Fonds MsC-181 - Judith Marcuse fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Judith Marcuse fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic materials
  • Moving images
  • Textual records
  • Photographic materials

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title is based on the contents of the fonds

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1956-2019 (Creation)
    Marcuse, Judith

Physical description area

Physical description

1004 cm of textual records
553 photographs : b&w prints
455 photographs : col. prints
447 photographs : b&w negatives
394 photographs : col. negatives
1364 photographs : col. slides
301 contact sheets
146 video cassettes : VHS
33 video cassettes : Umatic
12 video cassettes : betacam
4 video cassettes : betacam sp
148 video cassettes : miniDV
21 video cassettes : betamax
11 video cassette : Hi8
10 video cassettes : VHS-C
2 video cassettes : 8mm
21 optical discs : dvd
147 optical discs : cd
4 optical discs : mini disc
10 cassettes : DAT
4 video reels : 16mm
7 video reels : helical scans
56 audio reels : 1/4" tape
2 audio reels : 1/2" tape
48 audio cassettes : 1/4" tape
1 video reel : 1" tape
13 computer disks : zip
1 t-shirt ; 2 thumb drives
4 hard drives
1 laptop
84 computer disks : 3.5" floppy
3 pieces of cloth

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Judith Rose Margolick was born in Montréal, Québec in 1947. She studied with Elsie Salomons, Seda Zaré and Sonia Chamberlain, and completed intensive summer training at the American School of Ballet, the Banff Centre, and the National Ballet School. From 1962 to 1965, she attended the Royal Ballet School in London. Twenty-five years of performing with dance companies followed, including with the Sadler’s Well’s Royal Ballet touring company; Les Grands Ballets Canadiens; Ballets de Génève; Bat-Dor Dance Company of Israel; Festival Ballet of Canada; and Ballet Rambert in London.
Judith began choreographing professionally in 1974, when she created Fusion for the Oakland Ballet where she was guesting as a soloist. Her 1976 Four Working Songs performed by members of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens led to her Chalmers Award for Excellence in Choreography. In 1976, after moving from London to Vancouver, BC, she began an extensive period of freelance performing and choreographing. She created over a hundred new works for dance, theatre, film and opera across the country and abroad, including works for Dancemakers, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Pacific Ballet Theatre, Goh Ballet, Vancouver Opera, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Les Ballet Jazz, the Shaw Festival, Stratford Festivals, the Banff Centre, Nederlands Dans Theater, and the National Ballet of Portugal. In 1978, Judith was awarded Canada’s other major choreographic award, the Clifford E. Lee.
In 1979 Judith created the Judith Marcuse Dance Projects Society, the organization that would serve as the administrative structure for her work over the coming decades. In 1984 Judith and her colleagues launched The Repertory Dance Company of Canada, a more permanent touring ensemble, which toured nationally and aboard over the following 17 years. Choreography was by Judith and many others, including choreographers such as Lar Lubavitch, Mark Morris, Ohad Naharin, Robert North, Christopher House, Danny Grossman, Grant Strate, Michael Trent and Serge Bennethan.
During the 1990s, Judith began to experiment with new structures and expanded her interest in producing festivals, cross-discipline arts production, and community-engaged creation. She produced the KISS Project, a multi-arts outreach and education project that was presented over several seasons, and collaborated with teenagers to reflect their worlds through their own sensibilities: the ICE, FIRE and EARTH projects. JMP received hundreds of letters from youth, parents and professional youth workers commending the collaborative projects. Expanding upon her socially engaged artwork, Judith spearheaded The Earth Project International Symposium in 2004 and the EARTH: The World Urban Festival in 2006, as well as publishing case studies on socially engaged art, and co-directing a video documentary called Dancing through Pain. She has also taught, presented and consulted overseas (eventually including Pakistan, India, Vietnam, Colombia, Ecuador, Japan, Finland, Holland, Ireland, South and West Africa and in the USA), mentored and taught hundreds of artists and students, and sat on many boards.
In 2000, Judith received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Simon Fraser University for her contributions to the arts. In 2009, she was recipient of the Jacqueline Lemieux Prize given by the Canada Council and, in 2011, she was elected a Senior Fellow of Ashoka International. In 2008, JMP entered into a partnership with Simon Fraser University (SFU) to create the International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC), a global hub for professional development and research on art for social change. In 2013, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada awarded ICASC a grant of $2.5 million for the five-year research initiative. In 2016, she launched a unique, two-year Master’s of Education program in Art for Social Change at Simon Fraser University.

Custodial history

The records were in the custody of Judith Marcuse until their acquisition by Simon Fraser University Library, Special Collections and Rare Books in 2017, with two accruals following in 2018 and 2019.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of personal, administrative and production records for Judith Marcuse and her production company Judith Marcuse Projects (also known as Repertory Dance Company, Judith Marcuse Dance Company, DanceArts, Judith Marcuse Dance Projects Society). Spanning from 1956-2019, the fonds documents Marcuse’s life as a dancer and work choreographing, directing and producing dance and multi-disciplinary performing arts projects and festivals. The fonds predominately contains business records (particularly requests for grants and donations), promotional materials, media clippings, photographs, correspondence, sound recordings, and moving images.

This fonds consists of four main series (some containing sub-series) - Series 1: Personal records (1956-2018); Sub-series 1: Records created by others (1977-2009); Series 2: Commissions or consultations (1966-[2015?]); Series 3: Events, organizations and councils (2002-2018); and Series 4: SFU and International Centre of Art for Social Change (1996-2019) which contains 4 sub-series – Sub-series 1: Administrative records (1996-2019); Sub-series 2: Financial records (2007-2010); Sub-series 3: Grants/fundraising records (2008-2012) and Sub-series 4: Promotional records: ([2006?]-2009). The fonds also contains one sous-fonds (some containing sub-series).

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

This collection was donated to Simon Fraser University by Judith Marcuse in 2017, with two accruals following in 2018 and 2019.


This fonds was received in the form of mostly administrative and promotional records in files and boxes. Most context or discernible organizational system was lost prior to donation. Per the request of the donor the archivists imposed order on the records to create clear series. When possible original order was maintained. At least 40% of the collection was comprised of duplicate records and promotional material (such as posters, flyers, programs, etc.), so processing archivists were involved in the weeding and subsequent arrangement and naming of files. When the existing file title did not accurately reflect the contents within, the archivist imposed a title as indicated by the presence of square brackets. Processing took place in several stages with involvement from several archivists. Personal files were separated from those of the Judith Marcuse Projects (JMP), and JMP was then divided into series based on project (in alphabetical order) with standardized assigned sub-series. Files were arranged in chronological order for ease of research and access.

Photographs and audiovisual material comprise a significant portion of this collection; while the photographs are not itemized, most of the videotaped performances are cataloged in a separate file list that can be obtained upon request to the archivist.

Language of material

  • English
  • French

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Digitized materials are available for research in SFU Digitized Collections:

Restrictions on access

Restrictions on financial records due to personal information, and on sound recordings, moving and still images due to intellectual property rights. Please contact the Archivist if you require access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

A box list and several spreadsheets are available, including a preliminary inventory of videotapes.

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

Related materials


Future accruals are possible

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Simon Fraser University Special Collections and Rare Books

Rules or conventions

Rules of Archival Description



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Box lists and video inventory completed March 2018, Carolyne Clare
File list, 1st-level processing and some fonds description originally created July 2019, Karen Ng and Olivia Inglin
Processing completed and Atom entry June 2020, JMH

Language of description

  • English
  • French

Script of description


Biographical information was provided by the donor, Judith Marcuse

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres