National Resource Centre for Dance

Digital Dance Archives

On Monday 9 May 2011, 70 professionals from across the world of dance (choreographers, academics, educationalists, performers, promoters and archivists) gathered at The Place, London to celebrate the launch of the exciting new website Digital Dance Archives.

This is a fabulous resource for researchers, students and for the artists themselves, allowing us to explore dance archives in many imaginative ways.

Emilyn Claid Former artistic director of Extemporary Dance Theatre


About the Digital Dance Archives

This website is the result of an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded research project carried out by academics and archive staff at the University of Surrey and Coventry University. The project team at Surrey were from the Dance, Film and Theatre (DFT) department, the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) and the National Resource Centre for Dance (NRCD).

The one-year pilot project has been investigating how to link together and search across different archive collections with the resultant website acting as a portal to explore the integrated collections.  

Due to the short timescale and technical ambitiousness of the project, specific collections were chosen for their broad historical and stylistic range and for their visual interest.

The initial content includes photographs, drawings and moving images drawn from the Siobhan Davies Replay digital archive, hosted by Coventry University, and from NRCD archives including Extemporary Dance Theatre, Rudolf Laban, Natural Movement, Revived Greek Dance and Ludmilla Mlada.

Visitors to the website will be able to:

  • Explore the digital archive materials
  • Select and compile items into personally created virtual scrapbooks
  • Tag and share content
  • Play and annotate video

Over the coming months, additional functionality will be added to the site to enable search using not only traditional text search but also to find items through visual similarity, be it colour, posture or sequence of movements.

Visit the Dance Archives website to explore the collections.