LIST OF ARCHIVE MATERIALS | The Temporary Slovenian Dance Archives, Rok Vevar

TEMPORARY SLOVENE DANCE ARCHIVE

ARCHIVE OF PRINTED MATTER, 2010—

The archive of printed matter comprises several systematic units

 

CHOREOGRAPHY FILES

Choreographers’ files comprise printed matter related to their choreographies (theatre programs, flyers, catalogues of festivals they were featured in and similar), including individual production-related correspondence and manuscripts, and correspondence between artists as well as publications that the authors refer to as choreographic and dance works (choreography books). Some of the files also belong to non-governmental organizations associated with certain choreographers (e.g. Maja Delak & Emanat) and document their entire spectrum of activity (publishing, educational programs and similar).

 

GUEST APPEARANCE FILES

Guest appearance files is where we keep printed matter and correspondence that accompanied guest appearances by foreign choreographers whose work was showcased in Slovenia, mainly in Ljubljana. Most of this material dates from 1980 onward, even though the first post-war guest appearances by foreign choreographers date back to the 1950s, with German choreographer and dancer Harald Kreutzberg being the first to present his work in Slovenia in 1954, and the American dance troupe José Limón Dance Company making a guest appearance in late 1957. The files also comprise a large number of printed materials on performances by contemporary performing artists (various forms of theatre, performance and foreign ballet ensembles).

 

FESTIVAL CATALOGUE FILES

Festival catalogue files comprise catalogues of all contemporary dance and performance arts festivals organized in Slovenia by non-governmental organizations. The oldest catalogue in the collection accompanied the Ljubljana Dance Days festival that was organized in 1976 by the Kinetikon Cultural Association. The decades that followed saw a significant proliferation of NGO-sponsored festivals showcasing contemporary dance and various contemporary performing arts forms.

 

CONTEMPORARY DANCE ASSOCIATION SLOVENIA FILES

The documents comprise correspondence relating to the inception of the association (May 1994) and its activity in the 1990s and into the first decade of the new millennium (programs, plans, statutes and similar) as well as its printed material (all issues of the association’s bulletin Cirkularka). Part of the correspondence was donated by the CDAS, which frequently changed location at one time, and some came from the personal legacy of Ksenija Hribar (1938–1999), one of the Association’s founders.

 

ARTISTS’ FILES

The files comprise printed works of artists involved in contemporary performing arts and their various hybrid practices, most of whom largely work outside institutions. Some of the files keep documents on non-institutional theatres (i.e. NGOs) and collectives, mainly those established in Slovenia after 1970 (Experimental Theatre Glej, Pekarna) and in the period from the mid-1980s to the end of the 1990s, when nonprofit organisations proliferated (this period saw the inception of Marko Košnik’s Egon March Institute, Barbara Novaković-Kolenc’s Muzeum, and Vlado Repnik’s Theatre VR, among others). Mladinsko Theatre (SMG) files comprise printed matter and publications in the media featuring works of the artists who worked between the institutional, non-institutional, and contemporary dance production frameworks.

 

FILES WITH CONTEMPORARY DANCE PEDAGOGY PROGRAMS

The files comprise resources on contemporary dance pedagogy and educational programs for different age groups and contexts (elementary and secondary school, amateur programs) of contemporary dance instruction. The oldest documents are from the early 1960s, but the bulk of them date back to the period after 1977, when Neja Kos assumed the helm of contemporary dance education in the framework of the then Association of Cultural Organisations of Slovenia, the umbrella organization for amateur culture in Slovenia (today’s Public Fund for Amateur Cultural Activities). A large part of materials on contemporary dance education (with indicated sources) comes from the legacy of Ksenija Hribar.

 

REFERENCE LETTER FILES

The collection of reference letters, most of them written by Neja Kos, contemporary dance consultant at the Association of Cultural Organisations of Slovenia between 1977 and 2008, for dancers and choreographers upon their joining various education programs at home and abroad, or as recommendations for obtaining the freelance culture worker status in the Republic of Slovenia, is not only a valuable source of information on artists’ career biographies, but also serves as a resource for expert analysis of their work.

