September 28th, 2012 · Jennifer Piejko

Why Dance in the Art World?

Photographs by Paula Court

By Jennifer Piejko



Left: panel members RoseLee Goldberg, Ralph Lemon, David Velasco, Jenny Schlenzka, and Jennifer Homans. Center: Jennifer Homans gives an introduction to Why Dance. Right: Judson Memorial Church. Below, right: Performa Dance Curator Lana Wilson.


On Monday, September 17, the Performa Institute and the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development presented Why Dance in the Art World?, a panel discussion exploring the riveting relationship between dance and visual contemporary art.  

The panel, comprised of Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet author and art historian Jennifer Homans; dancer, choreographer, writer, and visual artist Ralph Lemon; PS1 Associate Curator Jenny Schlenska; editor David Velasco, and moderated by Performa Founding Director and Curator RoseLee Goldberg, led the audience through a brief history of dance as performance and artistic medium, and arrived at a spirited conversation regarding dance's place in visual art practice and institutional programming today. From ballet's acceptance as artform in the eighteenth century to the groundbreaking work of artists Merce Cunningham and Yvonne Rainer at the Judson Dance Theater (the location for Why Dance) in the 1960s to Ralph Lemon's upcoming exhibition at MoMA, the evening was best summed up by a question Ms. Homans posed at the end of her introduction: "These are old questions, but what are the new answers?"

The panel discussion can be heard in its entirety on Performa Radio and on the link above. Why Dance in the Art World? has been covered on The Performance ClubGallerist NY in The New York Observer—including their fantastic recent feature hereand on Dancing Perfectly Free. 

More information about Why Dance in the Art World can be found here


Photographs by Paula Court.


Jennifer Piejko is the editor of Performa Magazine.

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