Accidental Archives of Performance Making

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This paper introduces the online toolkit that was created during the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)–funded Resilience and Inclusion: Dancers as Agents of Change project (Figure 1). The project was a follow-up of an earlier
three-year AHRC-funded project: InVisible Difference, Dance, Disability and Law. The aim of the toolkit was to provide a series of learning materials, introducing themes that are pertinent to disabled dance artists and professional performance programmers, curators, and other arts organizations. A single film (just over 13 minutes in length) lies at the core of the toolkit, providing an entry point for the various themes that can be followed and out of which many of the learning materials emerge. The film, made collaboratively by the dancers and film directors (Kate Marsh, David Toole, Welly O’Brien, Charlotte Darbyshire and Tony Wadham) is intended to provide a valuable insight to the dancers’ creative process. Although the primary aim of the toolkit is the transmission of information for training purposes, the toolkit has simultaneously created a carefully curated repository of performance documents and related materials. I propose that this curated library of valuable performance documents creates what I am terming an “accidental archive.” Notwithstanding the challenges of making materials “open,” often connected to institutional gatekeeping, this short paper focuses on the documenting of process (in various forms and formats) to consider what value these process documents hold, for the artist and audience, and for those who are responsible for their safe keeping.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Specialist publicationProceedings from the Document Academy
PublisherUniversity of Akron Press
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

The collection of papers in this special issue of Proceedings from the Document Academy are selected from the second DocPerform Symposium, held at City University London, 6–7 November 2017.

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