 

PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVE

The photograph collection comprises photographic records of festival editions of Dance Days between 1982 and 1993, and the Summer School of Dance from 1982 onwards. The author of the photographs donated by Neja Kos is photographer Božidar Dolenc (1950‒2008). The collection also features a number of photographs taken at contemporary dance events by Slovenian photographers, while foreign works include several photographs from Ksenija Hribar’s legacy, most of them depicting London Contemporary Dance Theatre productions. The photograph collection of the Temporary Slovene Dance Archive does not keep photographic negatives.

 

AUDIOVISUAL ARCHIVE

The Temporary Slovene Dance Archive keeps some 2000 files with audiovisual materials that directly or indirectly relate to contemporary dance or contemporary performing arts. These include video recordings of dance performances (mainly donated by choreographers themselves) and contemporary performing arts works (theatre, performance, street and site-specific events, and similar), documentaries featuring individual choreographers or contemporary dance contexts, various audiovisual materials that provide analytical insight into these contexts (conversations and interviews, lectures etc.) as well as film documents produced in the course of research conducted by Rok Vevar and associates in the historicization of Slovenian choreographic oeuvres (e.g. historicization of Dance Theatre Ljubljana and of the life and work of Ksenija Hribar). Most of these materials have been digitized. The audiovisual archive also comprises extensive material in various audio and video formats: video (VHS) and digital media and formats (DVD, DVX, mp4, avi etc.).

 

ARCHIVE OF OBJECTS

The objects archive comprises printed matter in unusual shapes and formats (a calendar with a list of non-governmental organizations in the field of contemporary dance and theatre, and visual arts, published by Muzeum Institute, 2000) and other objects made of unusual materials (plastic, wood, metal, paper, fabric etc.) that accompanied specific choreographic and dance works for promotional purposes or were a by-product of theatricalized protocols (a small wooden board and a stone from the Gertrude Stein performance by Theatre VR, 1995, a Živadinov Vodka mug for the Supremat production in SMG, 2002 and more ). Artists and designers used to be extremely creative and generous in producing such objects, especially in the 1990s, but after 2010 these pieces virtually disappeared from contemporary dance and theatre productions as they inevitably come with expenses that meager arts budgets can no longer cover.

 

KSENIJA HRIBAR’S FILES

Ksenija Hribar’s files feature the legacy of dancer, choreographer and contemporary dance activist Ksenija Hribar (1938–1999). This includes various personal and official correspondence and printed material related to her performances at the London Contemporary Dance Theatre (1967–1974), establishment of The Place dance center in London, documentary material on the establishment of Dance Theatre Ljubljana and its activity between 1985 and 1999, various notes and performance scripts as well as a number of other materials relating to her life and work.

 

