Professor Patrice Madura will be signing her book “Madura’s Danceland” at Howard’s Bookstore, 101 West Kirkwood Ave. Bloomington, on Friday, December 10 from 5-7pm.
Danceland! For hundreds of thousands of couples from all around the Calumet Region of Northwest Indiana and Chicago’s East Side, the name alone conjures up memories of dancing and romancing to thousands of live big bands. Opening night, in October of 1929, drew over 2000 people to the beautiful ballroom with the famous maplewood dance floor, and it continued to thrive until 1967, with live music four nights a week, twelve months a year, throughout the Big Band Era, despite the Great Depression and World War II, into the Rock ‘N Roll Era, until it burned to the ground on Sunday morning, July 23, 1967. Almost everyone’s marriage in “the Region” began as a dance at Madura’s Danceland. In the 38 years Danceland was open, it had only two owners and managers, Michael (Mike) Madura Sr. and Michael (Mick) J. Madura, Jr., father and son. It remained a family business for all those years, with three generations of the Madura family having worked there in many capacities.
Patrice Madura Ward-Steinman is Professor of Music at Indiana University, and has published numerous books and articles on music teaching and jazz. She collated the archival photos and documents of Danceland as preserved by her father and grandfather, and tells the dramatic story of a magical time and place.