clinic)--6.9
  • Nimura, Yeichi--6.10
  • Rainer, Elsa--6.10
  • Soyer, Raphael--6.10
  • Terry, Walter--6.10
  • Van Tuyl, Marian--6.10
  • Vashi--6.10
  • Wigman, Mary--6.11
  • Unidentified correspondent "Margaret" (probably Margret Dietz)--6.12