KSENIJA HRIBAR’S ARCHIVAL MATERIALS

  • Ksenija Hribar’s notes, in which she uses chance operations to find the answer as to whether she should return from London to Ljubljana (“Will I be successful if I go back to Ljubljana?”) and whether she would be successful if she ran for artistic director of the Ljubljana and Maribor ballet ensembles. The notes date from the late 1970s to the early 1980s, when she returned to Ljubljana after a decade and a half. (Donated by: Tanja Sciama Hribar.)
  • The poster from September 1969 announces the first presentation of the London Contemporary Dance Theatre’s repertoire (the group was established in 1967) in the new dance center The Place on the busy Duke Road close to where King’s Cross meets the British National Library. In September 1969 the LCDT repertoire premiered eight choreographies, in which Ksenija Hribar (1938–1999) was featured in four (Shanta Quintet and Cell, choreography: Robert Cohan; Reef, choreography: Patricia Christopher, and Solo and Trio for Two, choreography: Clover Roope). The Place continues to be one of the most important contemporary dance centers in Great Britain and is also home to the London Contemporary Dance School. (Donated by: Eka Vogelnik.)
  • Reviews of London Contemporary Dance Theatre (1967–1994) performances following their first production in October 1967, when they presented themselves to British audiences for the first time. At the time of the notorious “summer of love”, when the hippy and psychedelic pop culture also climaxed in the UK and definitively established London as one of the global pop culture metropolises, the ensemble was tied up in studios and rehearsals. In August, when she was not preparing for debut performances, Ksenija Hribar (1938–1999) along with four of her fellow dancers from the ensemble appeared in several light happenings of the hippy art collective The Exploding Galaxy at the Electric Garden Club in Covent Garden, accompanied by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown playing live. In October 1967, Ksenija Hribar appeared in four of the seven choreographies on the repertoire, one of them being The Witness of Innocence choreographed by the young Canadian dance artist David Earle, in which she danced the part of Lady Jane Grey. The critics, who were not terribly impressed by the piece, described Ksenija Hribar's performance as outstanding and moving. (Donated by: Tanja Sciama Hribar.)
  • Brochures and program booklets that constitute early promotional materials of The Place dance center and the London Contemporary Dance Theatre. (Donated by: Tanja Sciama Hribar, Eka Vogelnik.)
  • The promotional flyer for the performance The Concert (1985) by Dance Theatre Ljubljana, which officially registered under the name in 1985. In May 1985, the ensemble opened the first Druga Godba Festival with its debut performance Baptism, composed of two choreographies: Ksenija Hribar’s Bitter Tears for L.M. and Damir Zlatar-Frey’s Black Marble Letters. In early November she put on the performance Metastasis – Laibach, choreographed by Damir Zlatar-Frey, at Kapelica Gallery on Kersnikova 4, and presented Ksenija Hribar’s The Concert at the Dance Days 85 festival in December. The vital new culture scene in Ljubljana warmly welcomed the collective, which became extremely popular in just its first year of activity. The Concert photographs are part of the photographic documentary material accompanying the Dance Days 85 festival (commissioned by the Association of Cultural Organizations of Slovenia and its consultant Neja Kos) and were taken by Božidar Dolenc. (Donated by: Tanja Sciama Hribar, Neja Kos.) 
  • Promotional brochure of Dance Theatre Ljubljana, most likely from 1987. It comprises excerpts from performance reviews and newspaper articles, a list of performances and photographic images. The booklet follows the design of the promotional materials of the Dance Trust (London), the company that produced London Contemporary Dance Theatre and London Contemporary Dance School, and set up the dance center The Place. Ksenija Hribar had worked with them as a dancer, choreographer, pedagogue and administrator between 1965 and 1980 and wanted to recreate this professional experience both in an artistic and a production context at Dance Theatre Ljubljana when she returned home. (Donated by: Tanja Sciama Hribar, Brane Završan.)
  • Excerpts from video recordings of Ksenija Hribar’s (1938–1999) performances made by photographer, cameraman and audiovisual performing arts archivist Tone Stojko for Dance Theatre Ljubljana and his own audiovisual archive. The excerpts capture her entire choreographic body of work for Dance Theatre Ljubljana and are arranged chronologically.

 

MARIJA VOGELNIK’S FILES

The files comprise the legacy of dancer, pedagogue, editor and critic Marija Vogelnik (née Grafenauer, 1914–2008). They include her typescripts and published reviews, critiques and articles that she wrote for different periodicals from the early 1950s until the early 1990s, various correspondence, lists and records of her historiographical and editorial work at TV Ljubljana from the late 1960s through the early 1980s, documents on the establishment and organization of the Ljubljana Dance Days festival (1976–1979) and various materials on contemporary dance that she had kept with great care.

 

MARIJA VOGELNIK’S ARCHIVE

A collection of dance and ballet books of the architect, artist, dancer, dance historian and critic Marija Vogelnik (1914–2008). (Donated by: Eka Vogelnik)

 

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