International Dance Day & Atlantic Canada

To celebrate International Dance Day no the 29th April 2021, DCD held a Live Lab showcasing their fabulous collection of dance material especially as related to Atlantic Canada.

Many members of the Canadian dance community were present including Kittiwake Dance Theatre, Live Art Dance and DanceWorks. We even stretched down to New York and across the water to the UK. 

Everybody was so pleased to see one another:

“So excited to see so many friends.”

“Lovely to see all your smiling faces xx.”

“Lovely to see you. Faces I miss.”

Introducing DCD Discover

Amy Bowring, Executive and Curatorial Director of DCD, welcomed everybody to the Lab. Amy introduced DCD Discover, the web archive built by you for you. Amy explained that DCD Discover is useable and searchable and also gives you the agency to do your own archiving. Put simply, you are able to add your own items to DCD Discover whether that’s dance, circus, street theatre or any other aspect of performance. You can create and share simultaneously.

Demonstrating DCD Discover


Amy then demonstrated the search function. She showed how useful the Artificial Intelligence [AI] is in finding items that might otherwise be missed. In this case, the AI had found the search term used in the extracted text for the item rather than in the descriptive text added by the cataloguer. 

Adding new items

The usefulness of the AI was also highlighted when Amy demonstrated how to add items. The AI:

  • Tagged and auto-described the item in seconds
  • Recognised and named other people in the photograph
  • Can be trained. If the tags are changed consistently then the AI will learn this and only use the tag required
  • Will search across multiple spelling, for example Davis and Davies … and will find both
  • Learns, for example if it ‘sees’ enough images of Muriel Mosher it will ‘recognise’ her and add her name into the description of the item

With the software being used for DCD Discover It is also possible to add libraries, such as a text recognition library. Exceptionally useful for handwritten items. 

Making your own collection

Amy next demonstrated how to make your own collection. Once you have registered or logged in, the process is easy. To make the process even easier a series of tutorials will be added to DCD Discover to guide you through the process. 

We have been having some exciting discussions about making your own collection. At the moment you can make your collection private or share its contents. We’ve been discussing whether:

  • You would like to have multiple collections
    • some private, some shared
    • of different dancers or genres
    • of different media types; so one for audio, one for moving image etc.

Would this be useful? What other ideas/suggestions do you have for your collections? What would you like? Please let us know: contact

Requesting your help

We would love it if you could: 

  • add items where none are available. For example, if you search for ‘Fredericton’ no items are found. It would be great if you have add items that you have

We also would like your help to:

  • add information – adding tags – correcting tags – adding the names of people in photographs – identifying dance pieces, choreographies etc. 

We’ll be holding some ‘Data Days’ to do this. Keep an eye on DCD Labs for details sign up our Newsletter to be the first to know.

And finally …

Here’s what the community thinks about DCD Discover:


“Very exciting as a resource”

“This is truly interesting and such an amazing resource for the arts community”

‘Exciting to see what DCD is doing”

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