World Champion Pole Dancer Marlo Fisken
photo: New York Times

Monday, August 16, 2010

Body and Pole perform at PS1 MOMA

In conjunction with the MoMA/MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program installation Pole Dance, designed by the architectural firm Solid Objectives - Idenburg Liu (SO - IL), a series of performances created by choreographer Kyra Johannesen will take place in the MoMA PS1 courtyard beginning July 24 at 2:30 p.m. The performance series, Body & Pole, will further expand the interactive qualities presented in the architectural installation Pole Dance.

In addition to offering a backdrop for MoMA PS1’s annual summer Warm Up series, the urban landscape Pole Dance was conceived as an interactive environment questioning the relation between the human body and the structures that they inhabit. In order to further the idea of the participatory environment and in homage to Oskar Schlemmer’s famous Bauhaus dance, which examined the relation between geometry and bodily figure, Kyra Johannesen has choreographed a performance for her company Body & Pole to illustrate the structural and sonic potentials of the architectural installation.

Ms. Johannesen has drawn from New York City's most innovative pole dancers who challenge the perception of pole dancing and explore its artistry to form the company Body & Pole. The performances will draw from many different styles including ballet, jazz and modern. For each performance, there will be a focus on the relationship between the bodies of the performers versus the structure of Pole Dance.

“This series of performances renews a vital connection between choreography and architectural design that marks some of the most innovative moments in the history of avant-garde architecture,” says Barry Bergdoll, the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA. “Combined with the acoustical engineering of the poles created by sound engineers from Arup Associates, Johannesen’s performances mark this as one of the most collaborative and interdisciplinary of the Young Architects Program installations in the program’s 11-year history.”

"Pole Dance, already as a word, as a quote, connects MoMA PS1's summer architecture project with one of the new programmatic emphases of our institution, which is performance art, by referencing Oskar Schlemmer's Ballets Mechaniques, which was just on view in our 100 Years of performance exhibition. SO-IL made the architecture participatory, activating the audience as an instrumental part of their installation," adds MoMA PS1 Director Klaus Biesenbach.