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Dance Research Guide: Videos from the TCU Library; Video guides

a guide to outstanding dance resources for research and enrichment

Dance videos from the TCU Library

DVDs and VHS videocassettes in the TCU Library's Media collection, housed in the Music/Media Library, cannot be browsed from the shelves but can be browsed online (click to see search instructions and other information).  Videos can also be searched according to categories such as Modern Dance.  Up to 10 videos can be checked out for one week, with two renewals.  Click to see a list of DVD/VHS videos.  Here are some of our new online and DVD/VHS video titles.

Streaming videos in the TCU Library's Media collection can be played directly from links in the catalog records.  If you're using the TCU Library's catalog search tab on the TCU Library home page, a search for "streaming video*" (use the quotes and asterisk) will obtain streaming videos in the catalog.  If you're using the catalog's Basic search or Advanced search modes, simply select Streaming video from the Format drop-down box.  Add other terms such as performer or choreographer names, titles, or simply try danc* (dance, dancing, dancer, etc.).  Use "Sort" to rearrange the search results by title, date of publication, etc.  The library's FrogScholar discovery tool, also on the home page,  will find both streaming and DVD/VHS videos when "video recording" is selected, as well as some streaming video titles in the Dance in Video database.  Note:  for some video titles the library offers both DVD/VHS information and a streaming (online) link in one catalog record; records for such items may only be retrievable under the Video (any format) selection.  Peruse the Dance in Video database and other video resources in this guide for more streaming video possibilities.  If you're interested in African dance, check out the Video Resources on African Dance guide. <About video linking>

Dance in Video database (Dance Online) - this growing database will ultimately contain hundreds of complete productions and documentaries by the most influential performers and companies of the 20th and 21st centuries. Selections cover ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, experimental, and improvisational dance, as well as forerunners of the forms and the pioneers of modern concert dance. Included are performances from top ballet companies; experimental works from up-and-coming dance troupes; documentaries by and about leading choreographers; dance training videos and other items covering a wide range of 20th and 21st century dance styles. Available to the TCU Community from anywhere and to guests within the library building.  Clips, embedding and linking to/from precise segments is possible.  Permanent links to videos are available through the Embed/link tool.

Filmaker's Library database - available from anywhere to the TCU community and to guests within the library building, this growing database provides award-winning documentaries across all disciplines, including Dance.  Filmaker's Library has an additional offering: transcripts are available for documentaries in this database.  Clips, embedding and linking to/from precise segments is possible.  Permanent links to videos are available through the Embed/link tool.  Sample Water Flowing Together: Jock Soto.

Films on Demand (Films for the Humanities and Sciences, BBC, PBS and more) - available to an unlimited number of TCU users, this database offers thousands of full length educational videos.  Content includes the humanities, social sciences, health, medicine and more.  Clips, embedding and linking to/from films or precise segments is possible (see directions below).  For the dance community, perusing dance titles via the "Music and Dance" page is easy - simply select "Dance" from the Subject list. This list is sortable by "Choreography," "General" and "Performance," revealing complete dance productions and films like Bill T. Jones: Still/Here.  However, many more dance-related hits are obtained by searching "by segments" rather than "by title," e.g. when searching from the home page for segments on dance - especially world (international) and ethnic dance.  These dance-related segments - short, long and in-between - are primarily from films that are not about dance per se.  Sample segments:  "Modern Butoh Dance" from the film Theater in Japan: Yesterday and Today; " from How We Move: the Brain and Biomechanics. Transcripts are now available for many of the films in this collection, for an added plus.

Academic Video Online (Proquest) - documentaries, interviews, performances, news programs and newsreels relevant to University level courses. This database finds both short film segments and full-length films and series. Sample a search for subject: dance.

Digital Theatre Plus - primarily a boon for plays and the like, this database nonetheless offers some productions and documentaries having to do with ballet or other forms of dance, such as world dance. Currently there are no Resource or Genre selections that are dance related (there is for Musical Theatre), so it's necessary to use the top search box to search for, say, ballet (as of 3/12/21, 11 hits) or dance (as of 3/12/21, 58 hits). Some of the hits, however, are "Concise Introductions" which are merely PDF documents detailing the person or topic. 

More dance video guides

Dance on Camera Journal - from the Dance Films Association, this journal offers timely access to information on trends and new works. Available online is the archives of Dance on Camera Journal.

International Journal of Screendance - formed by a collaboration of universities, this new, international, artist-led journal explores the field of Screendance. It is said to be the first-ever scholarly journal wholly dedicated to this growing area of worldwide interdisciplinary practice.  The publication purports to examine screendance in the context of contemporary cultural debates about interdisciplinarity, artistic agency, practice as theory, and curatorial practices.

Pentacle, a not-for-profit management support organization for dance companies and project-based artists working in dance and theater, once sponsored Movement Media, an organization providing services, strategies, and opportunities for dance artists to make dance works for screen and use media to promote and enhance their artistic pursuits. MM is no longer in evidence, but elsewhere on the web are the Move the Frame blog archives (through 2009) and the UMove Festival, once a part of this effort.

History of Dance on Screen - this 90-minute Arthaus Musik documentary film examines how the media and dance have influenced one another in the twentieth century, embracing new art forms such as dance movies and ballet films (dance created specifically for the camera).  In-depth interviews feature such persons as Alvin Ailey, Pina Bausch, Maurice Bejart, Martha Graham, Roland Petit and many others.  Housed in the Music/Media Library, GV1779 .H57 2013.

