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Bella Lewitzky (1916-2004) was artistic director and choreographer for the Lewitzky Dance Company. Her early training was with Lester Horton and later, as his colleague, she co-founded Dance Theater in Los Angeles. A Californian, she chose to remain in the West to practice her art and, in 1951, she founded Dance Associates, a school and performing concert group. In 1966 she formed a company that toured extensively to 20 foreign countries on five continents and 43 states. Her work as choreographer, dancer, lecturer and educator was recognized through numerous awards, including five honorary Ph.D.’s, the first California Governor’s Award for Individual Artist, and the first Los Angeles Arts Council Award in Dance. Her artistic vision placed her in demand with important national and European arts patrons for the creation of new dances. She was commissioned to create new works by the 1987 Los Angeles Festival, Chateauvallon Festival in France, UCLA, Philadelphia Dance Alliance and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois, among others.
The extensive archive (approximately 300 boxes) was given to USC by Bella Lewitzky July 1997, following the final performance of the Lewitzky Dance Company. The archive includes the papers, films, photographs, clippings, programs, posters, sound recordings, stage plots and costumes of the Company. Not included are Bella Lewitzky’s personal papers. The Lewitzky Papars are housed within Special Collections in the Doheny Memorial Library.