Dance at The Louvre

That’s a pretty provocative headline, believe it or not.

Occasionally I offer insights on the state of the art of fundraising in Europe. Here’s one intriguing development worth sharing.  In the United States, it’s not at all unusual for an art museum to offer events that integrate the fine arts—music, dance, even dramatic readings or performances. Such events begin as friend raisers and can launch affinities that support fundraising. France’s temple of high art, however has historically defined art as the stuff on the walls, or pedestals. It’s understood:  This is what’s on offer, enjoy. Enter dancer Bill T. Jones and choreographer Benjamin Millepied.

The Louvre invited both artists to use the museum space as a stage. A number of years ago, Jones created a work called Walking the Line, juxtaposing his dance with sculptures including the Winged Victory of Samothrace and Michelangelo’s Dying Slave. Through July of this year, Millepied co-curated programming on movement in the arts with Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Musée de Louvre. Millepied interpreted that not only offering a dance program, but also by gathering 70 artworks ranging from antiquity to the early 20th century—lent by the Musée Rodin, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Centre Pompidou that show how artists meet the challenges of representing movement-both physical bodies in space, and movement of the soul.

Kudos to the Musee de Louvre for creating these moments for visitors to understand the monumentally historic collections as urgently relevant today. Simple, brilliant, engaging, integrated.

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