Ausdance National Honorary Life Member and former Vice-President Lee Christofis is retiring. After six and a half years as Curator of Dance at the National Library of Australia he will finish up on Friday 5 April.
Margy Burn, Assistant Director at the National Library notes Lee's significant contribution:
Notable new collections acquired for the Library arising from Lee’s work include the papers of Irina Baronova, Janet Vernon and Graeme Murphy, and the records of the NAISDA Dance College. Lee has completed more than fifty oral history interviews with dancers, choreographers, administrators and others associated with dance. Lee has selected beautiful photographs documenting the work of leading companies, choreographers and performers as well as designs for sets and costumes, including the archive of Kristian Fredrikson.
Two major projects which occupied Lee during his curatorship were the Ballets Russes project, a long running research collaboration with the University of Adelaide and the Australian Ballet and a project to document Indigenous contemporary dance. Both projects leave significant enduring research resources for the study, enjoyment and understanding of dance in Australia.
Dr Isobel Johnston, Lee's curatorial assistant, will be the initial contact for dance research, advice and assistance. Lee will continue to undertake Oral History interviews for the Library and support the acquisition of dance resources.
The position of Dance Curator will not be replaced, following a decade of special focus on dance at the NLA. It has been announced the next special focus area will be on Indigenous collections and a new Curator of Indigenous collections will continue to build on Lee’s work to document and collect resources for the study of Indigenous dance.