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Blondell Cummings

A resource of selected archives, bibliographies, and pedagogical tools relating to the work of choreographer and video artist Blondell Cummings (1944-2015).

Notable External Collections

Blondell Cummings lived in New York City, and made work within a dynamic dance scene beginning in the late 1960s that brought the development of postmodern, or downtown dance, and a critical interest in dances of the African Diaspora and African American traditions. Cummings’ dances often explored both postmodern and Diasporic vocabularies simultaneously. She performed at New York dance institutions that have supported experimentations in dance and performance. Their archives play pivotal roles in documenting the field and were referenced during research for the exhibition, Blondell Cummings: Dance as Moving Pictures. The New York Public Library now houses Blondell Cummings’ archive of film and video.

Danspace Project records

The Danspace Project was founded in 1974 at the St. Mark's Church In-The-Bowery in New York City to present, support, and encourage new work in dance and performance within a supportive environment. The Danspace Project records document over three decades of dance performances produced by, or affiliated with, the Danspace Project, as well as document the day-to-day management of an arts non-profit.

Dance Theater Workshop Video Archive

Dance Theater Workshop (DTW) was a New York City performance space and service organization for dance companies that operated from 1965 to 2011. It was founded in 1965 in a Manhattan loft at 215 West 20th Street by Jeff Duncan, Art Bauman and Jack Moore as a choreographers' collective, in a performance space that accommodated 50 people. In addition to hosting performances, DTW organized shows in other theaters around the city, and received funding from the Dance Touring Program of the National Endowment for the Arts to take its “professional touring unit” on the road with programs of new work. From 1975-2003, DTW was led by David R. White, who was the organization's first employee in 1975 as it moved to 219 West 19th Street. Under White's leadership, DTW became one of the most influential contemporary performing arts centers and artist incubators in the United States and abroad, responsible for identifying and nurturing important dance and other performing artists, including: Bill T. Jones, Mark Morris, Susan Marshall, Whoopi Goldberg, Bill Irwin, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar, Donald Byrd and John Jasperse, among many others. In 2002 DTW opened the Doris Duke Performance Center, which contains the 192-seat Bessie Schönberg Theatre. In 2011, in large part because of financial pressures, DTW merged with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company to become New York Live Arts.

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive is an ever-growing collection of dance videos filmed at Jacob’s Pillow from the 1930s to today. 
Jacob’s Pillow is a National Historic Landmark, a National Medal of Arts recipient, and home to America’s longest running dance festival. Each year thousands of people from across the U.S. and around the globe experience the Festival with more than 50 dance companies and 200 free performances, talks, and events; train at The School at Jacob’s Pillow; explore the rare and extensive Archives; take part in numerous Community Programs; and experience the rich history of the Festival online.

The Jerome Robbins Dance Division of The New York Public Library

The Jerome Robbins Dance Division of The New York Public Library is the largest and most comprehensive archive in the world devoted to the documentation of dance. Chronicling the art of dance in all its forms, the Division acts as much more than a library. We preserve the history of dance by gathering diverse written, visual, and aural resources, and work to ensure the art form's continuity through active documentation and educational programs.

Founded in 1944, the Dance Division is used regularly by choreographers, dancers, critics, historians, journalists, publicists, filmmakers, graphic artists, students, and the general public. While the Division contains more than 44,000 books about dance, these account for only a small percent of its vast holdings. Other resources available for study free of charge include papers and manuscript collections, moving image and audio recordings, clippings and program files, and original prints and designs.