Dance Rarities Curated in a New Performing Arts Catalogue

A catalogue of film and video materials held by the archives and collections of BFI, Arts Council England, LUX, Central St Martins British Artists Film & Video Study Collection is now available as a free downloadable pdf from the British Film Institute website. Aimed at encouraging engagement between the arts and the moving image, the catalogue documents the histories of theatre, acting, dance, music, performance art and oratory (from politics to poetry) on film and television.

The catalogue references about 3,500 film and video titles held by the above mentioned collections, including titles from the very beginnings of cinema (1895) through to recent works and shows the richness and particularity of the different collections. It offers a new resource for programmers, curators, researchers, students, performers, practitioners, artists and filmmakers.

Margot Fonteyn in The Little Ballerina (1947) ©BFI

BFI’s classical dance resources can also be browsed online:

  • Ballet Film Collections
    Two significant collections, of independent amateur filmmaker Lord Wakehurst (1895-1970), and BBC film director Margaret Dale (1922-2010)
  • Classical Performers
    Focused on the world’s most famous ballet dancers, including Anna Pavlova, Alicia Markova, Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev and Sylvie Guillem.
  • Choreographers & Companies
    The international ballet companies and individual choreographers most influential on the form historically and to date, from Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes to Matthew Bourne.
  • Ballet Films
    A chronological listing of various ballet films ranging across era and genre, including documentaries, commissions and experimental work.
  • Composers
    Including the works for ballet by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and Benjamin Britten.

The Performing Arts on Film & Television Catalogue was commissioned as an Arts Council England initiative to support projects and develop strategies that promote engagement with the arts through the moving image.

We started The Ballet Bag in April 2009 with the mission to prove that ballet is not stuffy, old fashioned and inaccessible; that it is quite the opposite: relevant, fresh and topical. With the aim to Give Ballet a New Spin we try to show it under a different light. When writing our capsule biographies, ballet fact cards, review roundups and commentary on social media, we cross it over with other art forms and cultural references (pop culture, cinema, rock music – ie. other things we love!).