Toneelstof: a dynamic online platform for discursive performing arts history

Between 2007 and 2010 a series of four documentary DVDs was published together with a special issue of the Flemish theater magazine Documenta. The concept was to combine newly conducted in-depth interviews and video material from public television. These DVDs, covering the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, offer a valuable insight into recent developments in the Flemish performing arts. Last summer, the Vlaams Theaterinstituut (VTi) launched a new website, reviving the material from the DVDs within an online environment: www.toneelstof.be. The interviews – which are fully text-searchable – are considered the backbone of the website. The visualization on a timeline reveals different kinds of connections and cross-references in the interviews (e.g., who is talking about whom and about which productions?). The interviews are complemented by video fragments, reviews, and photographs from different sources. The VTi database provides extra context about the people, organizations, and productions featuring on the website, and leads visitors to the VTi collection for more thorough research. A wiki functions as a flexible edit environment in order to have the website grow on a daily basis. New interviews are conducted in 2013 and regularly new digital material is added to the website. The website is in Dutch. A presentation on the project in English is available on http://prezi.com/i2pmj2do5kgb/revaluingtheatricalheritage_presentatietoneelstof/...

Oral Histories – Documenting the Performing Arts

The main objective of the Centro de investigación y recursos de las artes escénicas de Andalucía (CIRAE) has been to increase knowledge and understanding and to promote the study of history in the Andalusian Performing Arts. In this sense, since the birth of the centre, the audio-visual department has been recording all main events: professional theatre and dance performances, workshops and courses by theatre and dance practitioners, seminars etc. in order to maintain the evolution of our collection for students, researchers and the general public – for both present and future generations. In this context we have since 2007 conducted and recorded 20 Oral Histories’ interviews, about 40 hours’ worth in total, with performing arts’ personalities responsible for, or related to, performances produced in the 60’s and 70’s. Actors, directors, authors, critics, technicians, dancers etc. have all been included. These interviews are full life histories with the emphasis given to the narrator’s own personal experience, and a unique point of view as a source of knowledge....