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Dancing on the Web (from the Houston Chronicle's website)

Streaming video is relatively uncharted territory for dance Web sites. The pioneer of the moment is New York-based videographer Dennis Diamond, whose clips of several important premieres this season appear on, a Web site devoted to "flash reviews" available the morning after performances.

Flash videos often have spotty lighting, and the movement isn't perfectly smooth -- but for dance fans who can't be in New York or Durham, N.C., or the Berkshires this summer, Diamond's 30-second clips at least give a sense of the real work.

"Practically speaking, we can't show the whole thing," explains Paul Ben-Itzak, Dance Insider's editor and publisher, "but it does give a visualization."

In recent weeks, Diamond has provided a peek at the premiere of Pilobolus Dance Theater's Tsu-ku-tsu; a collaboration with former Kodo Drummers star Lenard Eto, at New York's Joyce Theater; and performances by Garth Fagan Dance and RythMEK (a new company founded by former stars of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company) from the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts. Clips of the Trisha Brown, Monte/Brown, Jennifer Muller, David Parsons and Philadanco dance companies are also viewable on the site. The 1.3-megabyte videos require a Quicktime plug-in (and take about four minutes to download on this writer's Macintosh).

"They're the video equivalent of the still photos that appear in newspapers," Diamond explains. He shoots two or three minutes' worth with a digital camera during final dress rehearsals, edits the clip and releases it within six hours.

The Web project grew from another, less successful effort. Diamond received a $25,000 grant last year from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation to provide New York's TV news organizations with video clips of six dance performances at the Joyce Theater. He soon discovered that dance is an extremely low priority on the TV news agenda. When was launched in February, however, it welcomed the clips -- and wanted more.

"We'd like to get more funding to continue and expand our coverage," Diamond says. At this point, he's still trying to convince some skeptical dance companies that the project is aboveboard. "It's like when CNN first started showing up at press conferences 25 years ago and nobody understood cable," he says. Diamond's video clips can also be seen occasionally on three other Web sites:, and


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