The Merrill Brockway Library at NDI New Mexico is home to the archive and legacy of television and film producer, and patron of the arts, Merrill Brockway. Merrill gifted his collection to NDI New Mexico upon his passing at age 90 in 2013 for use by students of The Hiland Theater and The Dance Barns in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. His collection has been used to teach a new generation of young dancers about the wide world of dance.
The Merrill Brockway Library is both a physical space in The Dance Barns in Santa Fe as well as a digital space on the NDI New Mexico cloud servers. The collection is ever expanding and over the past decade has grown considerably through donations of DVD’s, book, images, and even VHS tapes.
The faculty at NDI New Mexico use these valuable resources to teach dance history and appreciation. During the Covid-19 pandemic NDI New Mexico developed a new curriculum based on this library called The Complete Dancer. These classes met twice per week, online, and walked intermediate, advanced and adult students through three distinct syllabi. First, focusing on the women of modern dance from Isadora Duncan through Twyla Tharp. Dancers watched videos of works by Anna Halprin, Simone Forti, Pina Bausch, Mary Wigman, Martha Graham, Loie Fuller, Ruth St. Denis, Martha Clarke, Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, Doris Humphrey, Yvonne Rainer, Katherine Dunham, Honya Holm and others.
Later, attention was given to dance as social justice where students studied works by Alvin Ailey, Bill T. Jones, Donald Byrd, Arthur Mitchell, Alexandra Beller, and Gerald Casel. Finally, a collection of videos from around the world were presented as an introduction to folk and cultural dances. These videos included dances from the Middle East, Europe, and Asia and served as a jumping off point for vibrant discussions on dance appreciation and dance criticism.