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Bethune Theatredanse records, 1957-2012
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement

  • Title: Bethune Theatredanse records
    Collection number: 2304
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 44.8 linear ft. (17 document boxes, 36 record cartons, and 2 oversize flat boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1957-2012
    Abstract: Materials related to the history and operations of the Bethune Theatredanse dance compnay, and its arts education program Infinite Dreams (formerly known as Dance Outreach), both founded by Zina Bethune. Includes administrative and fundraising records, clippings, photographs, and audio-visual materials documenting Bethune Theatredanse's multi-media productions as well as Dance Outreach activities.
    Language of Materials: Materials are in English.
    Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Creator: Bethune Theatredanse

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. 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.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    COLLECTION CONTAINS AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS: Audiovisual materials in this collection will require assessment and possible digitization for safe access. To review these audiovisual materials, you must notify the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk in advance of your visit.
    Use of electronic format material requires special equipment or further processing may be required for viewing. To review these materials you must notify the reference desk in advance of your visit.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Bethune Theatredanse Records (Collection 2304). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 7992937 

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Sean Feeley and Ivy Bethune, 2015.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Kelly Kress.


    Zina Bianca Bethune was born in New York City on February 17, 1945, the daughter of Ivy (Vigder) and William Charles Bethune. She started formal ballet training at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet at six years old. By the age of 14, Bethune was dancing with the New York City Ballet while simultaneously working as an actor, appearing in a variety of television series and movies. Alongside Harvey Keitel, she starred in Martin Scorsese’s first feature film, Who’s That Knocking at My Door, released in 1967. She also reached a wide audience via her role on the CBS TV series The Nurses from 1962-1965. Bethune continued her parallel acting and dancing careers the rest of her life, appearing in several television film and Broadway productions throughout the 1970s-1990s.
    Dance became Bethune’s top priority however, and in 1979 she started Zina Bethune and Company, focusing on a traditional ballet repertoire. She moved to Los Angeles in 1979 and debuted her company as Bethune Ballet. By 1987 the company had evolved into Bethune Theatredanse, producing original multi-media performances often based on literature or film. Major productions included Mind’s Eye, Bird of Passage, Cradle of Fire, and Silent Roar.
    Bethune endured a number of health problems from a young age, including scoliosis, lymphedema, and hip dysplasia. Determined to keep dancing, she underwent several surgeries and wore custom orthopedic tights the rest of her life in order to perform. Motivated by her own experience, she formed Dance Outreach, later known as Infinite Dreams, an arts education program for disabled children to learn and perform dance. Bethune and her staff taught classes and workshops throughout the Los Angeles area, and her students toured internationally and performed publicly at arts festivals and other venues, including the White House in 1989.
    Zina Bethune was married to Sean Feeley for 42 years. She died in 2012 in an accident near Griffith Park in Los Angeles, when she stopped her car to help an injured animal. After her death, Infinite Dreams continued to hold classes and workshops under the name All-Abilities Dance until ceasing operations in 2015.

    Scope and Content

    Materials related to the history and operations of the Bethune Theatredanse dance company, and its arts education program Infinite Dreams, formerly known as Dance Outreach, both founded by Zina Bethune. Administrative series includes business records, promotional and publicity materials, programs, artist files, performance ideas, and participation in area events and festivals. Also includes some biographical information about founder Zina Bethune. Development and fundraising includes materials related to grants, benefits, outreach, and Bethune Theatredanse's involvement in the Los Angeles Theatre Center Cooperative. Production files consist of scripts, budgets, advertising, reviews, and other materials. Clippings document the activities of Zina Bethune, Bethune Theatredanse, and Dance Outreach. Photographs and audio-visual include Zina Bethune, Bethune Theatredanse dancers and productions, and Dance Outreach students and activities.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The collection is organized into the following series:
    • Series 1. Administrative
    • Series 2. Development and Fundraising
    • Series 3. Production Files
    • Series 4. Clippings
    • Series 5. Photographs
    • Series 6. Audio-Visual

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Bethune, Zina
    Dance teachers--Archives.
    Dance therapy