Dance Thrives in Ladd
The Bates Dance Festival is an incubator of artistic and scholarly excellence in what is currently the most daring and exciting field in the arts. Over the course of almost 35 years, one of the consistent features of the festival has been to show how dance sheds light on a different question or discipline. Under the guidance of Laura Faure, the Festival has commissioned works and given dancemakers the opportunity to experiment with topics and themes outside the traditional purview of the arts.
This parallels changes in scholarship. The Bates Dance Festival archives, which can be accessed through the Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, are a perfect example of the recent push to fully document all of the aspects of the making of dance.
Ready access to recording media has led to a burgeoning of the dance repertoire available on DVD. Ladd Library’s already extensive and growing collection of dance on DVD includes a mix:
some historical (for example “Rudolf Laban’s Solos and Duos“);
some documentary (for example “Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity“);
some that promote change (for example Ana Halprin’s “Positive Motion: Challenging AIDS Through Dance and Ritual“);
and many others that give a more complete vision of what it means to be a moving body.
The library’s collection of books on dance is also expanding, and one particular high point is the release of the Oxford University Press Handbooks of Dance.
Bates currently owns The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen,
Also watch the new book shelves for the just-released Handbook of Screendance Studies!