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ALA Annual 2014 meeting minutes

Dance Librarians Discussion Group minutes
ALA Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Las Vegas Convention Center, N234

Sunday, June 29, 2014, 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

Attendees: Tara Davis (Dance Heritage Coalition), Sara DeWaay (University of Michigan), Sara Harrington (Ohio University), Ginny Heinrich (Macalester College), Lindsay King (Yale University), Robert Labaree (University of Southern California), Leza Madsen (Western Washington University), and Helice Koffler (University of Washington)

  • Introductions
  • We immersed ourselves in Las Vegas lore and dance with our special guests Su Kim Chung, Head Special Collections Public Services at the University of Las Vegas and Nancy Hardy, a former Las Vegas showgirl, who has been assisting UNLV in its farsighted efforts to document the popular entertainment industry.
  • Su Kim discussed several of UNLV’s most notable archival collections relating to dance, including the extensive papers of Donn Arden, one of the legendary producers of many of the most extravagant Las Vegas production shows (including the still-running Jubilee!) and Bill Moore, another important producer. A great deal of material related to dance and dancers also can be found in the records of such now-vanished casino hotels, as the Dunes, Sands, and the Thunderbird. Selected items, including costume sketches by designers like Bob Mackie, Pete Menefee, Josephine Spinedi, and José Luis V iñas have been digitized and form the core of the extensive Showgirls digital collection.
  • Nancy discussed her dance training, which included a Ford Foundation scholarship to the San Francisco Ballet. Too tall to continue as a ballerina, Nancy came with a friend to Las Vegas to audition for one of the shows, and wound up falling in love with the place and having one of the longest careers of any dancer in the history of Las Vegas production shows. Nancy performed as a showgirl and dancer in the Stardust Hotel's Lido de Paris, Tropicana Hotel's Folies Bergere, and Jubilee! at Bally's Hotel and Casino. She also served as dance captain at the Stardust, training replacement dancers and serving as a swing.  In lieu of PowerPoint, Nancy thoughtfully brought along memorabilia from her collection, including a much-repaired set of dancing shoes, a scrapbook album, which contained the insoles she had worn out in a two-week period from all the climbing up and down stairs involved in the production, and a snapshot of her taken by Frank Rothstein, the owner of the Stardust (the real life inspiration for the character Robert De Niro plays in Casino) early in her career. Nancy also has conducted several of the  oral histories contained in the All that Jazz collection at UNLV.
  • Helice announced that Felicity Brown, University of Maryland, would be the next Dance Librarians Discussion Group convener. Also joining her will be: Karen Beavers, University of La Verne, Nina Bozak, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Jaimie Beth Colvin, Pepperdine University, Madeleine Fix-Hansen, and Catherine Oravet, Auburn University.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Helice Koffler, hkoffler@u.washington.edu