VPA - Dance


Dance Resources

Getting Started

Keywords: Think about words that describe your topic and the variations of that word as well as artists and groups that are involved in this form. Boundaries are not clear-cut between styles and some artists cross perceived boundaries. This can give you great angles for your research, but can also make it hard to stay focused on a topic precise enough for a good paper.

Encyclopedias and indexes are a good place to start your research. They can help you identify a topic for your paper, and often include useful bibliographies.

International Encyclopedia of Dance  REF GV 1585 .I586 1998
This addresses dance in all forms, with an emphasis on classical.

International Dictionary of Ballet
REFERENCE GV 1585 .I57 1993

Music Index
BOOK STACKS and REFERENCE ML 118 .M84  
Dance is a topic included in this yearly index from 1961-on.


Books& Videos

Samples of what a research paper can be: an analysis of a body of work, summation of others' research or discussion of a development of a dance style. A research paper on dance is not a review of a performance you attended or what you think about an dancer. For a proper research paper, you need to investigation in the literature on the topic and find 5-10 books, as well as articles, to write a decent paper. To search for books, you need to use a library catalog. Depending on how much time you have, you have a couple of options. 

Books at Cal State San Marcos

Library Catalog

Search our local collection of about 250,000 books. 

Other Options

Circuit (1-3 day delivery)
Search the collections of other San Diego area libraries -- about 3,000,000 books. Find and request books directly online; pick them up at our Library in 1-3 days.

WorldCat (5-10 day delivery)
Search the collections of libraries world-wide -- about 52,000,000 books. Find a book in this database, and fill-out an Interlibrary Loan delivery request. Book will be delivered to Library for pickup.

Library of Congress: Search Music, Theatre, and Dance

This agency works to collect all materials published in the US as well as all English language materials, so the coverage on any research topic is extensive. The catch is that the LoC does not lend materials, so try ordering through our Interlibrary Loan office if you find something you must have. The search information offered on this page is very useful in understanding how an academic library collection works.

Useful Keywords

Keywords can be subject to interpretation by a computer search function in ways you never imagined! Try to be specific in your search. Use 'modern dance' rather than 'dance' if you are looking for that specific form. 'African dance' will bring back dance in Africa as well as dance performances by African-Americans.

Useful Subject Terms

A more focused search of a library catalog is to use specific subject headings. These are labels used to group related books together. 'Dance' is such a large topic, you will want to think of ways to narrow it down, by time period, geography, style, specific performer or choreographer, etc. Ask a librarian to help, or here are some examples to think about:

Browse the Book Stacks

Sometimes, just looking through the shelves can turn up works you would not have considered otherwise. Using the Library of Congress subject system, Dance as performance is shelved in the GV call number area.

Videos

While generally not used for research in most disciplines, due to the visual nature of dance, video recordings of dance performances can be very important in your research. The videos will be located in the CSUSM Media Library using the same call number system as you used to find books on your dance study.

 


Articles

Dance-related journals include some of the latest research in the field as well as discussion of specific aspects of dance such as history, genre, artists and movements. Journals are a good source for finding very detailed information on your topic. It is best to start with a couple of books before diving into journals to get ideas on terms to use in your search as you will get so many hits on the 'big picture'.

To search for articles, you need to start with research databases.  Each will allow you to search hundreds or even thousands of journals at once. Some databases are directories, rather than full-text collections. Use the Check SFX for Availability link to check our other resources for the full text of the article. The first choice to make is which databases to look in first! Check the Dance Databases link for recommendations.

Depending on your topic, you may find other databases useful as well (e.g., Kinesiology studies will provide sources on movement and training.)


Internet

Your instructor may allow use of some web pages you find on the Wild Wild Web. NOT ALL SITES ARE OF EQUAL VALUE TO YOU AS A RESEARCHER. Exercise caution with statements you find and look for references lists and citations for supporting documentation. Without careful fact-checking and research, you don't know what is truth and what is fiction, but the instructor grading your paper is going to know! Click on a link below to open a page of reliable sites you can check out:

Before getting started, you might want to refer to this reference book in our collection: Art Information and the Internet: How to Find it, How to Use It at REF N59 .J66 1999. This discusses, among other topics, museum web sites, search strategies and more. See the Museums page for online art collections hosted by museums from around the world.

Artslynx/Dance
A nice site on dance including ballet and choreographers.

Dance Links
An extensive list of sites hosted by Gaynor Minden.

Dance Notation Bureau
Site devoted to the Laban method of dance notation.

National Endowment for the Arts
The US government agency which funds art activities and programming. The website offers limited information, but as a Federal depository CSUSM collects a number of the NEA publications which are held in the Government Documents collection of the library.

Southern California Dance Directory
Extensive list of links on dance, performances, jobs, local choreographers...

Voice of the Shuttle: Dance
A large and well-organized site of links on a wide variety of dance topics.

Free-access Journals

ArtNexus.com
Online magazine featuring Latin American artists with online archive. Not all older issues are digitized and materials may not be in English.

ArtsJournal.com
A combination of weblog and newswire, updated daily, that examines issues affecting the arts such as copyright, artists, performers and more. You can follow the Visual Arts link to focus on more specific postings.

Directory Of Open Access Journals
Click on "visual arts" to see freely-available full text of arts-related online journals.

Local Sources

UCSD Arts Libraries
Located in the Geisel Library (used to be Social Sciences & Humanities, known as the 'spaceship') this collection can be viewed onsite. There are three collections: Arts & Architecture, Film & Video, and Music.

Video On Demand
A collection of performances, lectures, interviews, and installations recorded at UCSD. These are free to watch using RealPlayer. Use the video finder subject divisions to look at the offering (advise using the Arts & Music collection and then using the "by subject" tab". A title/keyword search option is available also. Subjects of interest are Artist Profiles, Fine Arts, Media Arts, Public Art & Installations.


Choreography

Useful Keywords

Keywords can be subject to interpretation by a computer search function in ways you never imagined! Try to be specific in your search. Use 'modern dance' rather than 'dance' if you are looking for that specific form. 'African dance' will bring back dance in Africa as well as dance performances by African-Americans.

Useful Subject Terms

A more focused search of a library catalog is to use specific subject headings. These are labels used to group related books together. 'Dance choreography' is such a large topic, you will want to think of ways to narrow it down, by time period, geography, style, specific performer or choreographer, etc. Ask a librarian to help, or here are some examples to think about:

 


Internet Sources

 

Your instructor may allow use of some web pages you find on the Wild Wild Web. NOT ALL SITES ARE OF EQUAL VALUE TO YOU AS A RESEARCHER. Exercise caution with statements you find and look for references lists and citations for supporting documentation. Without careful fact-checking and research, you don't know what is truth and what is fiction, but the instructor grading your paper is going to know! Click on a link below to open a page of reliable sites you can check out:

Before getting started, you might want to refer to this reference book in our collection: Art Information and the Internet: How to Find it, How to Use It at REF N59 .J66 1999. This discusses, among other topics, museum web sites, search strategies and more. See the Museums page for online art collections hosted by museums from around the world.

Copyright of Choreographic Works
Although a bit dated (written in 1994), this is important information for both complying with and protecting your work by proper use of copyright.

Dance Notation Bureau
The mission of this group is to preserve dance through the use of symbol notation (Labanotation).

Dancers and Choreographers
Web site from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics on employment opportunities, job outlook and education and training requirements in the field of dance.

Institute for Choreography and Dance
While European-focused, this site does offer limited information on performances and publications.

National Dance Association
A sub-group of AAHPERD (American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance) includes calls for competition and event announcements a well as educational resources.

Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, Inc.
An organization to "foster, promote and develop the creativity and craft of stage directors and choreographers" providing communication, employment advice and more.


Dance Performance

Useful Subject Terms
Can't think of terms to accurately describe your topic?  Library catalogs use specific subject headings to group related books together. 'Dance performance' is such a large topic, you will want to think of ways to narrow it down, by genre, artist, culture, etc. Ask a librarian to help, or here are some examples to think about:

Genre Searches
CSUSM uses an additional search access called a "Genre/Form" search. This will allow you to look for materials by type (electronic journals or videos) on a topic. Select the GENRE/FORM search option on the library catalog's search page. Here are some examples although some items will fall into more than one genre:

 


Internet Sources

This is a representative sample of Dance Performance sources on the web.

CyberDance
Links to a variety of resources for ballet and modern dance.

A Dancer’s Journal: Learning to Perform the Dances of Martha Graham
Presented in a 'journal' style, this site discusses a dancer's experience in learning four of Martha Graham's challenging dances. Macromedia Flash is needed to view the site and dances.

DMOZ Open Directory Project: Performing Arts: Dance (service discontinued: 2017)
A directory of websites subdivided by style, resources and more.

Free to Dance
PBS three-part documentary about African-American contributions to dance. While designed to supplement the televised series, this site is helpful and infomative on its own.

KET Arts Toolkit: Dance
While primarily focused on teaching dance through Kentucky's Educational Television, the site offers a glossary, videos demonstrating teaching and styles, and a discussion on "responding to dance" that are helpful to anyone.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP): The Arts
The NAEP is called the "nation's report card" for assessment of learning. This site provides the assessment tools and current results for all arts. Do a search on Dance to locate all specific information on the site.

National Peformance Network
Created to support the independent performer by linking them to local organizations and performance opportunities.

Voice of Dance
Sponsored by Danskin, the site offers a wide variety of resources, event listings, and a limited number of short video performances.

Dance Performance (California K-12 Standards)
If you are going to teach dance performance in the PreK-12 system, this site provides the information you need on the five standards of perception, expression, history, aesthetics, and connections.


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