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October 31, 2011

Project Update: The Kathryn Karipides Papers

In 2009-2010 we were presented with the personal papers of Kathryn Karipides, Samuel B. and Virginia C. Knight Professor of Humanities Emerita at Case Western Reserve University. Since that time Kelvin Smith Library staff have been hard at work arranging and describing the gift materials for addition to our collection. Last week saw the final stage of the project brought to completion as electronic copies of dance performances choreographed and performed by Karipides from 1974-1998 were added to Digital Case. The performance videos join the photographs and programs added to our digital repository in 2010. Archival arrangement and description, or, "processing" of the physical material was completed earlier this month and researchers are invited to to use the collection in person in the Special Collections Research Center or online in Digital Case. The finding aid for The Kathryn Karipides Papers provides links to all the digital content.

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Dancers top to bottom: Mark Haugland, Eileen Pearlman, Kathryn Karipides. Performance: Mirror, Mirror. 1970. Photograph by Richard Pitschke. From the Kathryn Karipides Papers.

Kathryn Karipides was born on February 28, 1934. A native of Canton, Ohio, she received the B.S. degree in Physical Education from Miami University (Ohio), and her M.A. in Physical education from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Karipides trained with Martha Graham, Hanya Holm and Erik Hawkins. She began her career at the Flora Stone Mather College for Women, of Western Reserve University, as an instructor in the Physical Education Department. She was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1963, was made full professor in 1980 and was named the Samuel B. and Virginia C. Knight Professor of Humanities in 1989. She was appointed Knight Professor Emerita in 1996. In 1975 she accepted co-director responsibility for the Graduate Dance Program with Kelly Holt. Additional administrative responsibilities included serving as Acting Chair of the Theatre Department in 1985 and returning from retirement to serve as Interim Deputy Provost for the 2003-2004 academic year.

After graduating from Miami University in 1956 she came to the Flora Stone Mather College for Women to teach folk, social and modern dancing in the Physical Education Department. She is largely responsible for the development of the dance program at CWRU, which grew from the early physical education classes taught to Mather students into nationally recognized undergraduate and graduate programs within the Theatre Department. Karipides has performed all over the country and is renowned for her choreographic work, particularly the body of work created during her ten years as principal dancer and choreographer for the Dance Theatre of Kathryn Karipides and Henry Kurth (1969-1979) She is the recipient of the Carl F. Wittke Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching at CWRU, The Cleveland Arts Prize and the Ohio Dance Award. She is an active member of the Cleveland Dance community.

Want to know more about Kathryn’s career at CWRU - listen to her interview with KSL Creative Director for New Media, Jared Bendis for Case Stories.

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