Originally Published On March 19, 2016
By: Amy Cooper, Detroit Ginger
The Detroit Institute of Arts is known for trying to bring new and innovative forms of art to the leading Detroit museum, so it's no surprise that "Dance!: American Art 1830-1960" is a multi-medium composition of an art gallery that includes sculpture, fashion, paint, and video projection.
Each program speaker prior to the exhibit opening to the media shared why the subject was important to them, but one very telling expression was from Associate Curator of the Museum of Modern Art's Paint and Sculpture division Jane Dini. She shared a story about her resume, in which many years before, someone had told her to take "ballet teacher" off her resume to be taken seriously. She expressed that "You can't sell dance in an auction house," and that she wanted to thank Detroit for keeping the DIA affloat and making this exhibit possible.
Thomas F. DeFrantz, Duke University's Professor of African American Studies, Dance, and Theatre studies approached the podium to talk about his contribution, as well as his credentials with his connections with MIT, NYU, and Yale. DeFrantz said "There is no end to dance, it's always in motion." And with that, the exhibit shared not only paint and sculpture, but guided video tours of dance by DeFrantz himself, and other colleagues, including Detroit Hustle.
Waljing through the gallery itself, you could see why Megan DiRenzo, the DIA Interpretive Planner, felt that her perception of dance as a disciplined art had changed after working with the talented artists and viewing the artists in which pieces were featured from long ago.
The best part, other than the fact that this awesome exhibit is local, is it's accessibility. Every Friday, the exhibit is free, and it's always free for school groups. Photography is also allowed in the exhibits for most of the works, and dancing is encouraged, especially in the "Silver Clouds" exhibit from Andy Warhol.
The exhibit is open Sunday, March 20 through June 12.