Dance: Movement, Rhythm, Spectacle

Through August 2, 2015 Berman Gallery Dance: Movement, Rhythm, Spectacle explores the inventive ways artists have represented dance from the late 19th century to the present. Ranging from the intimate to the public, the prints, drawings, watercolors, and photographs included in this survey represent the spectacle of performance, the transformation of movement into abstraction, the celebrity of stardom on the stage, and the changing social mores of modern life. The works on view chronicle a century of expressive movement: from a couple waltzing by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s portrayals of the risqué performers at the Moulin Rouge, and crowds dancing the Lindy Hop and jitterbug at jazz clubs, to Merce Cunningham captured in mid-leap by photographer Barbara Morgan. Also included are prints by Joan Miró and Charles Searles in which dance is evoked through calligraphic lines and energetic drips and spatters. The exhibition highlights ways in which artists responded to the increasing freedom of expression in the modern age, as seen in Charles Demuth’s vaudevillian watercolor The Green Dancer, and Lucy Ashjian’s photographs from her Harlem Document series. Among the many works focused on performance are watercolors by Abraham Walkowitz that capture Isadora Duncan, “the mother of modern dance,” in fluid, sensuous movements, and Mori Yoshitoshi’s Kabuki Dancers, a robust arrangement of blocky lights and darks. The fractured features of Pablo Picasso’s Woman with a Tambourine evoke the energy of her wild dance, while the meandering, broken lines in Alexander Calder’s abstract Score for Ballet suggests the trajectories of dancers across a stage. Performers such as Martha Graham and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson are featured in video excerpts which relate to works on view in the exhibition. A sequence of images capturing dance movements from photographer Eadweard Muybridge’sAnimal Locomotion series is displayed alongside a print created for an early optical device and a video recreation of the dancers in motion. Anna Juliar, the Margaret R. Mainwaring Curatorial Fellow, Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, said: “I’ve had the pleasure of exploring the Museum’s vast collection of works on paper. My personal interests in music and dance led to my discovery of many compelling works, a number of which have not been on view for many years. This exhibition provided me with the opportunity to show them in a new context. It is a culmination of my adventure with the collection, and offers visitors the opportunity to examine the dynamic art of dance through other equally expressive media.” In conjunction with the exhibition will be several dance-inspired evening programs including the Almanac Dance Circus Theatre (June 5); Rocha Dance Theater, which will perform in the exhibition gallery (June 24); and a

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Salsa Dance Social (July 10). Visitors enjoy Pay-What-You-Wish admission on Wednesday evenings from 5:00 to8:45 p.m.

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