Yesterday, I went to the North Carolina Art Museum at 10 a.m. to move to music.
Two women led, followed by a man in a suit holding an open laptop channeling the songs that were mostly by the Bee Gees. The women, in sequined dresses and sneakers, stomped, marched, trotted in time with the music. Thirteen women and two men, ranging in age from 20 to 70 plus, followed behind, mimicking the women’s movements. We didn’t talk.
I felt exhilarated racing through the empty museum with music bouncing off the walls surrounded by other exuberant people. The moves were not stressful. I did most of them except balancing on one leg and I stopped halfway through the jumping jacks.
The group stopped intermittently in front of a piece of art: statue, still life, portrait, and continued to move/exercise in place. Short inspirational narratives, previously taped by Maira Kalman, punctuated the music. Normally, when I visit a museum, I would gaze at the art in quiet contemplation. This time my mind and body seemed as one, absorbing the stimuli transmitted from the environment, my thoughts suspended.
When the two women dropped to the floor, I felt as if someone turned off the lights. Lying among my fellow participants with arms and legs outstretched, I realized that fifty minutes had flown by.
Now the day after, the residual glow from yesterday remains with me.
My new goal is to have more days where I step out of the ordinary.
Thanks Monica Bill Barnes & Company!
The first performance The Museum Workout appeared at the NYC Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Check out the video of the performance.
Madame X, meet Ladies in Sequined Dresses and Sneakers. For “The Museum Workout,” which starts a four-week run on Jan. 19, Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass, Everywoman dancers of deadpan zaniness, guide tours of the Metropolitan Museum of Art before public hours, leading light stretching and group exercises as they go. Recorded commentary by the illustrator Maira Kalman, who planned the route, mixes with Motown and disco tunes. Might raised heart rates and squeaking soles heighten perception?
That sounds like so much fun! I was at the museum today but didn’t know the galleries had served as a dance floor just yesterday! Thanks for sharing!
What fun! I hope someone brings this to the Chicago Art Institute. I would love this!!
The Chicago Art Institute has so much more space than our NCMA! It would be awesome!
That sounds like a blast! Thanks for sharing! I will try that ASAP!
What do you have in mind?
What a joyous experience that must have been! You know I LOVE music- all kinds. It can be therapeutic in so many ways. My children and grandchildren all share this love I have. For you to be with others and moving with them must have boosted your immune system 100%. I am so happy for you!
What an innovative idea. Great that you had the chance to participate.