claire holt traveled to indonesia in the 1930s to research and document the vibrant art and dance culture throughout the islands. because dance was such an integral part of everyday life in indonesia, claire realized that understanding the dance culture would require becoming familiar with the entire indonesian culture, religion and history. she spent all of the 1930s there researching, returning again for a few years in the 1950s and yet again in 1969. the new york public library has digitized most of the huge collection of photographs claire shot during her travels. this is really an incredible treasure of images (and film & manuscripts!) depicting a deep tradition of art, movement, and storytelling. thanks for your hard work, claire!
the collection includes documentation of “animal dances, combat dances, court dances, horse dances, magic and magic dances, puppets and marionettes, ritual and ceremonial dancing, shadow shows, shamanism, street dancing, trance dances, war and weapon dances, and funeral rites and ceremonies.” so awesome!!!