Our Story

Hedwig Dances creates, performs, and cultivates contemporary dance theater within communities of audiences, dancers, and artists with the goal of provoking human connection and wonder. To achieve this, Hedwig works in collaboration with prominent artists from a variety of mediums and cultural backgrounds, trains and mentors dance artists, and creates corporeal works of emotional insight and beauty — engaging its communities in a process of artistic creation and reflection.

Company Profile

Hedwig Dances is a contemporary dance theater ensemble celebrating 32 years under the artistic direction of its Founder, Jan Bartoszek. An Artist In-Residence at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Hedwig Dances — bold, interdisciplinary collaborations combine poetic choreography with sculptural artifacts, projected images and haunting original music. The Company is named in honor of Ms. Bartoszek’s grandmother.

Hedwig Dances distinctively infuses a multicultural blend of dance artistry into its lyrical and poetic performances.  Stellar in technique, the dancers’ dynamism is deeply-rooted in their rigorous years of training in modern dance and ballet. Individually, their prowess is enhanced by drawing upon rich tapestry of ethnic dance traditions and somatic studies. Many company members studied at the Escuela Nacional de Arte in Cuba and performed professionally on international tours with the world-renowned, Havana-based Danza Contemporanea de Cuba.

Company History

In 1985, Ms. Bartoszek created Hedwig Dances to develop and perform her choreography and provide a base for her educational touring programs to share with the broader communities. To this day, Ms. Bartoszek nurtures emerging dance artists through dance instruction and mentoring, including many of Chicago’s choreographers.

For 20 years (1992 – 2011), Hedwig Dances served as the Dance Company-In-Residence at the Chicago Cultural Center under the visionary leadership and invitation of the late Lois Weisberg (Commissioner, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, 1989–2011).

The critically acclaimed and award-winning dance ensemble has presented over 1,500 performances at prestigious venues throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, the Midwest and beyond: the Athenaeum Theatre, Chicago Cultural Center, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Northwestern University, Ravinia, The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Stage 773, and The Storefront Theater. Hedwig Dances has also been featured at noteworthy Chicago events such as the Grand Openings of Millennium Park and Navy Pier. The Company has twice performed in exclusive performances at Joyce SoHo (New York City).

Additional engagements include Teatro Nacional De Cuba Sala Avellaneda (Havana, Cuba), Teatro Diana (Guadalajara, Mexico), Grace Street Theater (Richmond, Virginia), Margaret H’Doubler Performance Space (Madison, Wisconsin), Lee Theater (Spring to Dance Festival, St. Louis, Missouri), among myriad other residencies and outreach programs over the past three decades. Hedwig Dances and its associated artists have been honored with two Ruth Page Awards and a Chicago Dance Award.


Photo by William Frederking

Learn More

Click on the link below to visit our special 30th anniversary website and go in-depth with the milestones of Hedwig Dances’ three-decade celebration.