Joining the premillennial rush to package up the past, the national Dance Heritage Coalition is sponsoring its own “Top 100” list: “America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures, The First 100.” What are irreplaceable dance treasures? Fred Astaire’s films? Alvin Ailey’s Revelations? The Graham technique? Martha herself? Maybe. It’s up to you.
Anyone can nominate a “treasure.” It’s a quick and simple process—you can fill out a form online at www.danceheritage.org, or request one from the Dance Heritage Coalition, P.O. Box 15130, Washington, DC 20003.
Nomination categories include: “individual,” “choreographic work,” “training system or technique,” “site,” “production-related material,” “event,” “archives and personal collections,” and “genre.” Sali Ann Kriegsman, the coalition’s president, hopes nominations will come both from professionals and from those outside the field who have been inspired by a dance experience. This could be anything, she suggests, from “seeing The Red Shoes as a child, or perhaps witnessing a corn dance on a pueblo, or taking a tap or swing class from a master teacher.”
The First 100 will be announced in April. The publication of the list, along with descriptions of the treasures, will be “a way of enlarging public awareness of the range and breadth of dance,” Kriegsman explains. “Learning about the rich diversity of our dance culture is, we believe, a great stimulus to future dance creation and practice.” So if dance has moved you, make your picks now: Nominations must be received before the end of the year.