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Dance Research Guide: Finding dance reviews, news and commentary

a guide to outstanding dance resources for research and enrichment

Finding dance reviews

Published collections of reviews and other critical writing

Some of the finest examples of dance writing can be be found in published collections of reviews.  While a basic search for subject heading Dance reviews is useful, more possibilities will be found in the catalog by doing a "Subject words" search for dance reviews (don't use quotation marks).

Ballet Review, a print publication by the Dance Research Foundation, provides quarterly (spring-summer-winter-fall) performance and book reviews.

Before, between, and beyond: three decades of dance writing [ebook] - this collection of the writings of noted critic Sally Banes has an introduction by Andrea Harris and forewords by Joan Acocella and Lynn Garafola.  University of Wisconsin Press, 2007.  Also available as an ebook via a second interface, and in print, GV1599 B36 2007.

Finding reviews of dance performances or performers

Newspapers
One approach to finding reviews would be to consult newspapers from cities in which performances are known to have taken place, or the cities in which dance companies or individuals are located. The array of newspaper titles in the TCU Library catalog can be seen with a "Subject words" search for "newspapers," with "Journals/Newspapers/Magazines" selected from the Format drop-down box; this obtains a huge number of hits, including many current and noncurrent newspaper titles (too many to sort by title). It's most effective, therefore, to add in the name of a city or state to this search, or to do a title search on the name of a specific newspaper. Some titles such as The New York Times are collected in print, with back issues on microfilm, as well as in electronic - online - form.  Alternatively, the city or publication you're interested in can be selected within one of the library's newspaper databases (see next paragraph). 

If you want a cross-section of newspaper reviews or magazine articles on a particular performer or dance company, from any news source, the "Newspapers" databases list will be useful. To find the Newspapers list, select it from the "Browse databases by type" section of the Databases page. The various databases will each offer a different array of newspaper titles covering differing time periods. Recent newspaper content can be viewed exactly as it appears in a physical newspaper in the PressReader databaseFor older reviews, Chronicling America, from the Library of Congress, is moderately old (1836+); America's Historical Newspapers offers articles from the 1600s through the 1970s. The New York Times Historical database offers dates from 1851-2007.  Nineteenth Century US Newspapers might be useful for that century. Newspaper Archive (formerly Access Newspaper Archive), "the world's largest (global) archive of newspapers," contains articles back to the 1700s.  (Sample a highly sensationalized dance article from a 1911 Fort Worth Star-Telegram and a 1929 article on Irma Duncan.) Proquest Historical Newspapers offers UK and US newspaper content from the late 19th century through, in at least one case (Washington Post), 2005.

Usually a preferred city or newspaper title can be selected within a database, if desired. To determine which database has a desired newspaper, magazine or journal title, look up the title in the catalog and select "Journals/Newspapers/Magazines (online only)" as format, or use the E-journals page by entering the publication’s title in the "Browse e-journals by title"  search box. "E-journals" is a Quick Link at library.tcu.edu, the library's home page.  Databases can be accessed using the center panel on that page, or by typing library.tcu.edu/databases.asp into your browser (select "Type," then "Newspapers" for a complete list).

Journal/magazine articles
Another path to dance reviews would be consulting article databases such as the International Index to the Performing Arts; in IIPA you can enter the appropriate performer or dance company's name and select "Review" from the Document type selection list. 

 

Current dance news and review sources

The information in the left column will help you find reviews of specific performances, performers, dance companies, dance works and so on; in this column you'll find current news and review sources that will help you keep up with the world of dance in general and dance writing in particular

One of the best current dance news/review sources, the New York Times Dance page, as well as the Times' chronological topic feed. For research, there's also access to NYT via various databases, and the New York Times Historical, taking coverage back many years.  Of course, other publications such as the Washington Post have great arts coverage and offer RSS feeds of their own (for WP it's the Arts and Living division, Theater and Dance section that offers dance reviews).  If you like the New York Times but want an international flavor (through 2013), try the International Herald Tribune, NY Time's now-defunct global edition.  Another great resource is the Readex (Newsbank) AllSearch, which yields articles from a wide range of dates, exactly as they appear on paper.

In this fast-moving world websites, blogs and forums are often terrific and timely sources of dance writing.  From the Green Room, Dance USA's e-journal, is available online.  Another page of interest is The Buzz, a source for news commentary. Please note you must access the publication through this link, as the publication requires a login (automatic through the link).  Oberon's Grove is a blog review source once listed as a NY Times' Arts page blog.

The Village Voice dance page presents top notch critical writing through 2018.  CriticalDance is a super-source for ballet/contemporary dance news and reviews from CriticalDance, an international nonprofit entity, and is free of charge, offering a Facebook page as an alternative medium.  CultureKiosque's Dance page seems to be a thing of the past now, but has thought-provoking articles and reviews through 2018.

Critical Correspondence Forum - affiliated with the Movement Research website, Critical Correspondence is an artist-driven project of Movement Research launched in March 2006, conceived as a platform to activate and develop critical discourse on dance and movement-based work.  There's a separate blog.

Dance-tech.net is a social networking website connecting people interested in the movement arts, providing, among other things, opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborative projects.  In this very rich site are photos, reviews, and a plethora of video interviews.

KD Dance emanates from the Fort Worth - Dallas Metroplex area, written by "Katie D," a Dallas dance teacher with a gift for critical writing.  Two other blogs are featured at the North Texas Dance Council's website.