Archive has a new home at The Bancroft Library!
We are thrilled to announce Nancy Karp + Dancers’ archive is now housed with Special Collections of The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley. This new home gives access to researchers, the general public, and future generations of choreographers. The many boxes of physical materials include photographs, videos, audio, dance and music scores, programs, posters, correspondence, reviews, school programming, notebooks with choreography notes, dance company records, limited edition artist books and extensive digital files! The archive is comprised of over 40 years of Nancy’s work, the work of the dance company, and the experiences and ideas beginning in 1973 that led to the development of the dance company in the early 1980s.
The archive illustrates Nancy’s role in the lineage of contemporary dance making in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a window into Nancy’s process, her aesthetic of dance making, and the influences and inspiration for her work. The archive honors the present dancers and alumni, musicians, composers, and visual artists and serves as a tribute to them and their impact on the making of her work. Nancy’s unique voice is evident, and with over 40 years of evolution, there remains a continuity and dedication to form that can be recognized from 1973 to now.
Left: Nancy Karp in rehearsal of “On Beauty” at the David Brower Center; photo credit: Bhumi B. Patel
On February 23, 2023, the archive was officially transferred to The Bancroft Library, and will be augmented by future work by Nancy and the dance company. The archive will expand as Nancy’s work continues to develop in the coming years.
A sampling: photographs from Nancy Karp + Dancers’ tour to Croatia and Serbia, an early film of Nancy’s residency in Berlin in the late 1970s, music by composers Charles Amirkhanian, Kuo Dong, and Paul Dresher, costume drawings by Sandra Woodall and Lydia Tanji, set designs by artists Lutz Bacher, Wolfram Erber, and Carol Law, video of “Kristallnacht” from 1993, and video of her most recent work fly through the night, and land near dawn.
Theresa Salazar, Curator of Western Americana at The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley states, “The Nancy Karp + Dancers archive reflects the collaborative nature of work produced by members of the art community, and Nancy Karp’s commitment to bringing together individuals and through her work sustaining the creative enterprise in the Bay Area. The rich archive demonstrates the importance of documentation for telling Nancy’s story; we appreciate that the collection came to us so well organized and lovingly preserved.”
Special thanks to dancer Amy Lewis for her tireless effort in working with Nancy to prepare the archive for the library. Also, we would like to recognize Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) for their preservation services. The materials will be specially cared for by the library’s conservation team.
Right: dancer Amy Lewis in “piano piano,” photo credit: John Hefti