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Dancing in the Museum

From Dancing in Museums: A Decade of Movement

This 2012 panel hosted by the University of California, Berkeley as part of the symposium “Making Time” features the choreographer Jonah Bokaer, the dance curator Judy Hussie-Taylor, and the scholar Mark Franko, with a response by the genre-blurring artist Ralph Lemon. They cover topics including the “theatrical infrastructure” of museum spaces (or lack thereof), the importance of place in determining how a work is perceived, and the idea of the body as an archive, a kind of museum in and of itself.

I find Hussie-Taylor’s contribution (from 25:25 to 49:25) to be particularly lucid and informative. As the artistic and executive director of Danspace Project, a historic home for dance at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery in the East Village, she brings awareness to this organization’s essential role in the dance-presenting ecosystem: a reminder that much of the dance curated into museums has gestated elsewhere. She also offers a succinct survey of dance she has seen in museums, shedding light on works by Eiko and Koma, Meredith Monk, Sarah Michelson, and others. By pointing out the range of spaces that dance has inhabited over the decades, from gymnasiums to proscenium stages, she invites us to see the museum as just another site, no more or less remarkable, one possibility among many.

December 8, 2019

University of California, Berkeley

Curated by

Siobhan Burke