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Joel Hall

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Information about Joel Hall

Profile image of Joel Hall

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Choreographer
Dance Instructor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Teal
Favorite Food:
Chicken Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
Live life fully, richly, honestly and love every single second of it.

Birthplace

Born:
4/20/1949
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Choreographer
Dance Instructor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Teal
Favorite Food:
Chicken Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
Live life fully, richly, honestly and love every single second of it.

Birthplace

Born:
4/20/1949
Birth Location:
Chicago
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Biography

Joseph “Joel” Hall was born in Chicago, Illinois, on April 20, 1949. Hall began his dancing career in 1968 under the tutelage of Ed Parrish, and the following year, he moved to New York City, where he studied under Denise Jefferson. Returning to Chicago, he earned his B.A. degree in sociology from Northeastern Illinois University in 1972.

In 1974, Hall and Joseph Ehrenberg co-founded the Chicago City Theatre Company, which later became the Joel Hall Dance Center. Hall now serves as the artistic director and principal choreographer for the Joel Hall Dancers, and director and chief instructor of the training studio. Over the years, the Joel Hall Dancers have gained an international reputation and Hall has been widely acclaimed as a choreographer. His company has performed three seasons at the prestigious Joyce Theater in New York, and he has led the company on nine international tours, beginning with the Glasgow May Fest in 1985. Hall has created ballets for the Chicago City Ballet, the Zenon Dance Company in Minneapolis and Ballet Tennessee in Chattanooga, as well as choreographing the opera The Pearl Fishers at the Chicago Opera Theatre and Goldie Hawn’s film, Wildcats. In 1991, Hall choreographed the 50th Anniversary presentation of Duke Ellington’s musical Jump for Joy. In addition to these productions, he has created more than forty ballets for his own company.

Hall has also gained attention as an instructor of jazz dance. He has taught at Wayne State University, New York State University, Northern Illinois University, and Western Michigan University. He has also taught internationally, conducting classes in Liverpool, Glasgow, Inverness, Kirkcaldy, Belfast, and the United Kingdom. At the time of the interview, the Joel Hall Dance Center in Chicago offeredA2004.170 more than 150 classes a week to students ranging from age three to adults.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Joel Hall Slating
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joel Hall Favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joel Hall shares the story of his mother's institutionalization
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joel Hall discusses his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joel Hall remembers his stepmother, Annie Laura Young
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joel Hall discusses his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joel Hall details his family's migration from the South
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joel Hall shares some early childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joel Hall recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Chicago
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joel Hall shares some childhood anecdotes and influences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joel Hall details his elementary school education in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joel Hall recalls family financial difficulties affecting his education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joel Hall describes favorite subjects and teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joel Hall reminisces about his neighborhood, Cabrini Green
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joel Hall leaves home at age 13 and ends up in juvenile hall
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joel Hall describes life in the Illinois Youth Commission, a delinquent boys facility
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joel Hall reflects on his lack of formal education while incarcerated
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joel Hall attends the Central YMCA Community College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Joel Hall recalls the rising Black Arts Movement and political events
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Joel Hall begins to think about dance
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Joel Hall moves to New York City to study dance
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joel Hall discusses his move to New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joel Hall describes his life in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joel Hall returns to Chicago to start his dance company
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joel Hall discusses the Chicago City Theater Company and his integrated dance troupe
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joel Hall charts the early successes of his dance company
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joel Hall recalls his mentor, choreographer Talley Beatty
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joel Hall examines the influence of black dancers on modern dance
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joel Hall recalls his dance company contemporaries
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joel Hall shares his experiences with the Joel Hall Dance Company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joel Hall offers highlights from the Joel Hall Dance Company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joel Hall remembers dancers from the Joel Hall Dance Company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joel Hall highlights local up and coming dance talent
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joel Hall praises notable dance troupes
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joel Hall shares his hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joel Hall notes his family's thoughts on his success
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joel Hall wouldn't change a thing if he did it all over again
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joel Hall discusses how AIDS decimated the arts community and his battle with prostate cancer
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joel Hall wants to leave a legacy as a teacher and mentor
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joel Hall hopes his interivew benefits others
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joel Hall wants to be remembered as a man with a larger vision
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Publicity photo of Joel Hall in 'My Love', a dance performance he choreographed, ca. 1967-1968
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Publicity photo of Joel Hall with other dancers in the performance of 'Chain of Fools'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Publicity photo of Joel Hall the dance performance of 'My Love'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Publicity photo of Joel Hall with Ana Cha Yuen in a performance of 'Holy Holy'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Joel Hall portrait, ca. 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Joel Hall performs 'Night Walker', Chicago, Illinois, 1974-1975
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Joel Hall with Gus Giordano and Ann Barzel, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 2000-2004
  • Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Joel Hall with Gerald Arpino, Ann Barzel and Frank Chavez, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 2000-2004
  • Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Joel Hall's maternal grandmother, Emma Hanzinbraugh, ca. late 1800s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Joel Hall with Joel Hall Dance Company members Merrick Mitchell and Vanessa Truvillion
  • Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Lewis and Emma Lee Hall, ca. 1940s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - Joel Hall's family celebrating his father's marriage to his stepmother, ca. 1950s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 20 - Photo - Award given to Joel Hall by Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois, September 13, 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 21 - Photo - Poster from the Joel Hall Dancers' European tour, London, England, ca. 1980s