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The Choreographic Archive of Siobhan Davies Dance

About the Archive

Project Overview

The Siobhan Davies Archive project began in January 2007, with the aim of bringing together all of the materials and documentation associated with Davies' choreographies into a single collection. It is the first online dance archive in the UK and contains thousands of fully searchable digital records including moving image, still image, audio and text.

Many of the objects within the archive collection have been sourced directly from Davies and her collaborators' personal collections, whilst other items have been kindly lent by institutions and private contributors. Almost all of these objects that would otherwise remain inaccessible and unavailable appear online for the first time, and in many cases represent the first time objects have been viewed by anyone since their original date of creation.

The archive has been made possible by funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).The AHRC funds postgraduate training and research in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. The quality and range of research supported not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. For further information on the AHRC, please see the website www.ahrc.ac.uk.

Scope of the Archive Contents

We have digitised and placed on-line everything within the collection that we have acquired the rights and permissions to do so. This includes the cataloguing of early rehearsal footage and where available, texts and materials used in the inception and creation of a dance-work. Therefore, if you are unable to locate a particular item, it most likely does not exist in the archive, although be sure to try out different combinations of search terms that describe a similar item or idea if your first attempt is unsuccessful. Some specific material, e.g. dancers' personal rehearsal clips, are available only upon registration to the site.

Key Features

  • Filmed records of choreographies, in performance and in the studio, including rehearsal 'scratch tapes' where reproduction permission has been obtained;
  • Exhaustive photographic collection relating to Davies' work, contributed by a selection of renowned photographers and regular Davies collaborators. A number of close collaborators and associates have been invited to create their own scrapbook having spent some time exploring the archive. These scrapbooks provide a glimpse into the path they took through the archive and why;
  • Digitised print and collections, including notation of dance extracts, where reproduction permission has been obtained;
  • User generated multimedia 'scrapbooks' enabling the private and public storing of objects of interest to support research, study or for general interest;
  • Two works, Bird Song and In Plain Clothes, include 'Kitchens' which are prototyped new presentations of the digital objects for these works. These presentations bring together objects or 'ingredients' organised according to their role in the making or the 'cooking' of a work. As an object in itself, each Kitchen lays out the digital resources in an alternative way.
  • Access to the archive is free, however, due to reproduction permissions and agreements some parts of the collection require special permission.
  • A comprehensive chronology provides details all Davies' choreographic works since 1972


The project constitutes a wholly collaborative venture between Coventry University and Siobhan Davies Dance and is managed by a steering group of individuals from each of the two main collaborators together with a group of dance and technology experts.

We are grateful to all those who have already and continue to contribute materials for the archive. Our thanks go to all contributors.