Artistry & Athleticism: Dance in the Digital Collections

By Carrie McBride, Communications
August 3, 2022

Dance Party NYC, a citywide festival of music and movement (including dance parties at many of our library branches), is taking place on Saturday, August 6, 2022 and it's put us in a mood for dance! 

Did you know that NYPL's Digital Collections contain thousands of dance images? From rehearsals to studio portraits to live stage productions, in dance styles as diverse as vaudeville and burlesque to ballet and Broadway, there is something for every dance lover. The photographs below are a tiny sample of what you can discover These links will get you started and you can also search the Digital Collections for a specific dancer, choreographer, company, or dance. 

Get your own #DancePartyNYC started with this playlist curated by NYPL librarians! 

Maud Madison

NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: variety_0326v

Dancer in handstand wearing rhinestone costume

Photo by Strand. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: variety_0120v

Pearl Primus dancing, likely at Cafe Society Downtown

Photo by Myron Ehrenberg, 1945. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 5813282

Photo by Herbert Migdoll. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 98F1966

Jerome Robbins' Broadway rehearsal, no. 3, 1989.

Photo by Martha Swope. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 57831770

Martha Graham Dance Company, "Panorama", choreography by Martha Graham. 1993.

Photo by Martha Swope. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: swope_1215061

Gregory Hines, 1981.

Photo by Kenn Duncan. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: ps_the_cd71_1099

Alvin Ailey and Nathaniel Horne compete for the affections of Minnie Marshall in this dance from Alvin Ailey's Blues Suite, no. 14. 1958.

NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: psnypl_dan_1575

Jerome Robbins and Maria Tallchief in George Balanchine's Prodigal Son, no. 14

Photo by George Platt Lynes, 1950. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 57495027

Uday Shankar and company. 1951.

Photo by Roger Wood. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 98F1694

Cal and Ethel Norris

Photo by De Mirjian. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: variety_0146v

A scene from the Broadway production of the musical "A Chorus Line." 1980

Photo by Martha Swope. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: swope_206506

Tanaquil Le Clercq in The Nutcracker

Photo by Frederick Melton. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 58130785

Trinity, the Joffrey Ballet. Choreographed by Gerald Arpino.

Photo by Herbert Migdoll. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 98F2435

Images used in this post from the Friedman-Abeles Collection have been preserved, cataloged, and digitized through the generosity of Nancy Abeles Marks and the Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust.