Ship It

Make the Old New Again: Leveraging Your Archive on Social Media

Over the holiday, the main gig put on an amazing performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The performance run was an important one. The production was returning to the venue after a five-year absence. Great attendance and ticket sales that wow-ed the presenting organization were vital.

The challenge: This is New York City. From The Rockettes to The Nutcracker, there’s a lot of competition for holiday attention. On top of that, the marketing team didn’t have any new footage of the show to use in promotion.

Here are a few ways I got creative to make archival gems feel new again.

Make facts sexy…

I found an old press kit in our department files listing interesting facts about the show. A little design work made it fresh social media content. Old programs and articles were great resources for pull quotes to support more visual content online.

The Hard Nut, by the numbers. #dance #mmdg #TheHardNut

A photo posted by Mark Morris Dance Group (@markmorrisdance) on

Tchaikovsky never saw this coming. mmdg.org/bam-hard-nut #HappyHolidays #thenutcracker #TheHardNut

A photo posted by Mark Morris Dance Group (@markmorrisdance) on

Embrace vintage…

The internet is a nostalgic place. We took advantage of hashtags like Throwback Thursday (#TBT) and Flashback Friday (#FBF) to give our followers a privileged peek into our archives.

#TBT Vintage Mark Morris as the Party Planner in The Hard Nut. Who will he play this year? mmdg.org/bam-hard-nut #TheHardNut

A photo posted by Mark Morris Dance Group (@markmorrisdance) on

#FriYAY: The Hard Nut Edition. Have a great weekend everyone!

Posted by Mark Morris Dance Group on Friday, November 6, 2015

Shake up the medium…

Sometimes all it takes to breathe new life into assets is switching up their presentation. Compiling old images and video footage into a video flipbook put a new spin on our costume department’s archives. I tweaked the running time depending on the platform so we were able to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Blend the old with the new…

I shot quick video interviews with a few of the dancers in the show to use on social media. Including archival photos as well as a few images from photographers who attended early runs of the show did wonders for the quality of the videos. Shorter snippets were a hit on Twitter and Instagram and drove traffic to our Facebook page where the full video was posted.  


Watch full interviews with dancers Lauren Grant, Durrell Comedy, and Aaron Loux.

Try a different angle…

MMDG’s artistic director prefers to keep rehearsals closed to the public. But, after opening curtain it felt imperative to offer newer images and a professional photographer wasn’t available until later in the performance run. The solution? Make everyone a photographer! I kept an eye on our dancer’s Instagram accounts, and with their permission, reposted photos on the organization’s social media channels. I also searched hashtags and location tags relevant to the show, liking and reposting content from audience members.

Spotted backstage 🎭 — #Repost @chelaros with #billysmith

A photo posted by Mark Morris Dance Group (@markmorrisdance) on

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