Organization History

Formed in March 1996, The Dance COLEctive challenges assumptions about how dance is presented through cutting-edge choreography, innovative collaborations, and inspired and creative site-specific-works. TDC’s vision has led it to become one of Chicago’s premier dance ensembles, recognized for its compelling, socially relevant, and inspiring choreography. In fulfilling this mission and vision, TDC:


• Embraces collaboration as a core element of its creative process

• Values the athleticism, grace, power, and strength of its dancers

• Nurtures and promotes the creativity of emerging artists


Over the past 16 years, TDC has contributed to the support of 25 choreographers, 60 dancers, and over 60 collaborating artists, many of whom are Illinois artists.

TDC produces its own concerts and participates in multi-artist festivals such as The Other Dance Festival, Dance Chicago, Estrogen Fest, the Michigan RAD Festival, and Stockyards Women’s Theatre Festival. Self-produced concerts have been presented at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Harold Washington Library Theater, Northwestern University, The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, and Links Hall.


TDC features site-specific work as an integral part of its annual repertoire. The company has performed site-specific pieces at the Friends of the Chicago River’s Flatwater Classic regatta, the Illinois State Fair, in the City of Chicago’s Dancin’ in the Parks Project, Looptopia, and most recently, in the 2011 Dance/USA Showcase. Other site-specific locations include the Museum of Contemporary Art, the John G. Blank Center for the Arts in Indiana, Chicago Symphony Center Day of Music, the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago’s 1306 Project, various building lobbies in Chicago, Gorham’s Bluff, Alabama, and the Birmingham Museum of Art.


The Company conducts multiple residencies annually. These residencies include performances, workshops, master classes, lecture demonstrations, and radio interviews, providing the Company an opportunity to work with people from a variety of communities. Past residency hosts include University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Sanford University Birmingham, Beloit College, Knox College, Illinois Wesleyan University, Huntsville Community Ballet, and a variety of studios and schools in Alabama and Tennessee.

TDC maintains a strong presence in Chicago through community classes and workshops. The Company also conducts workshop intensives, master classes, and lecture demonstrations at area high schools and colleges. Past hosts include Stevenson, Evanston Township, Riverside Brookfield, New Trier High School and Northside Prep High Schools as well as Chicago Semester. Since 2001, the Company has held the Annual TDC Summer Intensive in Chicago and has recently added a satellite intensive in Chattanooga, TN.


Artistic Director Margi Cole has received recognition for her contribution to the field of modern dance through awards such as the Illinois Arts Council’s Individual Artist Fellowship, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum grant, and the American Marshall Memorial Fellowship and currently serves as a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Consortium Member. TDC received its first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for its Southeast Tour in March 2008.






Our Mission

The Dance COLEctive aspires to challenge assumptions about how dance is presented, through the use of cutting-edge choreography, innovative collaborations, and inspired creative site-specific works.

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