Before moving to New York in 1959, choreographer Simone Forti spent four heady, formative years in San Francisco. There, she trained with the postmodern dance pioneer Anna Halprin, who rejected the stylistic constraints of ballet and modern dance. On Halprin’s outdoor dance deck in wooded Marin County, Forti explored improvisation, her motions guided by a keen alertness to the body’s anatomy. She also organized open-work sessions with her then husband, the Minimalist artist Robert Morris, gathering artists for communal, multidisciplinary explorations of movement, objects, sound, and light.
Posts tagged ‘Dance’
Can a dance number change your life? “I Don’t Care,” with wildly imagined choreography by Jack Cole (1911–1974) for Mitzi Gaynor in The I Don’t Care Girl, changed mine. As a dance critic of 30 years, weaned on Balanchine and Cunningham, I’m here to tell you that once you’ve gone Jack, there’s no going back.
Dance and performance are enjoying a renaissance at MoMA—take for example, performances happening at MoMA this fall, such as Trajal Harrell’s The Return of La Argentina or Walid Raad’s Scratching on things I could disavow: Walkthrough. This tendency is apparent at other modern and contemporary arts organizations around the world as well, like the Live program at Tate Modern. But at MoMA the interest in dance and theater is not new. In fact, since its inception in 1929, The Museum of Modern Art has adopted a radical approach to presenting the art of our time.
There’s a long history of dance and performance both inspiring and being influenced by the visual arts. The current MoMA exhibition On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century, on view on the sixth floor, is full of examples of artists trying to capture dancers’ moving bodies in drawings, paintings and sculpture, as well as documenting them on film. If a line is the trace of a point in motion—an idea at the heart of On Line—then a human figure moving through space can be seen as a drawing in air, an insertion of drawing into the time and three-dimensional space of our lived world.
For the Portrait in Seven Shades piece—which we performed last week at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater—my goal was to select seven recognizable artists whose different styles would help create a contrast between each of the seven movements in the piece.
I’ve already talked about the “Monet” and “Dalí” movements, and today am moving on to “Matisse,” which very much expresses the reaction I have when I see Henri Matisse‘s paintings such as Dance (I): joy.
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