MS Acc10.084 comprises reports, correspondence, articles, promotional material, photographs and notes on National Library of Australia dance projects including the Esso Performing Arts and Oral History Archive Project, Keep Dancing, Australia Dancing, Dance People Dance exhibition, and the Ballets Russes project; and, correspondence, reports, lectures and addresses from Michelle Potter's time as curator of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, New York Public Library; and, correspondence and other documentation pertaining to the Khmer Dance project.
The collection also includes material relating to Dancing Across Borders, a film by Anne Bass, including early drafts of scripts; personal correspondence with Anna Volkova Barnes, Alan Brissenden, Lisa Bolte, Tamara Tchinarova Finch, Maina Gielgud, Geoffrey Ingram, Regis Lansac, Monica Moseley, Meryl Tankard, Valrene Tweedie, Meg Denton and others; publications by Potter including Hong Kong International Dance Conference, A passion for dance, and A collector's book of Australian dance; a list of Potter's publications and oral history recordings; and, material relating to Australian Dance Awards, Scandinavian tour, and oral history interview (10 boxes).
Dancer, dance writer and curator, oral history interviewer. Michelle Potter was born in Sydney and learnt to dance with Joan and Monica Halliday, Ronne Arnold and Valrene Tweedie. She began her professional career in 1959 and in the mid-1960s worked with Tweedie's choreographic ensemble, Ballet Australia. In the 1970s and 1980s she taught for Janet Karin and Bryan Lawrence at the National Capital Ballet School in Canberra, and choreographed and appeared in numerous productions. In the 1980s she completed a doctorate in art history and dance history at the Australian National University.
Between 1988 and 1990 Potter was the National Library of Australia's Esso Fellow in the Performing Arts, and, in 1996 curated a national touring exhibition, Dance People Dance for the Library. From 1997-2001 she managed the Keep Dancing! project at ScreenSound Australia. Her articles and reviews have appeared in many journals and newspapers. In 1994, she founded Brolga: an Australian journal about dance. She was appointed inaugural curator of dance at the National Library of Australia in 2002, and in 2006 became curator of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Potter received the award for services to dance at the 2003 Australian Dance Awards.