Eye on Dance Records, 1966-1995
Eye on Dance was a television series determined to create an historical record of American dance using a combination of interviews and video illustrations. Each episode consisted of one or more interviews either profiling the subject or addressing a larger issue in the world of dance specifically or the arts in general. Each interview was supported by relevant dance visuals, either filmed previously or performed on the set.
Eye on Dance was produced by Celia Ipiotis and Jeffrey Bush, and was hosted by Ipiotis. After taping a pilot episode in 1979, the series began in 1981 and produced 324 episodes through its conclusion in 1992. The show aired on public television stations WNYC and WNYE in New York City throughout that time, as well as on local cable channels for part of its run. The series continued to be rerun on public television for several years after the production of its last original episode.
Ipiotis, who had been a dancer, and Bush, who was a filmmaker specializing in the arts, had collaborated earlier on the idea of "Videodance". The concept was that of creating original dance pieces for television and video, as opposed to trying to translate stage choreography to the small screen. Their idea was to use the camera as a moving component in the choreography itself. Ipiotis and Bush also founded Arts Resources in Collaboration, a non-profit organization which fostered local dancers and dance companies, as well as other artists, in Upper Manhattan with the goal of introducing them to the local community. Eye on Dance combined both these projects by providing a television forum for dance and dancers.
The series had an eclectic mix of dance styles represented, with episodes devoted to ballet, break dancing and everything in between. In addition to dancers and choreographers, guests included doctors, filmmakers, politicians and even New York Mets pitcher Ron Darling. Interviews on the show were professional rather than personal, encouraging guests to discuss their techniques, their philosophies and their views on trends and issues in the arts.