This weekend I helped out my friend, Alice Evelyn, by taking a series of photos for her non-profit, Contemporary American Dance Museum (ADaM). Of course, Sebastian came with me for the first series of shots. Like I always say, we are a package deal. She’s been working on this project for years and it was incredible to see this passion and commitment develop into reality. I have to admit that when I first met her years ago and she was describing her non-profit ambitions, I didn’t really fully understand what she wanted to do. I would hear words like “document” and “archive” and not know exactly how that would relate to dance. But, when I saw it all come together in the last year, it started making more sense and when I saw it in person, it was exceptional.
The Committee for the Contemporary American Dance Museum is a non-profit organization seeking to establish a museum, which will show fine art interpretations of the creative process of making dance. I know it sounds complicated, but in action, it is captivating.
So, here’s how it works. First, Alice Evelyn does a lot of magic behind the scenes and by magic, I mean, hours and hours of work every night. She collaborated with a choreographer named Stephanie Batten Bland and several artists, including Benjamin Heller, Miguel Anaya, Carol Prud’homme Davis, Jonathan Paul Wagner, Adam Miller, Antonio Lai da Teulada, Kristin Kunc. All of this work takes months of effort, donated art, fundraising and invitations.
Second, the pre-installation happens. I had a chance to photograph a few hours of the “before” efforts:
Third, People go to see a dance performance. In this case, it was “A Place of Sun,” a contemporary ballet dance at the Baryshnikov Art Center. Finally, people come to see the exhibition, which was aptly called “Creation in Motion”.
As a bonus, the installation lasts a few days in a Chelsea art gallery and there’s a panel discussion on how the dance was created with lots of fun questions from the audience, like “What is the egg made of?” Yes, there was an egg, look at the photos! It was used in the performance and then brought to the exhibition. It was unique to see how something like that could be used in a dance.
Overall, a success. (Trust me, not all the Chelsea art exhibitions are that great, but this particular one was top notch.)