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Guide to the Karole Armitage Collection

Karole Armitage collection


Creator:Armitage, Katie
Title: Karole Armitage collection
Dates: 1959-2017
Quantity: 3 linear feet (5 boxes + 1 oversize box + 1 oversize folder + 1 video cassette)
Abstract:This collection documents the professional dance career of Karole Armitage, a Lawrence, Kansas native, from her early days as a young ballerina through 2017. The materials, comprising correspondence, newspaper and magazine articles, programs, and more, were collected by Katie Armitage, Karole's mother.
Language: English

Call Number:

RH MS 1143
RH MS 1477
RH MS R248
RH MS R444
KC AV 70
A/V items at Annex (Contact Spencer Library Public Services)

Repository: University of Kansas
Kenneth Spencer Research Library
1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence, KS 66045-7616
URL: http://spencer.lib.ku.edu/
Finding aid prepared by sh, 2008. Finding aid encoded by sh, 2008. Finding aid revised by vej, 2019.
This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2019-04-10 15:22:22 -0500.

Biography of Karole Armitage

Karole Armitage, popularly known as the "punk ballerina", was born in 1952 in Madison, Wisconsin and grew up in Gothic, Colorado and Lawrence, Kansas. She began studying ballet at the age of four and went on to train in Lawrence, Crested Butte, Aspen, Salt Lake City, New York City, North Carolina, and London. Her first professional ballet position was as a member of the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève in Switzerland from 1973-1975 under the direction of George Balanchine. She then joined Merce Cunningham's company from 1975-1981.

Armitage is a prolific and talented choreographer, leading several of her own companies to great international success. Armitage started her first company, Armitage Gone! in 1979, and then founded the Armitage Ballet in 1985, while taking choreography commissions from European ballet and opera companies. In 2005 she launched Armitage Gone! Dance, a New York-based ballet company that continues to tour worldwide today. In her career as a choreographer, Armitage has collaborated with several visual artists in her productions, such as Jeff Koons and David Salle.

Karole Armitage has received a number of honors and awards throughout her career, including a Guggenheim Fellowship for Choreography in 1986, Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France in 1992, Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France in 2002, Grand Prix Roscigno Danza in Italy in 2005, a Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard University and a Simons Fellowship at the University of Kansas in 2016, and a fellowship at MIT as a Media Lab Directors Fellow in 2017.

Karole's mother, Katie Armitage, is a local historian in Lawrence, Kansas.

Scope and Contents

This collection comprises materials collected by Karole Armitage's mother Katie, spanning Karole's dance career through 2017. The collection is organized into four series: Katie Armitage's files on Karole's dance career; Katie Armitage's files on Karole's collaborators and teachers; Performance posters; and audiovisual materials.

Katie Armitage's files on Karole's dance career, the bulk of the collection, includes correspondence, newspaper and magazine clippings, programs, and photographs relating to Karole's career. There are materials related to this topic in both the 1995 and the 2017 accessions, and materials are shelved at both RH MS 1143 and RH MS 1477.

Katie Armitage's files on Karole's collaborators and teachers includes individual files of correspondence and newspaper clippings devoted to individual collaborators and teachers.

Performance posters includes large-scale posters of Karole's performances, and Audiovisual materials includes a documentary on VHS tape. Posters and other oversize items are located at RH MS R248 and RH MS R444; the VHS tape is located at KC AV 70.


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Audio visual materials are stored in the KU Annex off-site storage area.

All researchers interested in reviewing this material must consult Spencer Research Library Public Services staff (785-864-4334 or ksrlref@ku.edu, 9-5 M-F CST) before a planned visit; staff will respond within three days, though materials may not be available in that timeframe. Access to audio visual materials may require digitization first. Be advised that drop-in requests for this material cannot be accommodated.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Related Material

Armitage Foundation records, Kansas Collection, RH MS 685, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.



Armitage, Karole



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Karole Armitage collection, RH MS 1143, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Katie Armitage, 1989, 2017.