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Blog Posts by Subject: Dance

The Speaking of Dancing Project

In the interview excerpt above, New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay discusses the challenges of writing about dance, using examples of moments in the ballets Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty that made profound impressions on him.

The theme of interpretation—in essence, how movement creates meaning—goes to the heart of dance as an art form. Interpretation comes center stage in Speaking of Dancing, a new series of interviews recorded by the

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Finale, Part I: Curtain Calls

The Great American Revue is coming to the end of its run at the Vincent Astor Gallery, LPA. Don't worry —  all of the artifacts will be returned to the Billy Rose Theatre Division, Jerome Robbins Dance Division, or Music Division, and the 

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That Bacchanale Rag

"That Bacchanal Rag"

Layers on layers of references that could not fit into a caption:

The Passing Show of 1912 established the topical nature of Broadway revues. The authors, George Bronson-Howard and Harold Atteridge, combined references to contemporary politics, New York's cultural life, and both Broadway personalities and their fictional characters (in this case, producer/playwright David Belasco and Peter Grimm, a character that he wrote for David Warfield. Ned Wayburn, who 

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So You Think You Can Find Dance: A Guide to Research

Dance is a subject on many people’s minds these days, with television series such as Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and America’s Best Dance Crew becoming fixtures on network and cable channels. Now there’s also Breaking Pointe, Bunheads, and

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Surprises in the Jerome Robbins Audio Collection

Archival collections can harbor surprises — which makes the job of processing them fun!  The personal archives of artists not only document their careers and personal lives, but often contain material reflecting their interests and their times.

Jerome Robbins, a choreographer of prolific and complex genius whose work spanned ballet and musical theater, was a long-time supporter of the New York Public Library’s Dance Division. On 

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King of Jazz? Paul Whiteman and Hollywood's Rave Revues

Join us on Tuesday afternoon for a screening of King of Jazz (Universal, 1930) at LPA. Hollywood's Rave Revues is a film series programmed by John Calhoun in conjunction with the exhibition The Great American Revue, across the lobby in the Vincent Astor 

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A New Dance Oral History Project Interview

The first of our Spring Oral History Project interviews was just recorded and it was a true breath of fresh air. On March 19 and 26, 2012, Eva Yaa Asantewaa sat down to interview Marya Warshaw.

Eva Yaa Asantewaa and Marya Warshaw in the LPA Oral History Recording Studio. (Photo by Susan Kraft)Warshaw has been the Executive/Artistic Director of BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange (formerly The Gowanus Arts Exchange) since its founding in 1991. In 1998, BAX received a "Bessie" Award for its innovative work creating a house and a true home 

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150 Years of Loïe Fuller, Modern Dance Pioneer

150 years after her birth in Fullersburg, Illinois on January 15, 1862, Marie Louise "Loïe" Fuller is less well known than her peers. Yet her work, flowing and abstract and free from the constraints of classical ballet, predated and paved the way for more familiar modern dance pioneers like Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis.

On April 12, the

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Greetings from the Jerome Robbins Dance Division Oral History Archive!

The Jerome Robbins Dance Division Oral History Archive is home to unique and rare dance-related audio recordings that capture the voices of dancers, choreographers, composers, lighting designers, costume designers, and dance scholars from the mid-20th Century through today. These recordings encompass a wide range of original and donated content, including Dance Division-produced oral history interviews, radio show broadcasts, 

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Celebrating the Life of Janet Collins, an African-American Pioneer in Dance

Night's Dancer: The Life of Janet Collins, by Yaël Tamar Lewin

The headlines about her death called her the first African American ballerina of the Metropolitan Opera, but Janet Collins was much more than that. A new biography, Night’s Dancer: The Life 

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Sneaking a Peek at Baryshnikov

Mikhail Baryshnikov, age 19A few weeks ago, NYPL's Jerome Robbins Dance Division made headlines when it received a major gift of materials from

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We Don't Just Read Books...

... sometimes we write them too!

NYPL is proud to announce a new book written by a Library staff member on the subject of film noir, just in time for the latest exhibition at the Library for the Performing ArtsOut of the shadows: The Fashion of Film Noir

Imogen Sara Smith, a cataloger and coordinator for the Speaking of Dancing

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"How can we know the dancer from the dance?"

In William Butler Yeats' poem "Among School Children" the poet famously asks "How can we know the dancer from the dance"?  Many interpret this line as an observation that some creative acts are so intimately connected to the artist who created them that separating the two is almost impossible.  However interesting or beautiful this idea might be, its reality makes the work of dance preservation a difficult one.  Literary or musical art can be transcribed to paper using a 

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Notes From a Life-Long Learner: Social Dance

Dancing Fools for April Fool's

In honor of April Fool's Day, I bring you an image of a jester and a ballerina which I found the other day in the Dance Division's photo collection. We don't know much about this photo, except that it's an example of the kinds of variety dancing performed in the early part of the 20th century.

It turns out there are lots of fools in the Dance Division (not among the staff, of course)!

We have

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April 2011 Programs at New Dorp - Free!

We are very excited to have many great programs for you this April 2011. From puppet shows, to bilingual celebrations; from Irish dancing to Zumba! Meet a NYTimes Best Seller Author, and come to celebrate Staten Island's 350th Anniversary! Sounds intriguing? Keep reading!

Please note there are downloadable calendars with all the events at the end of this post, so you can make a copy for yourself and pass it along to friends!

Here are some highlights from 

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Unseen Dance

photo: Dana Salisbury; used with permissionWith few exceptions (music, sculpture, tactile canvases), the Arts have typically been inaccessible to people who are blind or who have visual difficulties, but the times, as is often said, are a-changing. Dana Salisbury and the No-See-Ums will be presenting BARK! An Unseen Dance, at four New York Public Libraries this month. Based on non-visual perception, this is the first dance form fully accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.

Choreographed by Dana 

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Yes, Cuba! Cuban Ballet in the Dance Division

Last Wednesday's New York Times article about the upcoming ­¡Sí Cuba! festival reminded me of a recent addition to the Dance Division of a film most of you have never heard of: it's a brand new documentary called Alicia Alonso: Orbit of a Legend, about the

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From archives to center stage: newly processed Theater Division designs and originals

The Harem, 1924In the recent weeks, staff of the Special Formats Processing unit have been hard at work arranging, re-housing, and cataloging a number of collections, consisting of original costume and scene designs, and caricatures from the Library for the Performing Arts Billy Rose Theater Division. You may have seen samples from these stunning, vibrant original works in past exhibitions at the Lincoln 

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Commemorating the 20th Anniversary: ADA Day at The New York Public Library

President Bush Signing the Americans With Disabilities Act in the Rose Garden of the White House. bushlibrary.tamu.eduJuly 26, 1990: President George H. W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on the South Lawn of the White House. Described as "the world's first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities," this legislation broke new ground, building upon earlier legislation such as the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 and the

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