Dance Heritage Coalition Publications
   Digital Video Preservation Reformatting Project: A Report
   America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: the First 100
   Beyond Memory
   Securing Our Dance Heritage
   Sustaining America's Dance Legacy
   Dance Videotapes at Risk
   A Copyright Primer for the Dance Community
   Cataloging Guidelines
   Processing Procedures Manual for Dance and Other Performing Arts Collections
   Learning Applications to Document Dance
   Magnetic Storage and Tape Handling

Documentation by Allegra Fuller Snyder

Envisioning Dance on Film and Video edited by Judy Mitoma

Daniel Nagrin's "
The Art of Videotaping Dance"

America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: The First 113

Documentation, Disappearance, and the Representation of Live Performance by Matthew Reason

Documentation-related excerpts:

Documentation Process
What is a documentation process: Means by which knowledge of the event survives beyond the moment of performances. The process fixes some portion of a dance event outside of the temporal and spatial boundaries of the performance.
(from Toward a Dance Documentation Framework Analysis and Evaluation)

Documentation as An Encouragement of Memory
Performance’s only life is in the present. Performance cannot be saved, recorded, documented, or otherwise participate in the circulation of representations of representations: once it does so, it becomes something other than performance. To the degree that performance attempts to enter the economy of reproduction it betrays and lessens the promise of its own ontology. Performance’s being, like the ontology of subjectivity proposed here, becomes itself through disappearance…Performance occurs over a time which will not be repeated. It can be performed again, but this repetition itself marks it as “different.” The document of a performance then is only a spur to memory, an encouragement of memory to become present.
Unmarked: The Politics of Performance by Peggy Phelan)

Archival vs. Creative Records
A major consideration in the creation of a dance record is the kind of document that the creators need or desire. There are several different types of records, which are referred to by varying terms. “Archival” often refers to a recording that documents the choreography, whereas “creative” generally refers to a recording that seeks to evoke the experience of viewing a performance…preference for an evocative record reflects, in part, the realization that videotape can ever provide an exact “replica” of a performance.
(from The Collaborative Editing Project to Document Dance)

Camera Work as the Foundational Building Block
Getting good footage is essential to the creation of quality video. Think of video as the building blocks with which the final piece will be constructed. No amount of post-production magic can disguise poorly framed images, shaky camera work or glitches in the tape. Building a video out of ad footage will result in a final product which is disappointingly unprofessional and which will inevitably fail to represent adequately the live performance. Whether the final product envisioned is archival documentation, a promotional piece, and edited program for television, or an impressionistic art video, focusing on solid camera work using first-rate equipment and high quality tape stock will provide a strong foundation for the creation of a wide variety of video applications both in the present and in the future.
(from Learning Applications to Document Dance (LADD) Project)

Line, Space, Direction and Expression
We are accustomed to think of line as a quality of the more graphic art forms, rather than of so fleeting a medium as movement. Yet movement is capable of linear design, which, if properly employed, can greatly enhance its effectiveness. For sense of line gives to movement qualities, which in themselves suggest an emotional meaning. Our response to this quality in actions may be due to an unconscious association with our sensations of the gravity axes. There are feeling of repose, serenity, strength, and breadth in the horizontal. The piercing, ascending path of the vertical imparts the feeling of power, dignity, and spiritual strength. The curved and sinuous lines impress with their charm and grace and effortless flow of movement. Because of our ability to sympathize muscularly, we read ourselves into the lines and observe how it would feel to move in their paths.

Sensitivity to space is another important factor contributing to the emotive power of movement. Essentially it is an awareness of the variety of directions that the body and its parts can take with moving through space. It is a feeling of “out-thereness.” It is a sense of relationship between the self and space, considered as extensiveness rather than as something having boundaries. For the dancer this latter consideration refers to the patterns existing in space, whose shapes are determined by the varying postures the body assumes while in action.
Dance: A Creative Art Experience by Margaret N. H’Doubler)

Choreographers and Videographers in Collaboration
Experience had suggested that the most effective documentation results when choreographers and videographers work in collaboration, sharing vital information about each other’s process and working side by side in the editing room to produce a final product that reflects high technical and artistic standards.
(from The Collaborative Editing Project to Document Dance)

Understanding Goals and Framework
An understanding of the broader goals and framework of a dance documentation project must be complemented by a thorough grounding in the aesthetic vocabulary and cultural traditions that inform the specific work to be recorded. The more a videographer knows in advance about a dance, the more specific a choreographer can be about what he or she is after (both in the choreographic work and in the videotape representation), and the stronger will be the final product. By familiarizing themselves with a work, videographers can anticipate exits and entrances; capture major shifts in the focus, direction, and dynamics; address technical issues related to lighting, scenic elements, and stage space; and make appropriate choices concerning camera placement and usage.
The Collaborative Editing Project to Document Dance)

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Banner image from the video documentation of Clarion by Rick McCullough, 2015