Scope and arrangement
The Marcia B. Siegel papers (1959-1995) document Siegel's career as a dance critic, teacher, and as an advocate for professional dance criticism. The collection includes writings, correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, clippings, publications, and photographs. The materials address subjects such as the status of dance criticism in American journalism, the role of the dance critic, and the observation and description of movement.
Correspondence files chiefly contain letters written to Siegel in the 1970s. Letters are from fellow critics, aspiring critics, editors, teachers, and dancers, and are often accompanied by typescripts and clippings of reviews. Letters discuss Siegel's writings, the West Coast Institute for Dance Criticism, trends in dance and dance criticism, and recent works by dancers. Correspondents include Jane Goldberg, Janet Light, Suzanne Shelton, writer Laura Shapiro, Diane Jacobowitz, John Mueller, and Oliver Roosevelt.
The collection documents Siegel's work with the Dance Critics Association (DCA), the West Coast Institute for Dance Criticism, and Dance Scope magazine. DCA files contain meeting minutes, correspondence, and the organization's publications. The West Coast Institute files contain information on logistics and planning, sessions and workshops, and Institute applicants; the materials consist primarily of correspondence, schedules, clippings, reports, and writings by participants. Dance Scope files contain records such as minutes from meetings of the magazine's board, statements of purpose, correspondence about the editorship of the magazine, reports on the magazine's administration and finances, and fundraising correspondence.
Writing and editing files contain Siegel's correspondence with editors and publishers, and manuscripts of her books and articles. Correspondence includes book proposals, contributor guidelines, ideas for articles and reviews, and rejection and acceptance letters. Manuscripts include typescripts of Siegel's articles, both published and unpublished; a draft manuscript of her book, The Shapes of Change: Images of American Dance, with handwritten corrections; a draft manuscript and research material for Please Run on the Playground, a report on movement education in Connecticut; and draft articles from the summer 1969 issue of Dance Perspectives, which Siegel guest-edited. The files also contain a few magazines and dance programs containing Siegel's writing, and clippings of Siegel's early work for local newspapers and alumni publications, which are unrelated to dance.
Files on teaching and speaking engagements contain correspondence regarding pay and scheduling, and descriptions and proposals for Siegel's courses, workshops, lectures, and panel discussions. In some cases, the files also contain Siegel's notes and students' assessments of classes. Siegel also worked as a consultant or advisor on various dance-related projects in both paid and volunteer capacities. Consulting files contain correspondence, reports, and notes relating to museum exhibits, oral history projects, dance performances, and other projects.
The collection contains one file of professional dance photographs, primarily taken at the American Dance Festival at Connecticut College in the 1960s by Fannie Helen Melcer. Subjects include Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, Lucas Hoving, José Limón, and Paul Taylor.
The collection is arranged in seven categories: Correspondence; Dance Critics Association; Dance Scope; West Coast Institute for Dance Criticism; Writing and Editing; Teaching, Speaking, and Consulting; and Photographs. Teaching, Speaking, and Consulting files are arranged alphabetically by organization name.