Terpsichore is alive and well in America,” said Jacqueline Davis, executive director of the Library for the Performing Arts, at the opening of “America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures.” What she meant was, the
history of American dance is alive and well, efflorescing in the gallery at the library’s Amsterdam Avenue entrance.
Artifacts of dance on this continent since the 1830s fill the room, including the tiny boots worn by Agnes de Mille in the original production of her ballet Rodeo and the wardrobe trunk that followed Jerome Robbins on tour. There are photos of Pavlova and Danilova, St. Denis and Graham, and three stations of moving images, including a video of Graham performing Lamentation. The Nicholas Brothers and John Bubbles represent generations of tap dancers; missing, it appears, is serious documentation of break dancing. But you can ogle Peter Moore’s photos of the Judson Dance Theater and check out a very young Deborah Jowitt.