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Blog Posts by Subject: Dance

Merce Cunningham Archive

The Jerome Robbins Dance Division is proud to announce that the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Inc, records, Additions is now open. This collection is 141.44 linear feet comprising 315 boxes, 41 tubes and 116.1 gigabytes of electronic records and digitized content. Read More ›

Time Machine: Interstitial Moment, Video Stockholm Syndrome

There is so much history wound up in these open reels that would not exist in any other form. The medium became available at a rich time in Dance history.Read More ›

African Dance Interview Project Videos Now Available

The Jerome Robbins Dance Division is pleased to announce that the five interviews documented with the Mertz Gilmore Foundation grant to record African choreographers and teachers are now online at The New York Public Library’s website.Read More ›

Juana Vargas "La Macarrona:" A Flamenco Treasure

The footage of Juana Vargas "La Macarrona" (1870-1947), filmed in 1917 by Léonide Massine and held in the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the Library for the Performing Arts, is one of the Library's most important, and little-known, flamenco treasures. As a member of the Wertheim study, I was honored to be invited to write a blog post about the Library's significant holdings related to flamenco. Read More ›

Jerome Robbins Dance Division Annual Report FY14 Available

The Dance Division has continued its work, assuring its place in the world, as a global, international archive, the world's largest of its kind dedicated to dance, by collecting, preserving and making accessible materials about the many varieties of dance in the world. Read More ›

Time Machine: Victor Jessen, Time’s Surreptitious Splicer

Dressed in black with his homemade blackened blimp, his pockets are stuffed with exposed and unexposed film; he is in constant fear of discovery.Read More ›

Dance Your Way Through Fall

Summer is almost formally over and our fall work is already in full swing. There are a plethora of events at the New York Public Library revolving around dance to take you through the end of the year, including a conversation with choreographer and MacArthur Foundation Fellow Alexei Ratmansky and new Saturday brunch events at the Library for the Performing Arts! Get them on your calendar now!Read More ›

Traditional Dance of Mexico Photographs on Display at LPA

The photographs of MEXICO PROFUNDO “LIGHT AND SHADOWS” are a new acquisition of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library. A selection of the photographs are currently on view in the third floor reading room of the Library for Performing Arts.Read More ›

Big Deal: Researching Bob Fosse at the Library

The life and career of Fosse, the only director to win the triple crown of show business awards in one year (an Oscar for Cabaret, a Tony Award for Pippin, and an Emmy Award for Liza With a Z—all in 1973) is well-documented through the holdings of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (LPA) and elsewhere. Clippings, reviews, posters and lobby cards, Playbills and programs—all the standard theatrical ephemera—on Fosse's shows and films are easily available in the Billy Rose Theatre Division and Jerome Robbins Dance Division. Read More ›

Jerome Robbins Dance Division Annual Report FY 2013 Now Available

The Jerome Robbins Dance Division’s latest Annual Report FY 2013 is now online on the Library’s website documenting another full and active year for the Dance Division. The number of public programs produced by the Dance Division this year was exceptional and included three Flamenco programs, three African programs with Robert Farris Thompson, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence and Djoniba Mouflet, and the program with Princess Norodom Buppha Devi in conversation with Peter Sellars. Read More ›

Florence Vandamm: Dance Photographer?

The representation of the professional and artistic career of Florence Vandamm has a major gap, which we are doing our best to fill in. Her London scrapbook goes from 1908–1915. The Vandamm Theatrical Photographs collection documents her work in New York City, from 1924 on. We have filled in some of the gap with the Sybil Thorndike material (see earlier posts) and discoveries of images printed in magazines, such as British and New York Vogue, Vanity Fair and The Spur.Read More ›

Booktalking "Jump Into Jazz" by Minda Goodman Kraines

This book really breaks down the logistics of dance for people who are not familiar with dance (beginners and absolute beginners). I found it very informative and enlightening. I have looked at dance books on various styles that are mainly descriptive of the dance style. This book gives the history of jazz as well as information that helps people learn how to dance well. Read More ›

Oscar Nomination for Foreign Film of The Missing Picture, Directed by Rithy Panh

The Dance Division wishes to express our great joy for the Oscar nomination in the category of Foreign Film for The Missing Picture, directed by Rithy Panh. "This haunting, at times shocking movie—part memoir, part indictment—fills the void suggested by its title. With extraordinary grace, Rithy Panhs tells his story and that of his ravaged country," wrote Mahnola Dargis in The New York Times, September 26, 2013.Read More ›

A Philadelphia Collaboration: The Pinto Brothers' Designs for Catherine Littlefield’s Philadelphia Ballet Company

A Philadelphia Collaboration: The Pinto Brothers’ Designs for Catherine Littlefield’s Philadelphia Ballet Company, a newly installed exhibit in Jerome Robbins Dance Division, features a variety of drawings, costume sketches and set designs by Salvatore (1905-66) and Angelo (1908-94) Pinto commissioned by Catherine Littlefield (1905-51) for the Philadelphia Ballet Company’s productions of Barn Dance and Terminal. Read More ›

Time Machine: Cloverleaf and Helix, The Early Years

My studio is an interchange where I coax content from the past, sometimes, the content itself is looking back to a more distant past, creating a cloverleaf-like feedback loop. The Early Years, *MGZIC 9-950, is one of the current projects that has come to mind in the cloverleaf.Read More ›

Booktalking "Vampirina Ballerina" by Anne Marie Pace

Vampirina Ballerina loves dancing, and she does so adorned with a black leotard and black ballet shoes. She also has a black cat and a bat as pets, which are not welcome at ballet class. Plié, relevé... all of the steps that she must learn are daunting, and Vampirina attempts to not trip over her own feet in the process. However, practicing with mummies, vampires and monsters in the Haunted Mansion will definitely improve her skills.Read More ›

Memorial for Jean Léon Destiné at 92nd Street Y

A memorial is being held for Jean Léon Destiné, master Haitian dancer, choreographer and drummer, who passed on January 22, 2013. This will be at the 92nd Street Y on January 24, 2014, during their program Fridays at Noon: The Legacy of Jean-Léon Destiné. Read More ›

Khmer Dance Project Videos Available Online

One of the stunning new collections from the Jerome Robbins Dance Division now available in the Library’s Digital Collections is the Khmer Dance Project (KDP). Funded by a grant from the Anne Hendricks Bass Foundation, the KDP began in 2008 when the Center for Khmer Studies partnered with the Jerome Robbins Dance Division to interview and film the three generations of artists - including dancers, musicians and singers, as well as embroiderers and dressers - who kept dance alive during and in the wake of the Khmer Rouge regime. The New York Public Library offers streaming video of all 

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"Hey Up There" Looking Down on Dancers

“Hey up there”

Broadway precision chorus lines were a staple of musical comedies and revues. A straight line of precision tappers, kickers or steppers could excite the audience in the orchestra, looking slightly up, or balcony, from which they were looking slightly down. But Broadway-trained Hollywood dance directors were giving audiences a multitude of angled points-of-view thanks to cameras and booms.

In the 1930s, the Vandamms went all out to give 

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Over 4,000 Dance Prints and Designs Now Available

The Jerome Robbins Dance Division just completed a two year project to catalog our backlog of dance related artwork. We are thrilled to announce that a total of 4,349 objects were cataloged and are now available to the public for research. Retired staff member Susan Au was hired for this project and she researched, cataloged, and rehoused these materials. This blog post is taken from her final report on the project. This project was made possible through funds generously donated from the Friends of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, which is co-chaired by Anne Bass and Caroline Cronson. Read More ›
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