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Preserve marks ten years of dance documentation.

NEW YORK CITY--A diverse and dazzling array of dance archival projects was showcased at the "Decade of Dance Preservation" symposium held May 1 and 2 at the Joyce SoHo Theater. Organized and hosted by Leslie Hansen Kopp of Preserve, Inc., the event brought together dancers, scholars, archivists, librarians, and computer technicians to celebrate initiatives which document the field of dance.

No less than twenty-five presentations were made on the first day. Speakers were grouped into four panels: Archives of a Company, Person, or Tradition; Film and Video Initiatives; Technological Innovations; and Library and Archival Initiatives.

The first panel included, among others, historians Dawn Lille Horwitz and Jonnie Green discussing "Classic Black: The Process of Creating an Archive on Black Dancers in Ballet Prior to 1970," a project which included interviews, a symposium, and a traveling photographic exhibit. Jeff Friedman, of Legacy Oral History Project in the San Francisco Bay Area, spoke about the group's training workshops, consulting services, and educational components.

Several presenters on the Film and Video and Technology panels showed clips from documentary projects. Among them were Stephanie Clemens of Momenta Dance Company and videographer Amy Reusch, who have collaborated to preserve the choreography of Doris Humphrey. Nancy Reynolds, Director of Research at the Balanchine Foundation, presented two educational projects: the Archive of Lost Choreography and the Interpreter's Archive.

Technological innovations featured a CD-ROM on the life and work of Daniel Nagrin; two notation projects from the Dance Notation Bureau in New York City and the Benesh Institute in London; one of Ohio State University's Multimedia Prototype interactive CD-ROM projects, and the computerization of the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Archives, directed by archivist David Vaughan.

Librarians and archivists on the fourth panel highlighted ongoing efforts to collect and organize dance resources in a number of repositories. Nena Couch presented an overview of the Twyla Tharp Archives at Ohio State University, while Norton Owen discussed preservation activities at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. The Dance Heritage Coalition, a consortium of seven U.S. libraries, was represented by Catherine Johnson and Michelle Forner. The Coalition has undertaken several projects designed to catalog dance materials and make them more available to the public through local as well as national databases. Mary Strow demonstrated the DLDG listserve, an online bulletin board.

Preserve honored four outstanding dance preservation pioneers and their projects: Vaughan, Reynolds, Vera Maletic from OSU, and Carolyn Adams of the American Dance Legacy Institute.

The second day's activities included video and CD-ROM demonstrations, as well as a presentation of reflections and conclusions. The final session was an open forum--those in attendance came away with ideas, energy, and a renewed commitment to their endeavors.
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Title Annotation:Preserve Inc.; symposium of dance archive projects
Author:Strow, Mary
Publication:Dance Magazine
Date:Aug 1, 1998
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