A week ago today, I got to act out that scene from Frankenstein when Colin Clive powers up his machinery, anxiously watches the body of his monster, Boris Karloff, and then says: It’s alive!
Well, sort of. Actually, I flicked a switch, and my own monster* finally went live. It’s called sanjoyroy.net.
What is sanjoyroy.net?
Essentially, it is my body of work – an ongoing archive of my writing about dance (+ a bit more), dating back to 1994, now gathered in a single place.
The main body consists of 540+ published writings on dance, including articles previously only available in print. They are classified by type: reviews, Step by Step Guides, articles (including programme notes), book chapters, and non-dance writing. All are referenced with bibliographic details, and with a link to the original publication if available online, or to the publisher’s website if not.
Entries are listed in date order, apart from the Guardian’s popular Step by Step Guides (59 user-friendly guides to companies and choreographers), which are listed alphabetically for ease of use.
Entries can be ordered by category, by date, by original publication, by venue (for reviews), and of course, queried using the search form.
It forms an accessible, clearly laid out and easy to read resource for anyone interested in dance, and also a fully referenced and indexed catalogue for students, teachers or researchers.
Other body parts
One to watch – an occasional series of video posts, with commentary. To launch the series, I have chosen the amazing Storyboard P, a real dance artist who combines skill, beauty, poetry and emotion in selected clips that I guarantee will leave you wanting to see more. He’s that good.
Get with the programme – archived material that ties in with a forthcoming dance performance, pulled onto the front page.
A single Comments page for the whole site. Instead of scanning for comments on individual articles, I thought it more useful and accessible to gather all comments, feedback or suggestions onto a single page.
Stay in the loop – subscribe to get updates by email
Blog – a place for miscellaneous announcements, events, freeform thoughts, etc.
Share buttons on each entry for easy sharing by email, Twitter, Facebook etc.
What is your aim?
I’m open. I’m just putting the site up and seeing where it goes. If you have suggestions for features, directions, content, feel free to contact me.
Thanks for reading.
*Is sanjoyroy.net really a monster?
It wasn’t planned that way. I started compiling the site back in January 2012, for two reasons. First, because I’d been doing some research and came across an article that turned out to have been written by – me! So I thought: I should really catalogue my own stuff, and the best way of doing that seemed to be online. Second: I’ve had lots of experience in producing print publications but none online, and I thought it would be a good way to learn.
Learn? Every damn step was a learning curve. I changed template three times, learned bits of coding, bolted on plugins and swiped assorted snippets of code from across the internet. Several times I left it for dead then went back to it.
Of course, I hope the site looks like a purpose-built creation that looks elegant and functions seamlessly. But I know that inside, it’s a stitched-together patchwork of stuff on file, stuff scanned and bits and pieces of code and suchlike I found strewn around the web.
So yes, even if it doesn’t look like one, it actually is a bit of a monster. But it’s my monster.