Crystal Bridges director says new dance-themed exhibit connects ‘art and everyday life’

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 60 views 

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville will present The Art of American Dance Oct.22–Jan. 16.

The Art of American Dance is the first major traveling exhibition to explore American dance-related art, and Crystal Bridges is the last venue on the tour, according to a museum press release.

The exhibition was organized by Detroit Institute of Arts, where it was on view March through June. It then was on view at The Denver Art Museum from July through October.

“We are honored to be the final stop on The Art of American Dance exhibition tour,” Crystal Bridges Executive Director Rod Bigelow said, according to the release. “As we approach the museum’s fifth anniversary, it’s important to find new ways to connect visitors to art and everyday life. This exhibition does that with dance-inspired works that provide insights into cultural, social and political moments in our nation’s history.”

It features about 90 pieces from the 1830s onward, from artists that include John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Robert Henri, William Merritt Chase, Nick Cave and Faith Ringgold.

“My hope is to elevate dance in the museum setting and share the rich history of dancers and artists to explain how they inspired one another,” Jane Dini, former associate curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and curator of the exhibition, said in the press release.

Alongside works in the gallery, the exhibition brings programs and interactives that help connect the viewer to the history of dance and art through contemporary dancers, choreographers and historians, according to the release. For example, seven videos throughout the exhibition feature dancers discussing and demonstrating American dance traditions such as the Osage Nation dances, performed by director of Student Engagement, Inclusion and Multicultural Programs at Oklahoma City University, Russ Tallchief.

“In addition to the outstanding works of art, it was important to have the voice and expertise of dancers within the exhibition itself. They help illustrate how dance as an artistic form impacts fine arts, especially painting and sculpture,” Dini adds.