Bringing performance into visual art spaces is a dynamic way to increase awareness of art institutions. Using devised theater techniques, the Lab specializes in creating one-of-a-kind, site-specific performances featuring local community members.
"My attention was focused in more on the artwork than if I had just gone on my own -- the performance amplified my experience of the art, and helped me notice small things I might not have otherwise."
- ELIZABETH A
"It was so much fun to see people perform, move through, and sing in a space that is typically reserved for whispers. It felt like we were breaking new ground or maybe breaking some rules!"
- NICOLE F
"The performance helped take some of the intimidation out of museum going... I believe I was smiling ear to ear for the full performance."
- SUPRINA T
"I found the performance to be an exciting way to experience the space in a new way. The performance added dimension and refreshed our viewpoint of what an art museum could be."
- LINDA MR
PERFORMING ART - A HISTORY
The making of the very first Performing Art in February, 2020.
WHAT IS PERFORMING ART?
Performing Art is a collaborative project produced by the Lab that brings together an ensemble of creators - including actors, songwriters, filmmakers, and more - to collaboratively develop a performance in response to current museum and gallery exhibitions.
Using the Lab’s devised theatre techniques, we take inspiration from art currently on display and create one of a kind, site-specific performances that explore the relationship between performing and visual art.
PERFORMING ART 2020
Our first collaboration with the Samuel Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, NY had us exploring the following question:
“What if the thoughts, shapes, conversations, and images of other people’s experiences stayed in the museum after they left? What if you could walk through that?”
Our final production was an energetic romp through the galleries where our audience was invited to dance and laugh and even join us on stage as experts.
A series of 9 short films devised remotely by Hudson Valley performing artists in response to the Dorsky Museum's Spring 2021 exhibitions.
PERFORMING ART 2021
In the early months of 2021, the Lab collaborated for a second time with the Dorsky Museum.
Despite restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we created a series of short films that could be accessed in the museum via an interactive map while the 2021 Spring Exhibition was live, as well as virtually. Nine short films were produced that responded to 8 exhibits throughout the museum.
While each short film was created as a standalone piece, they have been preserved here as one unit.
PERFORMING ART 2022
In our first year back fully in person and performing live, the show had a strong focus on celebrating being together and sheer joy and exhilaration of making art in real time. We focused on making the beautiful and primal art by Mary Frank come alive through movement, sound, and story.
"I’m so thrilled that the Hudson Valley Performing Arts Lab was inspired by my retrospective at the Dorsky and created this event in the museum. What an honor!."
- MARY FRANK
Photo Credit: Megan Sperry
PERFORMING ART 2023 at THE DORSKY
This year's fourth production at The Dorsky was inspired by the exhibit Homespun, curated by Karlyn Benson.
Featuring a range of approaches to textile art, Homespun explores how Hudson Valley artists are reinterpreting traditional crafts and “women’s work” in new and surprising ways. With this theme as our guide we created a performance exploring the stories held within everyday textiles.
PERFORMING ART 2023 at the LOEB
This performance was our theatrical response to work currently in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center on Vassar campus. Created over 16 hours of rehearsal, the ensemble used writing, movement, and improv exercises to explore their relationship to the art. While drawing inspiration from artwork throughout the galleries, we embraced a line from the Body Matters exhibit as our guiding question, "How do bodies move through art, space, and time?" We invited audiences to ponder this question as they traveled through the performance.
Photo Credit: Megan Sperry
PERFORMING ART NEXT STOP
Coming soon to a museum near you!
Would you like to perform inside your favorite local museum? Let your museum staff know you'd like to see Performing Art programming offered in their space. We can't wait to come to you! Share this website with them or email us your museum's details to email@example.com
INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH US?
Bringing performance into visual art spaces is a dynamic way to increase awareness of art institutions by promoting community engagement and injecting a shot of energy that is both invigorating to habitual museum-goers as well as enticing to folks who might not otherwise find themselves in visual arts spaces.
Whether you’re looking for a small one-day workshop or a longer and more fleshed-out production, we’re happy to sit down with you to discover what kind of development scenario best suits your needs.
If you are interested in learning more about how a devised theater experience with the Lab can benefit your institution, contact Artistic Director Liz Dahmen directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Two organizations become greater than what they are individually… our exhibitions are now extending out of the walls and through people."
- Zachary Bowman, Manager of Education & Visitor Experience at The Dorsky Museum