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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dance Resources

A guide to help students conducting library research on dance-related topics.

Finding Dance on Video

This page will walk you through accessing dance performance videos both online and in physical form in MPAL's collection. For additional resource recommendations, check out the Main Library's guide on Finding Images and Video (linked below). In addition to general resources, it features a page specific to dance and theatre.

Online Collections with Access to Full Performances

The library subscription databases listed below include online access to full performances. They are available to you both on and off campus, though you may have to authenticate with your NetID and password to gain access. If you ever encounter a pay wall or other access barrier, please reach out for help using our Ask a Librarian service before paying for a resource!

Online Collections with Access to Performance Excerpts

The collections below are great resources to consult if you are interested in viewing excerpts of dance performances. If you are only interested in accessing full performances, stick to the sources recommended in the preceding box.

Physical Formats: Finding Video at MPAL

The Music & Performing Arts Library has recordings in all formats: VHS, laser disc, and DVD and audio cassettes, LPs, and CDs, and online streaming audio and video. Our CDs and DVDs can be borrowed and we also have equipment in the library to listen to/watch all of the formats we have in our collections. Ask at the Service Desk for help!

When you look up a video in the library catalog, the call number tells you the format of the item, as does the Format information in the Details section.


screenshot of catalog record for DVD highlighting DVD in call number

VHS tapes

screenshot highlighting VHS call number

screenshot of VHS Details


screenshot highlighting LASERDISC in call number