27 September 2023 13:05

The Royal Academy of Dance acquires Dancing Times photographic archive

After Dancing Times ceased publication following 112 years in print, the archive is now housed at the RAD’s headquarters in Wandsworth.

A still from the film Sun Valley Parade (1941) showing the Nicholas Brothers leaping.

Treasures in the archive include the Nicholas Brothers in the 1941 film Sun Valley Serenade.

The archive comprises approximately 38,000 black and white and colour prints, spanning the period from c.1920 to 2000, making it one of the largest collections of 20th century dance in the world.

The RAD acquired the photographic archive after Dancing Times announced it would cease publication in August 2022, with the final print in September 2022. Editor Jonathan Gray stated it was no longer financially viable. The news was met with great sadness from leading dance industry figures, organisations and writers across the UK.

Dancing Times and the RAD have a close relationship spanning over 100 years. The magazine’s founding editor Philip Richardson spearheaded the inception of the RAD over 100 years ago when it was founded as The Association of Teachers of Operatic Dancing of Great Britain. As a result of this long history, the RAD will be a natural home for the magazine’s extensive archive.

This acquisition has been made possible thanks to generous support from the Linbury Trust who have made a grant towards supporting the acquisition, preservation and cataloguing of the archive, as well as enabling education opportunities for RAD students and the wider dance community.

Speaking of the news, Tim Arthur Chief Executive of RAD said: “Not only was Dancing Times pivotal in the creation of our organisation, it was a much-loved magazine that provided vital discourse around our art form. We are very touched that Dancing Times has entrusted us with its beautiful collection, which we will proudly house in the Wolfson Library and RAD Archive here in Wandsworth, London.”

Stuart Hobley, Director of the Linbury Trust says: “We’re delighted to help secure the future of this extraordinarily rich and diverse collection. From dance legends like Ram Gopal and Fred Astaire, to the passion of local dance competitions; there’s more than 100 years of inspiring stories to discover. And becoming part of the Royal Academy of Dance’s archive is certainly en pointe!”

To learn more about philanthropic support for the Dancing Times photographic archive and the work of the RAD, please contact development@rad.org.uk.

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