An indication of the growing respect for dance in the museum world was the recent exhibition of performances at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Held in MoMA’s huge second-floor atrium, “Some Sweet Day” (until 4 November) presents works by six contemporary dance choreographers, including new commissions organised by the choreographer Ralph Lemon. On the first day, a sizeable audience surrounded the “stage”, a taped-off portion of the gallery floor, and visitors on other floors stopped to look down from the balconies. Significantly, there was a good proportion of 20-something visitors, a demographic that museums often work hard to attract. “Nothing replaces the live act, and I think there is a fascination with that,” Jenny Schlenzka says. The performers in the first piece shown, Steve Paxton’s Satisfyin’ Lover, 1967, all wore casual clothing that made them indistinguishable from the average visitor. Paxton, who sat quietly among the crowd to watch the performance, says the atrium was an ideal setting for the piece because the white-cube space meant that viewers could focus on the movements, posture and body language of the performers. “This is a place where these works belong,” he says.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Taking to the floor at MoMA'