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Handley-Derry, Elizabeth (2019) DANCE IN THE ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO 1977 AND 2017. Masters thesis, OCAD University.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Handley-Derry, Elizabeth

While the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is renowned as a pre-eminent visual arts museum in Canada, it has also featured dance performances since the late 1970s. Historically, a first wave of dance in art museums took place in the 1920s when choreographers, in dialogue with artists, formulated a new vision for dance that broke from the standards of classical ballet. A second wave occurred in the 1960s–70s when sweeping and radical changes in society propelled experimental dance into alternative venues such as museums. A third wave, beginning in the 1990s, brought dance into museum spaces and stemmed from the perspective of institutional critique. This thesis examines two dance performances held at the AGO, exemplifying the second and third waves: Missing Associates’ Solo Improvisation (1977) and Tanya Lukin Linklater’s Sun Force (2017). I will draw on the literature and files at the AGO to analyze the institutional philosophies and exhibitionary practices that led to incorporating dance in these time periods. My core research shows how dance in museums evolved beyond an entertainment function of enhancing the visitor experience to playing a key role in an ongoing critique of the museum. Dance in the museum also expands curatorial practice beyond the visual sense; the movements of bodies transgresses the implicit hierarchies that have restricted both the display of objects and the activities of subjects. I argue that dance creates a more liberated museum experience and a deeper understanding of the visitor’s relationship to art and society. Incorporating dance offers an opportunity to reshape the institutional structure from within and provides a means for the art museum to re-vitalize its connection to the community it represents and serves.

Date: 2019
Divisions: Faculty of Art > Criticism & Curatorial Practice
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2020 19:21
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 21:45
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/2827

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