Video Dance & the Video Dance Lectures - in this 77-minute film from First Light Video Publishing choreographers, television directors and dancers gather together in Sydney, Australia to participate in the first national dance video how-to course. This program presents some of the dance experiments from that project.

Dance video guides

Guides to dance in films and videos; making dance films

  Dances's Duet With the Camera: Motion Pictures, 2016 [ebook] - this collection of essays by various authors explores the relationship between live dance and film. Chapters cover a range of topics that explore
dance film, contemporary dance with film on stage, dance as an ideal medium to be captured by 3D images and videodance as kin to site-specific choreography.

The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen, 2013 [ebook] - this new work studies films, television shows, commercials, music videos, and YouTube, offering new ways to understand the content

using methodologies from critical dance studies, performance studies, and film/media analysis. Many questions are asked and answered, incuding "What role does a specific film have in the genealogy of Hollywood dance film? How does the Hollywood dance film inform how dance operates in making cultural meanings?"

Dying swans and madmen: ballet, the body, and narrative cinema, 2008 [ebook]. Chapters:

Introduction : ballet in tin cans -- A channel for progress : theatrical dance, popular culture, and (the) American

Ballet -- Gender, genre, and the ballet film through 1947: part 1, the life of a ballerina is indeed tough -- Gender, genre, and the ballet film through 1947 : part 2, the man was mad, but a genius! -- If you can disregard the plot : the red shoes in an American context -- The second act will be quite different : cinema, culture, and ballet in the 1950s -- Turning points: -- Ballet and its bodies in the "post-studio" era.


Dance on Camera:  a Guide to Dance Films and Videos, 1998 - the most comprehensive catalog available on dance films and videos in distribution as of that year.  This is a revised edition of the Dance Film

and Video Guide by the Dance Films Association and Dance Horizons, 1991, an A-to-Z listing of films on dance with choreographer / dancer / composer / director name, dance company, and subject indexes, and a thorough guide to the appearances of dancers and/or choreographers' work on film. The 1991 work covers only released films or videos, not archival footage, home movies etc. A still earlier work from the Dance Films Association is Modern Dance & Ballet on Film and Video: a Catalog, 1986. Location: all of these titles are in the Music/Media Library's reference stacks.
Film Choreographers and Dance Directors  

Film Choreographers and Dance Directors: an illustrated biographical encyclopedia, 1997 - this comprehensive bio-guide also offers a decade-by-decade history of dance on film and a filmography of

important choreographic works for each decade. Location: Music/Media Library reference stacks, GV 1779 B55 1997.
Dance Film Directory / Princeton, 1979  

Dance Film Directory; An Annotated and Evaluative Guide to Film on Ballet and Modern Dance - Princeton, 1979 - ballet, modern, "ethnic," and Hollywood musical styles are included, as well as five

indexes, including choreographers, dances, dancers and film titles. Location: Music/Media Library reference stacks, GV 1595 M89.
Guide to Dance in Film  

Guide to Dance in Film: a Catalog of US Productions - Gale, 1978; a guide to dance on screen including dance sequences, with names of dancers, choreographers, directors, etc.  Offers name, production

company, and country-of-origin indexes. Location: Music/Media Library reference stacks, GV 1779 P37.

Social Dancing in America: a History and Reference - Greenwood Press, 2007; vol. 2 contains a bibliography with a select list of Hollywood movies, organized by the type of dance depicted in them. Location: Reference, GV 1623 G56.


Dance on Screen: Genres and Media from Hollywood to Experimental Art, 2001 - a comprehensive introduction to the rich diversity of screen dance genres. This title first provides a

contextual overview of dance in the screen media and analyzes a selection of case studies from the popular dance imagery of music video and Hollywood, through to experimental art dance. The focus then turns to video dance - dance originally choreographed for the camera. Location: Main Stacks, GV1779 D62 2001

Envisioning Dance on Film and Video


Envisioning Dance on Film and Video, 2002 - a hundred-year history of dance in film and a guide to the art of putting dance on film.  Also in print,  main stacks

quarto (oversized books area), GV 1779 E58 2002
Screendance: Inscribing the Ephemeral Image / Oxford University Press  

Screendance: Inscribing the Ephemeral Image [ebook], Oxford University Press, 2012 - about this book

Making Video Dance  

Making Video Dance:  a Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dance for the Screen, 2006 - the first ever how-to manual for choreographers, dancers and students who want to make dance films. Location: main

stacks GV 1779 M37 2006. Author Katrina McPherson's website is also well worth checking out.
Dancefilm: Choreography and the Moving Image  

Dancefilm:  Choreography and the Moving Image - from Oxford University Press, this 2011 work traces the history of dance in film and examines how choreographic elements inform cinematic operations,

arguing that the intersection of dance and film produces distinct, cine-choreographic practices that are specific to dancefilm. Location: main stacks GV 1779 B73 2011
  Oxford handbook of screendance studies - from Oxford University Press, this 2016 work offers a scholarly overview of the histories, practices, and critical and theoretical foundations of the rapidly changing
landscape of screendance. Scholars from the fields of dance, performance, visual art, cinema, and media arts articulate the practice of screendance as an interdisciplinary, hybrid form that has yet to be correctly sited as an academic field worthy of critical investigation. Each essay discusses and reframes current issues, as a means of promoting and enriching dialogue within the wider community of dance and the moving image. Topics addressed include politics of the body; agency, race, and gender in screendance; the relationship of choreography to image; constructs of space and time; dance and interactive and digital technology; and production and curatorial practice. Location: Main Stacks, Call No. GV1779 R664 2016