Kathleen Hermesdorf Papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Subject Terms

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Professional Records

Personal Papers

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Finding Aid for Kathleen Hermesdorf Papers, 1986-2020 | The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

By Kelli McQueen and Anna Petrelli

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Collection Overview

Title: Kathleen Hermesdorf Papers, 1986-2020Add to your cart.

ID: 26/20/237

Primary Creator: Hermesdorf, Kathleen (1967-2020)

Extent: 9.75 cubic feet

Arrangement: Organized in two series, Series 1: Professional Records (1993- 2019), Series 2: Personal Papers (1986-2020). Series 1 is divided into three subseries. Subseries 1: Administrative Documents, Dance Performances, Workshops and Festivals is organized alphabetically by ensemble or event name, then chronologically within each folder. Subseries 2: Notebooks and Journals, is organized chronologically. Subseries 3: Hard Drives, Audio-visual and Digital Recordings is organized chronologically. Series 2: Personal Papers is organized chronologically.

Date Acquired: 04/01/2022

Subjects: Dance Curriculum, Dance Education, Dance Recitals, Dance Tours

Languages: English, German, French

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Consists of promotional materials and reviews of festivals, workshops, and performances spanning the career of modern dancer, Kathleen Hermesdorf. Among the promotional materials are programs, flyers, posters, postcards, tote bags, and T-shirts. The dance festivals, workshops and performances occurred primarily in San Francisco, but also in Europe, Africa, and other U.S. locations. There are photographs and audio-visual recordings of performances, classes, and rehearsals, as well as journals, notebooks, and calendars containing Hermesdorf’s choreography, schedules, and festival planning notes. Other personal materials consist of letters and get-well cards, college schoolwork, poetry, and awards.

Biographical Note

Kathleen Margaret Hermesdorf was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1967. She spent much of her childhood in suburban Chicago where she began to study jazz dance. In her teenage years, her family moved to the Netherlands and Belgium where Hermesdorf learned to speak Dutch and developed a love for travel that continued throughout her career.  After finishing high school in the U.S., Hermesdorf attended Western Michigan University and the University of Illinois, earning a BFA in Dance and MFA in Dance Performance and Pedagogy, respectively.

In 1991, Hermesdorf moved to San Francisco to start a dance company, The Hermesdorf and Wells Dance company with her partner, Scott Wells. Hermesdorf went on to train and perform with Margaret Jenkins’ Dance Company which led to a collaboration with Stephanie Maher between 1993 and 1997, called Collusion. After Maher moved to Germany, she and Hermesdorf continued to collaborate in both Bay Area and Europe with festivals like K77, Tanz Fabrik, and Potsdam International TanzTage Festival. Other artists that collaborated with Hermesdorf during the 1990s include Sara Shelton Mann and Kim Epifano, in a performance project called Contraband.

In 1995, Hermesdorf met Albert Mathias, a percussion-based musician working in electronics. Together they formed the group, Sister Hermes Dance Machine, which later evolved to MOTIONLAB and then la Alternativa. Some of their notable performances are BLUE 2001, “Bodies of Evidence”, and “As Above So Below”, 2003. They also co-taught improvisational workshops in places like the Bates Dance Festival, and founded the FRESH festival in San Francisco and P.O.R.C.H in Germany.

Subject/Index Terms

Dance Curriculum
Dance Education
Dance Recitals
Dance Tours

Administrative Information

Repository: The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

Acquisition Source: Marintha Tewksbury

Acquisition Method: Gift

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Professional Records, 1993-2019],
[Series 2: Personal Papers, 1986-2020],

Series 2: Personal Papers, 1986-2020Add to your cart.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Calendar, 2003Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Calendar, 2005Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Calendar, 2007Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Calendars, 2008-2009Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Calendar, 2012Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Calendar, 2013Add to your cart.
Box 5Add to your cart.
Folder 1: College writings, 1986Add to your cart.
Folder 2: School Notebook, 1986Add to your cart.
Folder 3: School Notebook, 1988Add to your cart.
Folder 4: School Notebook, 1989Add to your cart.
Folder 5: 498 Evaluation/Rehearsal Journal, April 30, 1991Add to your cart.
Box 14Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Western Michigan University Alumi Academy Award, 2006-2007Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Letters and Cards, 1 of 2, 2020Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Letters and Cards, 2 of 2, 2020Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Poetry Journal, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Fabulous at 50 photo, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Party Photos, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Personal Photos, undatedAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Professional Records, 1993-2019],
[Series 2: Personal Papers, 1986-2020],

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