October 22, 2016 through January 16, 2017
The Art of American Dance is the first major traveling exhibition to explore American visual art related to the many forms of dance. This exhibition features 90 works, ranging from realistic to abstract, by iconic and wide-ranging artists such as John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Robert Henri, William Merritt Chase, Nick Cave, and Faith Ringgold.
The Art of American Dance examines dance-inspired paintings, prints, sculptures, and photographs from the 1830s to the recent past—from dance in Native American cultures to ballroom dancing, to Jitterbug, swing, modern dance, and others. Exploring the variety of ways Americans embrace dance as part of everyday life, as well as the diverse forms of professional dance, including burlesque, flamenco, and classical ballet, the exhibition highlights the central place dance has held in American culture and in the imagination of American artists.
Artists did not merely represent dance; they were inspired by dance to think about how Americans move through space, share culture, and express themselves through movement. Visitors can also examine the American history of race, gender, ethnicity, and class through the lenses of dance and the visual arts.
Check out upcoming performances by featured artists, highlighting the intersection between art and dance.
This exhibition has been organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and an ADAA Foundation Curatorial Award and the Association of Art Museum Curators.
$10 for adults, including a free multimedia guide.
FREE for Members & youth ages 18 and younger.
Thanks to exhibition sponsors, admission is FREE on Thursday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m
The Music of American Dance:
A Party Playlist on Spotify
One way to get people to dance is to turn on the music.
In the works of art in this exhibition, we see people playing guitars, banjos, drums, and other instruments, showing that music and dance have long been linked.
Enjoy this party playlist, which highlights some of the major dance hits from the 1940s to now.
Dance Performance and Popular Culture: A YouTube Playlist
See some of the most iconic dance scenes ever captured on film, along with some you may not know, including artistic works from respected dancers and choreographers.
Boundaries can blur between a dance performance and a social dance, especially when dancers are put in front of a camera.
Starting in the mid-twentieth century, elaborate dances—principally in movie musicals and live television performances—began to be captured regularly on film. Advances in technology now allow us to stream hundreds of thousands of dance videos with ease.
Although many amazing dancers and dance scenes simply could not fit on this list, the diversity of styles and performances included here shows that American dance reflects a complex and ever-evolving blend of cultural influences.
The Art of American Dance Multi-Media Guide
This multi-media tour features historical and contemporary video clips of many of the dances represented in The Art of American Dance, as well as commentary by fourth-generation Isadora Duncan dancer Alice Bloch, and Stace Treat, Interpretation Manager at Crystal Bridges.