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Online index of performances?

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Hi Everyone,

For movies, we have imdb.com, for broadway there is ibdb.com . . . is there anywhere online we can look up a comprehensive index of ballet performances with full casts, etc.?

Also, is there anywhere with indexes/scans of playbills?

Thanks, Paris.

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Ballet performances are rather more numerous than films, so there is no one comprehensive database. However, several opera houses have online archives your can search.

For the Royal Opera House there is http://www.rohcollections.org.uk

The Paris Opera has online archives going back to 1989 http://www.memopera.fr

The Bolshoi Theater has cast lists going back about five years. However these are not comprehensive because things like galas, festivals and performances by visiting companies are not included. http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/performances/#ballet

La Scala has a searchable archive going back to the 1950s. It includes scanned posters with full casts and watermarked photos. Accessing the archives requires creating an account and password. http://www.archiviolascala.org

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You can get a lot of information out of the NY Public Library dance collection catalog (first performances, casts, etc) but as volcanohunter points out, there are so many different performances from so many different companies, many of whom don't keep that information online in their own databases -- it's a conundrum.

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The Metropolitan Opera has computerized cast lists for every one of its performances over the last 130 years. However, they have archived only their own performances, and not the thousands of ballet performances that have taken place on its stages over the years. So the Metropolitan Opera on tour in Japan: yes; the Royal Danish Ballet on tour at the Met: no.

It would be up to ABT to compile an online archive of its performances, and they have not done so yet. The "Library" in the "Education and Training" section of ABT's web site includes a repertory archive that lists the first cast to perform the ballets in ABT's rep, and the first casts to perform them with ABT, but it does not include a catalogue of each and every performance. http://www.abt.org/education/archive/index.html

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Right now, there's an incredible diversity in company websites. Some include significant information about the history of the group, their past and current repertory, their artistic staff, their budget and financial information. Some barely include this season's performance schedule. My hometown company (Pacific Northwest Ballet) does pretty well -- they've got substantial information about the current season, links to some good video, online versions of the bios we see in the programs, and even a couple years' worth of annual reports on their website. But although they have a mostly-complete list of "current repertory," it doesn't always include information about when the company performed the work, and it doesn't list works they no longer dance, even if they were mainstays of the company in earlier days. And they don't always include program essays or other work -- their archivist wrote a great series of short essays this year for their anniversary, and not only are they not on the website, they weren't even in the regular program -- they were passively distributed in the lobby. If you knew they were there, you could pick them up, but they didn't think to promote them in the program that I saw.

The Twyla Tharp website has been recently buffed up, and it's excellent. There are entries for each of her works, including premier dates and casts, subsequent performances, excerpts from press coverage, still photos, and in many cases, video clips. If only more artists and companies were able to do this kind of work.

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