With currently around 8,500 videos, the Media Library for Dance and Theatre at the International Theatre Institute (ITI) is one of the most extensive, publicly accessible audiovisual documentation centres for performing arts in Germany.
The media library collections range from film documents and recordings of the dance and theatre avant-garde of the 1920s to those of current dance and theatre productions. National and international developments in contemporary and classical dance, speech, music, object and movement theatre as well as other performative formats can be researched here. A particularly extensive collection form the recordings of contemporary dance in Berlin, which have been continuously produced by the former mime centrum berlin since the 1990s.
The media library is especially used by students from various artistic and scientific fields, researchers, journalists as well as producers and actors of dance and theatre, but it is also open to all other interested parties.
The media library is a space for the mediation of art and public: Regularly, events take place in the media library which are concerned with cultural-policy, aesthetics or cultural theory and history.
The media library is open for users without registration and free of charge; groups are akindly asked to consultate the mime centrum staff before their visit. Information regarding the videos and books of the collcetions can be researched comfortably online via the media catalogue. Please note, that viewing of material is only possible in the rooms of the mime centrum. For copy right reasons it is not allowed to rent any of the available material.
The staff of the mime centrum will be happy to assist you with your questions concerning audiovisual documentations as well as in the case of more extensive research requests. Please feel free to talk to us in person or to contact us via E-Mail.
In addition to the continuous expansion of the media library with collections of artists and companies, of theatres and production houses as well as of festivals and other dance and theatre archives, the media library collection has various special focal points:
1. Contemporary Dance in Berlin (since 1995)
2. From the Baltic to the Aegean (Focus: Theatre and Dance from Central, Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe)
3. Theatre in Public Space
4. Music Theatre NOW
5. Cultural Education
Introductions to the Media Library and Public Events
In addition to individual consultations, the staff of the media library offers topical introductions for groups focused on topics such as dance, movement theatre or performance. Especially students can gain multifarious insights into the various formats of the performing arts. Please contact us with your request. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about possible appointments and advice on suitable topics for your class, course or group.
Development of the Media Library
The development of the media library is closely connected with the existence and functioning of the former mime centrum berlin. The starting point of the media library was the creation and development of a video studio. With financial support of the Dutch government, in 1993 a first technological infrastructure for the audiovisual documentation of dance and theatre could be installed. In consultation with and support by the Berlin Cultural Administration and in close cooperation with the Berlin dance scene, the project of an up to now more than 20-year long continuous practise of audiovisual documentation of contemporary dance in Berlin was started. The documents created in this context formed the first basis for a publicly accessible and usable media library. Step by step archival stocks of national and international production houses could be integrated, for example of the Hebbel-Theater Berlin, of the festivals Tanz im August and Theater der Welt as well as of numerous other projects and institutions.
Today the extension of the media library stocks is organised in direct cooperation with theatre and dance companies, directors and choreographers, with theatres, production houses as well as with festivals, who take an interest in making their audiovisual documents accessible to a wider public.
The Video Studio of the Media Library
In addition to the collection and archiving of film material, the mime centrum is active in the creation of audiovisual documentation material of productions of dance and theatre – both national and international. Here, a focus lies on the theatre developments in Central, Central Eastern and South Eastern European countries.
The digital refurbishment of audiovisual documentations is a central working area of the media library. On the basis of professional digitalisation lines, film documents can be preserved for the long term and made available in the media library. The post-digitalisation of existing analogue film documents is another core area.
If you have questions regarding the audiovisual documentation of your performance/lecture performance etc., please feel free to contact the staff of our video studio.