Go Deeper Experience Philadelphia Museum of Dance at the Barnes Foundation

Experience Philadelphia Museum of Dance at the Barnes Foundation

Posted October 1st, 2018

The 2018 Fringe Festival performances of Boris Charmatz’s manger, were part of a larger project, Philadelphia Museum of Dance, which concludes in a  free public event at the Barnes Foundation on October 6 with a rich collection of performances.

The day-long event will explore the tension between public and private experiences, while offering a new opportunity to engage with how dance and visual art are exhibited. Known for his innovative exploration of choreographic assembly, internationally acclaimed French choreographer Charmatz co-curates the six-hour (3-9pm) public performance. See the full schedule here.

The event will allow its audience to explore new experiences, in a novel kind of museum that permits audience members to move through outdoor and indoor performance locations and witness choreography performed around and among fellow museum-goers. Guests will witness the Barnes Foundation transform. With dance performances taking place in nearly every corner, the museum will seemingly come alive. Audiences will interact directly by wandering through the dance “galleries.” As with any museum visit, it will be up to the audience to find juxtapositions between the exhibits. Performers will be spatially adjacent to audiences, with no proscenium separation, or interspersed with the audience, to facilitate maximum audience-performer interaction.

danse de nuit by Boris Charmatz. Photo © Boris Brussey.

To begin, Charmatz will lead a group warm-up to awaken the body and mind. Guests can meander through the Solo Forest, where multiple simultaneous solos will be performed by a diverse group of dancer artists; take a break in the auditorium while watching a program of curated dance on film; or participate in a Soul Train. One goal of Philadelphia Museum of Dance is that guests curate their own experience according to their interests. With so many different performances and interactive elements on offer, guests can choose what they want their day to look like.

“We look forward to activating the full Barnes campus with the performances of Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design’s Philadelphia Museum of Dance,” said Thom Collins, executive director and president of the Barnes Foundation. “The Barnes will come alive in a new dynamic way for this day-long, immersive dance event, and we look forward to welcoming the public—everyone from students, visual art and performance enthusiasts, and the culturally curious—to participate in this unique experience.”

Boris Charmatz. Photo © Caroline Ablain

The Barnes’ coffee bar, café, and restaurant will be open during normal operating hours and, since the Barnes Foundation will be open well past its usual closing time, a food truck will be stationed outside for museum-goers who need to re-fuel.

Philadelphia Museum of Dance will conclude with Charmatz’ work danse de nuit (Dance of the Night), a work for six dancers created as a response to the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks that examines the idea of public choreographic assembly as a way to see private and personal responses to political events.

“Dance is a visual art with a temporal element. As an audience, we experience it visually, not unlike the way we experience visual art in a museum,” said Miriam Giguere, PhD, project director and head of the Performing Arts department at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. “We invited Boris Charmatz to co-curate this exhibit because he suggests that community inclusive performance events place the expressive body on exhibition much like visual art exhibitions place objects on display. His questioning leads us to wonder if groups of people gathering to express meaning, whether personal or political, with their physical presence create a performance or an exhibition?”

Support for Philadelphia Museum of Dance has been provided to Westphal College of Media Arts & Design by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Featured image: Boris Charmatz: Dancing Dialogues,  a residency of performances, lectures, and workshops plus the acclaimed Levee des conflits for 24 dancers co-presented by Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and FringeArts in 2016. Photo by J. J. Tiziou.