Caroline Hamilton, co-curator of "Dance We Must: Treasures from Jacob's Pillow 1906-1940", likens Ruth St. Denis' costuming practice to one of a magpie - gathering shiny, microscopic bits and pieces from every corner of the world. Through collecting items such as buttons and plastic beads and deconstructing cheap costume jewelry, St. Denis created mesmerizing constellations of designs that were not only material conglomerations, but also cultural and historical “magpies”. St. Denis and Ted Shawn, founders of the Denishawn Company, were radical in their shift from Western conventions of dance, as they looked to influences as varied as Indian nautch dancers, Eastern religions, and Spanish bullfighters. Adding and subtracting materials as the pieces grew old with wear and tear, St. Denis imbued the costumes with a sense of historical progression, giving deep thought to the ways in which the material and environmental elements of dance intertwined with the spiritual and metaphysical.
Join us Thursday at 5pm for the second installment of our summer #Ologies series, where Caroline will be leading a mini-course on #Gerontology, the study of aging - in this case, the care and #conservation of objects. At 6pm, our #Iamatology - the study of therapeutics - program will kick off on the patio with an original immersive social sculpture performed by artist Natalie Falero alongside #drinks and small bites.
“Dance We Must: Treasures from Jacob's Pillow 1906-1940” is open until November 11th.
Image 1: Choli, nautch skirt, underskirt, headsheet, bracelets, rings, necklaces worn by Ruth St. Denis in “Nautch Dance”, 1920s-40s
Image 2: Detail of headdress worn by Ruth St. Denis in “Kuan Yin”,1919
Image 3: Traje de Luces (Suit of Lights) and Montera (Hat) worn by Ted Shawn in the Role of Lalanda in “Cuadro Flamenco”, ca. 1910
#WCMA #art #museums #artmuseum #museumprogramming #dance #moderndance #artconservation #JacobsPillow #DanceWeMust #costume #summer #intheberkshires #berkshires