Based on the book Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Taryn Kashock Russell, Director
Terence Marling and Robyn Mineko Williams, Choreography
Andrew Bird, Music
Joel Cory, Narration
Matt Miller, Lighting Design
Rebecca Shouse, Costume Design
Ryan Wineinger, Scenic and Projection Design

Harold and the Purple Crayon: A Dance Adventure is a hour-long, interactive dance adaptation inspired by the 1955 classic children’s book Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson, which tells the story of a young boy named Harold, who, equipped with his purple crayon and an infinite imagination, choreographs his own adventures. Harold and the Purple Crayon: A Dance Adventure is HS2’s first program-length work created specifically for young people and families, who can help create Harold’s next adventure through their own exploration of movement. This project is not only unique to HS2, but to contemporary dance as a whole. While theater and classical ballet companies often cater to families with productions inspired by children’s literature, contemporary dance has seldom focused on narrative choreography, let alone sought inspiration from a children’s novel.

“After reading Harold’s adventures again as an adult, I found myself immediately making connection between how Harold creates his own world with his purple crayon and how we create new works at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago,” comments HS2 Director, Taryn Kaschock Russell. “I hope that this work will inspire children to use their bodies and imagination to communicate through dance.”

Created for and premiered by HS2 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in November 2010. Music by Andrew Bird: “Yawny at the Apocalypse,” from the album Armchair Apocrypha, “Nomenclature,” from the album Noble Beast, “Nyatiti,” “Carrion Suite,” Spinney,” from the album Useless Creatures as recorded by Fat Possom for Chrysalis, “Lull,” from the album Weather Systems as recorded by Righteous Babe for Chrysalis, “Depression – Pasillo,” from the album Thrills as recorded by Rykodisc for Chrysalis, “The Nightshade Gets In It,” from the album Fritz and Dizzyspells, and “Theme 1 (restated),” “Something Sinister,” “Spinney,” “Chorus of the Swan,” “Dance of Death,” “and “Theme 1 (Waltz)” from the album Ballad of the Red Shoes as recorded by Wegawam Music for Chrysalis, “The Giant of Illinois,” from the Red Hot Compilation Dark was the Night as recorded by 4AD for Bug Music. Special thanks to Andrea Troolin of Ekonomisk Management and Kim Peter Kovac at the Kennedy Center. Harold image used with the permission of the Estate of Ruth Krauss, Stewart I. Edelstein, Executor. All rights reserved.

Northern Trust is the exclusive corporate sponsor of Harold and the Purple Crayon: A Dance Adventure. Technical support provided by the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage.

Meet The Choreographers

Terence Marling (Choreographer), from Chicago, Illinois, began his ballet training in 1982 at the Ruth Page School of Dance under the direction of Larry Long. In 1994, he joined the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater directed by Patricia Wilde, performing works by George Balanchine, Glen Tetley, Paul Taylor, Jirí Kylián, Ohad Naharin, Kevin O’Day, and Dwight Rhoden as well as many full length classical ballets. In 2003 Terence was invited to join the National Theatre Mannheim in Germany under the direction of Kevin O’Day where he participated in the creation of many new works. Marling joined HSDC in April of 2006 and danced with the company until December of 2009. At HSDC Terence participated in the creation of new works with Jorma Elo, Toru Shimazaki, Jim Vincent, Lucas Crandall and Alejandro Cerrudo, and danced works by Susan Marshall, Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, Margarite Donlon, Jirí Kylián, and others. Marling became artistic associate and rehearsal director for HSDC in January of 2010.


Robyn Mineko Williams (Choreographer), from Lombard, Illinois, began dancing at age five under the direction of Yvonne Brown Collodi. She continued studying dance at the Lou Conte Dance Studio on full scholarship from 1993 to 1995. Williams danced with River North Chicago Dance Company for four years before becoming an apprentice with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in June 2000. She became a full company member in September 2001.


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