In the Annenberg Court, students from five local universities premiere 1973, a collective dance structured by Boris Charmatz. Photo by Jacques-Jean Tiziou

Drexel University’s Philadelphia Museum of Dance Launches Online Exhibition Catalogue

Dance and performance lovers from around the globe now have the ability to experience the Philadelphia Museum of Dance from the comfort of their own homes.  Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design is pleased to announce the launch of the Philadelphia Museum of Dance Online Catalogue, a free publication, that can be viewed at phlpmd.com.

“This digital catalogue will give readers an experience of the Philadelphia Museum of Dance,” said Miriam Giguere, Ph.D., Professor and Department Head of the Department of Performing Arts at Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.  “Like any special exhibit at a major museum, this catalogue creates a record of the artwork shown and concepts behind the exhibit development. Whether or not you were at the live event you can curate your own experience through this catalogue, just as audience members did in October. We are excited to give a wider audience a chance to experience this unique event.”

Philadelphia Museum of Dance was a day-long public performance that took place at the Barnes Foundation on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018.  This free exhibit of live dance explored 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 Boris Charmatz co-curated the six-hour public performance. The online catalogue is a reflection and documentation of that event, which itself was a culmination of two previous and related projects: Dancing Dialogues (an introductory residency with Charmatz in Philadelphia in 2016) and a co-presentation of Charmatz’s manager with the 2018 FringeArts Festival.

The event allowed its audience to explore new experiences in a novel kind of museum that permitted audience members to move through outdoor and indoor performance locations and witness choreography performed around and among fellow museum-goers.  Guests meandered through the Solo Forest, where multiple simultaneous solos were performed by a diverse group of dancer artists, watched a program of curated dance on film, participated in a Soul Train, and much more. One goal of the Philadelphia Museum of Dance was that guests curated their own experience according to their interests.

With so many different performances and interactive elements on offer, this online catalogue will allow both visitors of the original museum and new fans the ability to explore the festivities via high-resolution photos and videos that capture the Museum’s performances by Maria Hassabi, It’s Showtime NYC!, Boris Charmatz, Claire Bishop, Romain Bigé, Clyde Evans, Jr., and more.  In addition, the publication features essays by Boris Charmatz, Cindy Kang (Assistant Curator, Barnes Foundation), Judy Hussie-Taylor (Executive Director & Chief Curator, Danspace Project), and Miriam Giguere.

Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design received a grant of $300,000 from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in support of Philadelphia Museum of Dance, which was produced in partnership with the Barnes Foundation. Performances of manger were presented in partnership with FringeArts.

photo credit: Jacques Jean Tiziou

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