Some sweet day

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Artist and choreographer Ralph Lemon has co-organized a three-week program of dance performances by six internationally renowned choreographers for The Museum of Modern Art. Commissioned by MoMA, Some sweet day is being presented in the Museum’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium from October 15 to November 4, 2012. The series showcases three pairings of six internationally renowned choreographers—Steve Paxton and Jérôme Bel, Faustin Linyekula and Dean Moss, Deborah Hay and Sarah Michelson—each engaged in an aesthetic, generational, and historical dialogue about each other’s work and dance in particular. In bringing together choreographers from different backgrounds and eras, Some sweet day demonstrates how the current state of dance can engage with a variety of subjects such as aesthetics, gender, race, and history. Concurrently—by putting a focus on moving bodies in an institution that traditionally showcases static objects—the series explores the potentials and possibilities of the museum space. The program is organized by guest curator and choreographer Ralph Lemon with Jenny Schlenzka, Associate Curator, MoMA PS1, and Jill A. Samuels, Producer, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art. It is presented as part of MoMA’s ongoing Performance Program, organized by Sabine Breitwieser, Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art.

At the outset of the project, the six choreographers were faced with a set of curatorial questions, and were asked to reflect on the potential forms of dialogue their works could enter into within MoMA’s Marron Atrium, considering the Museum’s particular architecture, audience, and relationship to modernism.

The program will begin with Steve Paxton’s seminal postmodern works Satisfyin Lover (1967) and State (1968), juxtaposed with French conceptual choreographer Jérôme Bel’s The Show Must Go On (2001), featuring a cast of New York City dancers. The second and third weeks will feature newly commissioned works created specifically for the Marron Atrium. The second week features the pairing of Congolese dancer and choreographer Faustin Linyekula with the American experimentalist Dean Moss, including a two-day interstitial performance by American artist Kevin Beasley. The final week features the much-anticipated pairing of Deborah Hay and Sarah Michelson, two iconic and rigorous dance artists in a generational conversation on movement, space, and time.

Admission is free with Museum admission; no additional tickets are necessary. A complete schedule of performance dates and times is available via the press release. 

A discursive program with talk backs and conversations involving artists, curators, and critics has been organized in collaboration with Danspace Project, New York.

Some sweet day is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by The Modern Women’s Fund.