A prestigious collection of dance films housed at UNSW is providing a free resource for dance educators and researchers.

The ReelDance Moving Image Collection is an archive of works by more than 200 renowned and emerging artists, tracking the development of dance on screen over the past 13 years in Australia and internationally.

Curators include ReelDance founding director and UNSW dance lecturer, Dr Erin Brannigan, and celebrated choreographer and film director, Tracie Mitchell.

“There is no other archive like this in the world,” says Dr Brannigan. “It is very difficult to gain permission from artists to make their works freely available and even harder to find a platform to support streaming films online – this is a real privilege.”

The archive includes dance films by previous UNSW Dance Residents Narelle Benjamin, Sue Healey, Nalina Wait, Kate Champion, Martin del Amo and Meryl Tankard.

Some of Australia's most promising new choreographers have also benefited from UNSW's Dance Research Residency Program, an annual collaboration between Critical Path and the Creative Practice Lab in the School of the Arts and Media.

The ReelDance collection will provide resources for teaching, research and artistic development in dance, an art form Dr Brannigan describes as “notoriously difficult to pin down”.

“Dance is rarely transcribed into another medium – it always happens in real-time. The only way it can be studied is by re-watching filmed performances which make up a part of this accessible collection,” says Dr Brannigan.

The ReelDance Moving Image Collection was launched at UNSW by producer and founding partner of Porchlight Films, Vincent Sheehan.  

“The collection’s home at UNSW means this diverse, comprehensive and exciting collection is accessible to anyone who genuinely wants to explore dance,” said Sheehan.

The archive will be housed in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Repository in the UNSW Library.

View the collection here

Media contact: Fran Strachan, UNSW Media office | 9385 8732 | 0429 416 070