Museumification

1) Preserving dance is a contradiction in itself. If “museumification” means that the main purpose of the company’s work is to sustain top quality repertory work in different styles, spanning over several hundred years, the risk of becoming a museum is great. Maybe one then must pose the question: should this company’s aim be different from what it is right now? We can ask: should we put the classical repertory behind us and only look at it in retrospect, instead of pretending that it is important. Space must be made at some point.
This is a touchy question in a repertory dance company. Dancers have a tendency to defend and protect their positions in the company. This can be based on their ability in a certain style of dancing or that they have fought their way up the career ladder. Questioning traditions is a threat to many dancers who have been in the same environment for a long time. Maybe it is the dancers, and not the company, that is museumified…

2) Even in the marketing of new and innovative work a repertoire company must rely on the museum/archive of innovation that came before. Museumification is an inevitability of all companies that present work with interchangeable casts, the work is a relic, the authenticity fades. At times the original cast themselves become relics of a past age, they tend to have more details and authenticity but their approach may be regarded to lack the new cast abilities or knowledge (that has been built upon a past generation). They may kick their legs higher (or counter to that not have the interest in (shamefully) kicking their legs high. Leg height kicking is the ultimate barometer of the museumification of a repertoire dance company and it’s current relation to authenticity, virtuosity and other metro-cosmopolitan notions, progressions and regressions.

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