Fabian Barba: A Mary Wigman Dance Evening

Friday, February 1, 2013, 7:45 p.m.

Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1

Related Publication


Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925: How a Radical Idea Changed Modern Art
Leah Dickerman

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The Performance Program is part of MoMA’s increased focus on the historical as well as the contemporary practice of performance-based art. The ongoing series brings documentation and reenactments of historic performances, thematic group exhibitions, solo presentations, and original performance works to various locations throughout the Museum.

For A Mary Wigman Dance Evening—a program of nine solo dances—Fabian Barba takes as his starting point choreographer Mary Wigman’s celebrated first tour through the United States (1930–31), during which she performed nine dances. Of these, only three were preserved on film, and so, to “reconstruct” the remaining six, Barba has resorted to photographs, hearsay, written records, the historical imaginary, and subjective interpretation. Ultimately, the work proves less focused on recuperating any kind of authentic original, and more engaged in testing the possibility of transporting some of the atmospheric, gestural, and affective qualities of Wigman’s dances—all while acknowledging both the supplement and the loss incurred by translation, and taking pleasure in the fundamental differences between bodies.

In conjunction with the exhibitions Performing Histories: Live Artworks Examining the Past and Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925