The Day of Dance at The Hessel Museum of Art is a collaboration between the artist Liam Gillick, the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, and the Dance Program at Bard College. The partnership was sparked by Liam Gillick’s Everyday Holidays project, which proposed a calendar of new holidays to be celebrated throughout the duration of his ongoing exhibition, From 199A to199B: Liam Gillick. After announcing The Day of Dance and the thirty-nine other holidays at the show’s opening last June, Gillick departed the Hudson Valley, leaving it up to CCS Bard and the local public to determine which, if any, events would take place.
While other holidays have passed uncelebrated, The Day of Dance will be realized through the partnering of Bard’s graduate and undergraduate campuses. This collaboration marks a rare and unique institutional exchange made possible by the programs’ mutual curiosity and interest in exploring the recent courtship of dance in major art museums.
The Day of Dance will raise formal, philosophical and practical questions about what it means to bring dance into the art museum, starting with: How does dance structurally change when it moves beyond the proscenium? What new relationships are set up between viewers and performers? And how does the site inform, resist or inscribe itself on the dancer’s body?
Second year CCS Bard student Sarah Fritchey will address some of these questions in a discussion on “Dancing with Objects: the agency of the post-modern subject in the late capitalist museum,” which will open up the day’s events from 1-1:30pm. The talk will be accompanied by a small exhibition of texts and exhibition catalogs that take up the challenge of moving dance into the art museum.
Continuously throughout the day, dance in all its modes will be performed in Gillick’s exhibit. Classes, works-in-progress, improvisations, and fully choreographed works will be presented by choreographers and performers at all stages of development. To kick off The Day of Dance’s performance events, Merce Cunningham’s Field Dances will be performed at 1:30pm by Bard dance students, courtesy of the Cunningham Trust. Other performances include works by Bard dance faculty member Peggy Florin and Bard College dance majors. All events are free and open to the public.