As a highlight of its previously announced Interview Marathon on January 31, Chicago Dance History Project (CDHP) will present its inaugural Maurice Seymour Award for Vision and Service to Scott Silberstein, producer and co-founder of HMS Media, the Emmy Award-winning multimedia company that creates broadcast, online and mobile content.
“Maurice Seymour” was actually two brothers, Maurice and Seymour Zeldman, who combined their names when launching their photo studios. Though the Chicago-based Seymour photographed numerous celebrities in a variety of professions, many people knew of him especially for his ballet photos, collected in two volumes. The Maurice Seymour Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated the ability to “see more” in the Chicago dance world and made an extraordinary contribution in specific alignment with CDHP’s mission to investigate, document, and present the individual and institutional histories of Chicago dance.
Silberstein co-founded HMS Media with Matt Hoffman in 1988, and the company has developed, produced, and written broadcast and digital specials focusing on dance, theater and music. HMS has collaborated with practically every dance company in the Chicago area, including Giordano Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and many more. Silberstein has produced, directed, and executive-produced broadcast and online content for a wide array of Broadway shows and national tours, including Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen, as well as hundreds of projects with Chicago theater companies. He is an artistic associate at Lookingglass Theatre company and a board member of Arts Alliance Illinois, co-chairing its Arts Leadership Council.
“To examine dance after it happens, we rely on artists who have dedicated their careers to documenting the work of others,” commented CDHP Executive/Artistic Director Jenai Cutcher. “They are a vital component of the dance ecosystem, but we rarely see them because they direct our focus to what they see. The CDHP archive is filled with their work, and we could not tell the stories of Chicago dance without it. Just as Maurice Seymour did with his photography, Scott Silberstein uses video to allow dances of the past to have a future.”
The Interview Marathon on January 31 will include local, national, and international dance luminaries who produce, present, create and perform in Chicago or have connections to the city. Each hour will feature three individual interviews and one small-group conversation on a specific theme. Clips of archival footage, some unseen until this event, will be interspersed between live interview segments. CDHP will record the live event and add the footage to its expanding archive of oral histories.
Participants to date include Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s Nicole Clarke-Springer, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago founder Lou Conte, Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris, writer/choreographer Wendy Perron, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater’s Irma Suárez Ruiz and Twyla Tharp.
Co-chairs of the Interview Marathon are Pamela Crutchfield, Patti Eylar, and Sarah Solotaroff Mirkin.
For more information about Chicago Dance History Project, visit chicagodancehistory.org.