Harn Museum of Dance (HMoD): Be There. Be Moved
HMoD 4.0 rocks the Harn Museum of Art on Saturday, March 23, 2019 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm (FREE)
"It was possibly the most spectacular dance performance Gainesville has ever experienced. I am so grateful for it. The work of all those amazing artists expanded us and it felt wonderful!" — Melissa Montilla, Sanctuary Yoga, Gainesville, FL
In summer 2015, I approached the Harn's curator of education, Eric Segal, with a crazy idea. "Hey! Let's transform the Harn Museum of Art into the 'Harn Museum of Dance' for a day"! My goal was to create a "dance invasion" of the museum to physically awaken visitors' experience of visual art and invigorate dancers' development of relationship to visual art through presence, performance. VOILA, HMoD was born and has served almost 3,000 Harn visitors! As immersive dance-visual-art experiences, HMoD 1.0 (2016), 2.0 (2017), and 3.0 (2018) confirmed that artists and audiences LOVE the breath and sinew of art on the MOVE. On March 23, 2019, we recreate HMoD's signature experience of art in motion! In partnership with Harn's awesome education team—now led by Elizabeth King—along with our Center for World Arts/ Harn Choreographers-in-Residence, Dani Frost (BFA Dance 2019) and Alex Murphy (BFA Dance 2018), the Center for World Arts, we will move students and guest artists, and the wonderful visitors to the Harn who dare to be there and be moved.
HMoD celebrates the innovation, diversity, and risk-taking that defines the dance major of the UF School of Theatre and Dance and features our 90 dance BFA and BA dance majors and 30 general UF students who are studying dance. Performance installations, contemporary/modern dance, hip-hop, West African, modern, Afro-Brazilian, mindful movement, theater and dance improvisation. As we play with concepts of "LIVENESS," "presence," contagion, choice-making, and self-movement, HMoD visitors are immersed in successive moments of joy, beauty, and surprise with dance performances throughout the museum. Two discussion events contemplate the power of performance. HMoD often features films created by our emerging dancer/filmmakers, such as "Still Light," by Andrea Ward, BFA 2017 (an official selection of Dance on Camera, Lincoln Center). HMoD will feature the stunning dance photography of Grace Landefeld, BA Dance 2019. HMoD will aslo engage audiences in Real Time on FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter. HMoD's slogan, "Be there. Be moved" tells you our intended emotional and physical impact.
HMoD is the natural outgrowth of many years of collaborations of the Center for World Arts and the Harn Museum of Art, including the Center for World Arts/Harn Choreographer-in-Residence program, Museum Nights' performances, and symposia discussing dance and featuring interactive performance such as "Tango, Contact and Communication" (2014). I recall when contemporary choreographer Béatrice Kombé (Cote d'Ivoire) blessed the Harn Galleria with performances in February 2004 as part of the Center for World Arts' groundbreaking conference "Movement (R)Evolution Africa": Béatrice's performance marked the very first time I was able to convince the Harn that dance "belonged" in the museum (and that the dancer is the first artist whose spatial awareness would ensure they would not break everything in sight!). We have educated scores of young choreographers onsite at the Harn in the ensuing years, incorporating performance and choreographic pedagogy into the museum setting, including scoring compositional work specifically related to exhibits. I have partiuclarly special memories of the Harn in October 2013, when the magnificent CWA artist-in-residence Gina Yang (China) performed; and January 2016, when the extraordinary Marisol Salinas (El Salvador/Paraguay) graced the Harn's Galleria.
What can I say? The Harn inspires! THANK YOU, WONDERFUL HARN MUSEUM OF ART (AND DANCE)!!!
Director, Center for World Arts; Curator, Harn Museum of Dance