Dance Heritage Coalition unveils “Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” online


The Dance Heritage Coalition (DHC) has launched a tremendous new online exhibition, America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: The First 100. Newly commissioned essays, bibliographies and research resources, and curated visual materials are included. Here’s but a brief sampling:

Anna Schuman Halprin is one of the “founding mothers” of the American avant-garde in modern dance. Beginning with her work in the late 1950s and early 1960s, she radically expanded the idea of what could constitute a dance, what kind of personal material was permissible as content in a dance work, and how to give voice to forgotten segments of our population — people of color, the aged, the terminally ill.

Read more of Janice Ross’s essay.

Helen Tamiris is one of the great pioneers of American modern dance. A dynamic dancer and choreographer, she explored themes that were central to the American experience viewed in a broad, multicultural manner. Her diverse career included not only her work in modern dance, but also in ballet, nightclubs, and musical theater. Descriptions of Tamiris invariably include the word “powerful,” describing both her dancing and the force of her personality.

Read more of Elizabeth McPherson’s essay.

The daughter of playwright William de Mille and Anna George, whose father was the social reformer and single-tax advocate Henry George, Agnes de Mille was born and spent her early childhood in and around New York, where her father’s work was produced. Not until the family moved to Hollywood in 1914 to join William’s younger brother, the pioneering filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, was Agnes exposed to the heady world of the arts and creativity. It was here that she saw the legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova and the modern dance progenitor Ruth St. Denis.

Read more of Barbara Palfy’s essay.

“Treasures” encompasses individuals, organizations, and dance styles, and is intended to heighten public interest in the magnificence and richness of America’s dance heritage and the imperative to document and preserve it for future generations.

Some forty newly commission essays are already posted, and more are coming every month. There is one on Jack Cole that is not too terrible.

Kudos go to project manager/editor Imogen Smith, overseeing the massive project, and DHC’s marvelous Executive Director Libby Smigel; both women deserve an award for getting this thing launched. Here’s a bunch more essays:

Fred Astaire, Imogen Sara Smith
Jack Cole, Debra Levine
Aaron Copland, George Dorris
Alexandra Danilova, Nancy Reynolds
Chuck Davis, Lisa Traiger
Federal Dance Project, Ann Dils
Gregory Hines, Constance Valis Hill
Lester Horton, Naima Prevots
Doris Humphrey, Marcia Siegel
Judson Dance Theater, George Jackson
William Henry Lane, Constance Valis Hill

Bella Lewitzky, Naima Prevots
Meredith Monk, Marcia Siegel
Lillian Moore, Lynn Matluck Brooks
New York City Ballet, Nancy Reynolds
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Constance Valis Hill
Bessie Schönberg, Sally Hess
Oliver Smith, Lynn Matluck Brooks
Twyla Tharp, Marcia Siegel
Jennifer Tipton, Megan Slayter
Edward Villella, Lisa Traiger
Charles Weidman, Ann Dils, Clay Daniel

 America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures on-line exhibition | live now

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