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Dance History Research Resources: Films & DVDs

Films & DVDs

The ZSR Library has over 17,000 DVDs, including a wide variety of dance films.  Our collection includes everything from classical ballet and instructional resources to experimental and performance art films.  In addition to DVDs, ZSR also has access to a number of streaming collections.

Locating Dance Films: DVDs

All dance films on DVD are located in the Media Collection in Room 403 on Reynolds 4.  The DVD cases are displayed by format (Performing Arts, Feature, Foreign, Documentary, etc...), in alphabetical order by title, making it easy to browse.  The majority of dance films will be shelved in the Performing Arts section, but there may be other films, such as musicals or commercial films focusing on dance, that will be located in the Feature or Documentary sections.

You can also go to the film page on the library homepage to search for any film in the collection, DVD or streaming.  

When searching there, you can search by title, keyword, choreographer or dancer/artist.  A dancer, performer or choreographer is considered an author of a film.  Note that you can browse for new films, or films by general category, or language on the right side of the page.

Locating Dance Films: Streaming

The Dance Online: Dance in Video database has streaming video exclusively for dance, but there are other video databases that may include dance films.  You can look at those databases here.

Checking out DVDs

As you browse the DVD cases, remove the ones you would like to check out and take them downstairs to the Circulation Desk on Reynolds 2.  They will check the DVDs out to you there.  You can check out films for three days, three films at a time.  There is a $1/day/DVD fine for overdue films.

Streaming Videos Online

There are also many places online to view dance performances and documentaries.  Check the websites of dance companies or performance venues, as well as personal websites of individual dancers.  A good place to start is this list of YouTube and Vimeo pages for various dance companies, compiled by the New York Public Library Performing Arts Branch.