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Finding Aid for the Dorathi Bock Pierre dance collection, 1929-1996
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Dorathi Bock Pierre dance collection
    Date (inclusive): 1929-1996
    Collection number: 1937
    Creator: Pierre, Dorathi Bock.
    Extent: 27 linear ft. (67 boxes)
    Abstract: Collection of photographs, performance programs, publicity information, and clippings related to dance, gathered by Dorathi Bock Pierre, a dance writer and publicist.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Language of the Material: Materials are in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Transferred from Beverly Hills Public Library, March 2012.

    Processing Note

    Processed by Megan Hahn Fraser and Jesse Erickson, March 2012, with assistance from Lindsay Chaney, May 2013.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Dorathi Bock Pierre dance collection (Collection 1937). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 6893846 


    Born after the turn of the century in Chicago, Dorathi Bock, daughter of a well-known Midwest sculptor Richard Walter and Martha Methven, began her career by posing in dance positions for her father. As a child she also danced in motion pictures performing movement experiments before the camera. Her first acknowledged dance performance in 1914 was in the backyard of Mrs. Doris Humphrey, a disciple of Isadora Duncan in Oak Park, Illinois. To help preserve the Indiana Dunes as a state park, she also performed an expressionistic dance on the dunes. In the 1920s she performed with choreographer and dance director Michel Fokine's Ballet Company for two years. An injury to her foot ended her dancing career, although she continued to act in musical comedies and stage dramas through the twenties.
    After marrying Jacques J. Pierre, a theatrical producer, she moved from the Midwest to California. While in California, she wrote the "Hollywood Column" for Viewpoint Magazine, a Chicago women's publication. She began teaching dance education. During the Depression she joined her father at the University of Oregon to research and lecture on dance theory and education. She returned to California in the late thirties, becoming the western representative, critic, and contributor to American Dancer magazine. She became the magazine's education and research editor from 1947-1982. In the late thirties she founded the periodical Journal of Educational Dancer and remained its editor for four years.
    She took off a year in 1946-1947 to become Administrative Director of the Katherine Dunham School of Cultural Arts in New York City.
    Her career in dance publicity and press representation began in the late forties and continued through the sixties. She was a press representative for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (1949-1952, 1954), Huntington Hartford Enterprises (1952-1953), Slavenska-Franklin Ballet (1953), American Ballet Theatre (1957-1958), Old Vic Company's United States tour (1958-1959), Greek Theatre and the National Repertory Theatre (1959-1961, 1963-1966, 1965-1968).
    She also handled press and public relations for the American Festival of Performing Arts, Boston; restoration of the Fords Theatre, Washington, DC; and George Campbell Associates. She also represented the Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden and the Comedie Francaise in their first American appearances in 1962.
    Professional activities included writing and editing articles for Dance Magazine and Educational Dance, as well as preparing Hollywood Bowl programs. She also published the book Only a Few Can Tell in 1944.
    Other accomplishments included helping to establish the Los Angeles Ballet Company and a theatre for dance. She also retained membership in the Publicists Guild, International Platform Association, National Collegiate Players, Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers, National Federation of Business and Profit, Women's Club, Inc., and Pi Epsilon Delta. She was founder and first Vice-President of the Southern California chapter of the National Repertory Theatre.
    Pierre died in February 1997, in her nineties.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists mainly of material related to dance companies and choreographers, photographs, newspaper and periodical clippings, production programs, scrapbooks and ephemera. Covering the 1910s through 1996, the collection includes items from both local and international dance communities. Photographs and clippings are the largest component of the collection.
    The diversity of Pierre's career as an actor, dancer, editor-publisher, dance historian, educator, lecturer and publicist is emphasized in the materials she collected.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged alphabetically.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Pierre, Dorathi Bock --Archives.
    Women dancers --United States --Archival resources.
    Women public relations personnel --United States --Archival resources.
    Dance critics --United States --Archival resources.
    Dance companies --Photographs.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    clippings (information artifacts).