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Dance & Museums: A Third Conversation

11 January 2016

Pavilion Dance South West and Sally Lewis recently organised a third event for the South West museum and dance sectors, kindly hosted by the Museum of Bath at Work, exploring:

  • What can we learn from each other‘s work with diverse audiences?
  • How does dance support museums in dealing with current issues?
  • Can we ensure young people are included in our programming?
  • Does direct access to collections provide inspiration for dance research & development?
  • How can we enable dance organisations and museums to work in partnership across the South West?

The day was a great success and we were happy to see so many attendees from across the region. Below, you can find Samuel Rowland from ACE’s opening words from the day as an an inspiring call to arms:

From a dance perspective, we are looking to how the aesthetic can be diversified, how talent can be developed and how children and young people can be further engaged. We are interested in viewing museums not only as holders of collections but as public spaces, and what opportunities there are to reach new audiences for dance, and museums, by siting work in museums as non-traditional performance venues and by exploring themes inspired by the collections.

John Orna-Ornstein, our Director for Museums at the Arts Council has recently published a blog called ‘Imagine a museum…’, which challenges us to think differently about what museums are and can be. He wants to open opportunities for museums to be subverted from their supposed traditional role.

Imagine a museum where you encounter the grief and joys of the storyteller long before you come face to face with the objects that represent their complex stories.

Imagine a museum that provokes emotions and thoughts strong enough to bring tears to your eyes.

Imagine a museum that values the person, the story and the emotion above the collection.

What role might dance have with museums, their collections, and the stories they hold. What role might museums have with and for dance in all its forms?

This event was organised by Pavilion Dance South West supported with public funding by Arts Council England.

 Samuel Rowland from ACE’s
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