Blood Clarke, E. R. (2021). Dance Retrospection and The Museum. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14418/wes01.2.333
“Dance Retrospection and the Museum,” considers the intervention of dance in the art museum by examining exhibitions engaged in the retrospection of a single choreographer’s work. My analysis is rooted in three areas of intersection between dance and the museum: history and the archive; spectacle and space; and time, memory, and authorship. Case studies of museum exhibitions root my investigation into these junctions. I explore history and the archive through Donald Byrd: The America That Is To Be, an exhibition held at the Frye Art Museum which focused on the career of Donald Byrd (b.1949). I analyze spectacle and space through the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2010 exhibition Off the Wall: Part 2 - Seven Works by Trisha Brown which centered on works by Trisha Brown (1936-2017). Lastly, my meditation on time, memory, and authorship is guided by the MoMA PS1 manifestation of Retrospective, a work/exhibition hybrid created by Xavier Le Roy (b.1963). By bringing various works and conversations into collision, I seek to chart what emerges and push against generalizations that dance and the art museum are in opposition, ill-suited, or that their relationship can only materialize in a handful of ways. This thesis does not argue that the gallery replace the theatre as a site of performance; rather, “Dance Retrospection and the Museum,” ponders over an expansion of dance’s presence in art narratives and cultural contexts.