Dancing in a museum is different from dancing a museum: you don’t have to play yourself but to interact with a building rich of art and history. It’s an amazing European project which is in residence in these days in Bassano del Grappa and will end in 2017. Five European contemporary dance centres, five dance artists, five visual artists, eight museums, and the support of the artist mentor Betsy Gregory.
The participants have been gathered this week in Bassano, during BMotion Dance 2015, before their first residency at Arte Sella (August, 29-30). After they warmed up by dancing at 6 a.m. in the river Brenta, they created several journeys inside the Museo Civico following some given guidelines, to give a small audience an insight into the various works of art, highlighted by different approaches.
We started with the first journey created by Lucy Suggate and Tatiana Julien. The ladies succeeded in giving a complete vivid overview of the museum, developing history, involving the audience, giving life to the artworks. As a perfect and competent museum guide, Lucy leads the group with her black fan through the different rooms, focusing attention on paintings, statues, Tatiana – the “artist” – who is not behind the piece but lives and outlines it.
At the beginning we find ourselves on the main staircase, looking at a big Crucifixion, trying not to step on the artist who is lying in the same position as memento mori. At the top of the stairs there is a big dome, where we hold hands in a circle to study the ceiling while the artist keeps turning around us. The Christian iconography makes us pause to observe how a particular aspect has been developed in that specific room: from how hands had been painted, and what they might communicate, to how had the torso been distorted, as faith was being questioned. The artist moves across the centuries carving herself or recalling the eroticism of a body, never losing an inner desperation that cries out.
Now that the whole museum has been shown and explained, Fabio Novembrini leaves us alone with ourselves. Our guide now is a paper that makes us remake the previous journey following personal feelings and sensibilities, focusing on beauty and experiencing the artist’s individual vision. We are asked to watch a cloister, smell the sea, breathe the space, imagine the touch, relax, smile to a statue or dance with a painting.
We have known and lived almost the whole museum, but then there is another approach, an eye that makes us realize how many aspects we haven’t noticed yet. It’s Connor Schumacher, as a robot that lists objects, views and stories, like an unemotional guide after repeating mechanically the same data all day long.
Christ is now faceless, the best view is behind a door that opens to grey urbanization, under the floor are hidden skeletons, the souvenir is a grain of sand from a children’s playground, mysteries deal with sound detectors, you rest under a painting to become part of a picture inside a picture of a picture, and you can finally find dance only watching and listening to an old clock.
by Lara Crippa
August 23rd, 2015 @ Museo Civico, Bassano del Grappa
dance centre: D.ID Dance Identity, Pinkafeld
dance artist: Juan Dante Murillo
visual artist: Max Biskup
museum: Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste, Wien
dance centre: La Briqueterie centre de développement chorégraphique du val-de-marne, Vitry-sur-Seine
dance artist: Tatiana Julien
museums: MAC/VAL, Vitry-sur-Seine + Louvre, Paris
dance centre: CSC Centro per la Scena Contemporanea, Bassano del Grappa
dance artist: Fabio Novembrini
visual artist: Matteo Maffesanti
museums: Museo Civico & Palazzo Sturm, Bassano del Grappa + Arte Sella, Borgo Valsugana
dance centre: Dansateliers, Rotterdam
dance artist: Connor Schumacher
visual artist: Luis Alonso Rios Zertuche
museum: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
dance centre: Siobhan Davies Dance, London
dance artist: Lucy Suggate
museum: National Gallery, London
READ MORE THE PROJECT