Created as a collaboration between Core of Culture and the New York Public Library, this digital collection of videos aims to preserve the Kingdom of Bhutan’s dance traditions. Videos depict dance performances and events recorded in Bhutan and the associated metadata offers additional details about the people, places, and events in the videos.
Originally begun as the Dance Heritage Coalition’s Dance Preservation and Digitization Project, this archive of dance performance videos is now available through the University of Southern California Digital Library. A significant number of the more than 1,000 videos are available to view online, though some do have access restrictions. The focus of the collection is on preserving “culturally significant recordings that document global and U.S. dance traditions, creative work by outstanding choreographers and performers, and performances that helped to advance the art form.”
This series from KQED Arts & Culture lets the audience “step into the shoes of dancers from across the country who dare to imagine what it would look like if their city could dance.” Each short episode offers a glimpse into dance in one particular city in the United States. Two seasons are currently available for free online with a third on the way.
Jacob’s Pillow is a dance education and performance center in the Berkshires region in Western Massachusetts, which hosts an annual dance festival. Preservation and education are core pieces of their mission, which has led them to create a number of impressive online resources. This site collects and makes searchable videos of performances going back to the 1930s. In addition, the site has curated playlists of videos on particular topics and multimedia essays on themes within dance that are created by guest curators. There is also a fun Guess Game feature, which allows users to test their dance knowledge.
Available in both French and English, this site collects more than 3,500 videos related to dance. It features performances, interviews, and documentaries with an educational focus. It has specific content aimed at children and young students in the Tadaam! Section, which is intended for use by teachers. All styles and types of dance are included.
This reference resource provides clear and concise definitions of the important terms of Ballet. In addition to the definition, each term also has an accompanying audio clip with the correct pronunciation for the term. A good source for authoritative definitions online.
This digitized collection from the Library of Congress features more than 200 ballroom or social dance manuals, starting with one that was published prior to 1500. In addition to these instruction manuals, the collection includes notated music, etiquette books, and 75 videos with examples of social dances, as well as a bibliography of additional resources on the topic.
Created and maintained by the National Dance Education Organization, this searchable database indexes dance literature from 1926 to the present, including content from more than 200 different publications. The content is searchable by citation fields as well as keyword, research methods and techniques, populations served, and more. The site also includes a tutorial to help researchers get started using the database. While full access requires a subscription, the search features for DELRdi citations are freely available online, making this a helpful resource even for those without a subscription.
This website collects an array of dance notation resources, including online tools for notation, digitized books on the topic, and more. It also has a related YouTube presence, which includes performance recordings and training videos. Included within the resources are a tutorial on the basics of the Labanotation form of dance notation and the DNB Notated Theatrical Dances Catalog, which is a searchable database of the most frequently requested of DNB’s large collection of Labanotated dance scores.
Created and run by the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library, the Dance Oral History Project has been recording interviews with an array of dancers, choreographers, and those working in close connection with them in an effort to record the history of dance and offer researchers access to important primary information. Though the full content is not available online, excerpts from many interviews are available online.
A resident company of The Long Center, Tapestry is a professional, non-profit dance organization founded in 1989 by rhythm tap dancer Acia Gray and ballet/jazz artist Deirdre Strand for the purpose of developing a foundation in multi-form dance performance and education.
The archive of Jacob’s Pillow includes a wide range of materials from correspondence to hundreds of costume pieces, all of which is searchable online. Though not all items have been digitized, a significant number of photographs, posters, letters, and performance programs have been and are available for online browsing and searching.
This site centers on the works and philosophy of Mercier Philip “Merce” Cunningham, an American choreographer and dancer. It collects historical information about his works, writings, and collaborators, including full text of many writings. It also provides access to dance capsules of 86 of Cunningham’s works, which aim to digitally preserve these works. The related YouTube channel also features interviews, rehearsals, and performances.
The Company was founded in 1948 by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, and it quickly became world-renowned for its athletic and contemporary style. Jerome Robbins joined NYCB the following year and, with Balanchine, helped to build the astounding repertory and firmly establish the Company in New York.
Created in 2014 by the University of Michigan Asia Library with support from the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, Center for World Performance Studies, and Institute for Research on Women and Gender, this digital collection provides access to 1,500 photographs of 20th-century Chinese dancers. Most of the items come directly from the dancers themselves. The detailed metadata for items “include biographical narratives and information gathered from historical sources and oral history interviews.”