In 1979, dance critic Barbara Newman began conducting interviews with ballet dancers. Edited versions of these interviews were later published in several collections. The full interviews lived only on audiocassettes, a medium with a limited lifespan, nearing obsolescence.
Over the course of two years, four sessions of Professor Anthony Cocciolo’s Projects in Digital Archives class at the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science have worked to digitize and preserve Newman’s interviews. This website provides access to a small portion of her work to all those who wish to learn more about the unique moment in the history of ballet that she so diligently captured.
Barbara Newman, born in New York and based in London, has been a critic and writer on dance for over thirty years. Newman is a former student of Merce Cunningham and Richard Thomas. She served as an interviewer for the School of American Ballet’s Oral Preservation Project and as a principal researcher for Popular Balanchine, an archival initiative by the George Balanchine Foundation.
In her career as a dance writer she has written for County Life, Dancing Times, and BBC Radio. Most notably, she has published several books of collected interviews. Newman began interviewing dancers in 1979, recording their experiences and insights. The interviews trace the heights of popularity and innovation in ballet throughout the twentieth century and around the world.
The purpose of this statement is to identify the source of copyrighted materials, and to provide evidence of their fair use in this collection. The digital audio interviews are the property of Barbara Newman. Images of each dancer being interviewed appear next to the biographical information for the individual. When photographers could be identified, their work was credited. Other images were drawn from the public domain.
We wish to emphasize that none of the images used in this collection are the property of the Pratt Institute or Barbara Newman, and are not in any way authorized for use by a third party.
In the creation of this digital collection, we adhere to the Dance Heritage Coalition’s “Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use of Dance-Related Materials.” With the aid of that document, as well as the content of section 107 through 118 of the copyright law, we have determined that our use of copyrighted and “orphaned” (unidentifiable) visual resources is covered under the provisions of the Fair Use Doctrine in the following four essential ways:
1. The images are small portions of the oeuvre of the individual photographers, and do not constitute a threat to the commercial success of the individuals in question. The Pratt Institute does not in any way profit from the access or dissemination of the images or from the digital archive overall.
2. Our use of these small excerpt of visual media will have no net effect on the market value of these resources. They will continue to retain their value as part of each photographer’s vast body of work.
3. Education is the ultimate goal. Dance is a primarily visual medium, and is uniquely dependent on a variety of mediums, from photograph, to video, to digital image. Therefore, it is highly important to be able to visually identify the dance professionals who are represented in this archival collection. The addition of images, when available, brings a significant added contextual value to the collection, without which the resource would be significantly less comprehensive. The intended use of the digital collection is to fulfill the general mission of Dance Collections, to collect and preserve dance-related materials, and to make them accessible by a wide range of users.
4. The nature of the visual resources in use is inherently transformative. One way that Dance Collections accomplish their mission is by creating educational exhibitions. They are considered transformative because dance materials that are presented in a scholarly or informational context are fundamentally different from the original context of dance and dance-related materials, which was to entertain an audience.