The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Acquires The Joffrey Ballet's Complete Archives

March 31, 2017

Collection encompasses the ballet company's creation through present day

 

March 31, 2017 - On the occasion of the company's return performances in New York after 22 years, The Joffrey Ballet has donated its complete archives to The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The collection spans the entirety of the company's history, thoroughly documenting its conception and early years, its decision to relocate from New York to Chicago, and through the Joffrey's current success.

 

The Joffrey Ballet Archive measures approximately 575 linear feet, and includes six boxes of 8mm and 16mm film as well as over 60 boxes of beta and VHS, making it one of the most significant collections within the Dance Division's holdings. The collection includes rare film footage, annotated conductor scores, the photographs of Herbert Migdoll and personal and business correspondence of the company’s co-founders Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino.

 

Under the artistic direction of Ashley Wheater, The Joffrey Ballet recently celebrated its 61st Anniversary since its 1956 founding by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino in New York City. Twenty-two years ago, the company made a surprise exit from New York, moving to Chicago, where it has been based ever since. Classically trained to the highest standards, the world-renowned ballet company expresses a unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly embracing the diversity of America with its company, audiences, and repertoire which includes major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces and contemporary works.

 

"The Joffrey Ballet's collection already feels at home at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, where many of Robert Joffrey's papers and the footage of the company are already housed and enjoyed by researchers, dancers, students, and the public," said Greg Cameron, Executive Director of The Joffrey Ballet. "This remarkably comprehensive and fascinating collection will enrich the Library's offerings as a whole, and open up exciting new possibilities for anyone interested in dance, and the special history of our dance company."

 

"The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is so grateful to The Joffrey Ballet for its generous donation of such an important archive," said Jacqueline Z. Davis, Barbara G. and Lawrence A. Fleischman Executive Director of The Library for the Performing Arts. These materials offer much for our patrons to discover and learn from, and we look forward to a long and exciting relationship with the company for many years to come."

 

The Joffrey Ballet Archive will be processed over the next year at NYPL's Library Services Center in Long Island City, and then made available for research at The Library for the Performing Arts' Jerome Robbins Dance Division.

 

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, actively preserving 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.

 

About The New York Public Library For The Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts houses one of the world’s most extensive combinations of circulating, reference, and rare archival collections in its field. These materials are available free of charge, along with a wide range of special programs, including exhibitions, seminars, and performances. An essential resource for everyone with an interest in the arts — whether professional or amateur — the Library is known particularly for its prodigious collections of non-book materials such as historic recordings, videotapes, autograph manuscripts, correspondence, sheet music, stage designs, press clippings, programs, posters and photographs. The Library is part of The New York Public Library system, which has 92 locations in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island, and is a lead provider of free education for all.

 

About The Joffrey Ballet

Classically trained to the highest standards, The Joffrey Ballet expresses a unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its company, audiences, and repertoire which includes major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces, and contemporary works.

 

The Company’s commitment to accessibility is met through an extensive touring schedule, an innovative and highly effective education program including the much lauded Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Community Engagement programs, and collaborations with myriad other visual and performing arts organizations.

 

 

Founded by visionary teacher Robert Joffrey in 1956, guided by celebrated choreographer Gerald Arpino from 1988 until 2007, The Joffrey Ballet continues to thrive under internationally renowned Artistic Director Ashley Wheater and Executive Director Greg Cameron.