On August 21, our guest lecturer for the Lassalle Dance Lecture Series will be Adam Weinert, a performance-based artist born and raised in New York City. Adam’s talk, entitled “Dancing the Museum,” will chronicle his commission to re-perform the historic solos created by modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Ted Shawn has no company in existence today so the process of reconstructing his works was very unusual. Dance is typically passed down like an oral tradition, but having no bloodline connecting Adam to Mr. Shawn, he spent his research fellowship digging through film, photograph, memoir and rumor. Adam says, “It felt at times as if I was dancing with ghosts.”
During his research Adam discovered that Shawn had made a gift of his works to MoMA in the 1950’s, but the museum later gave away these materials to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. MoMA’s own policies, however, are such that they do not sell or give away works by living artists and Shawn was living at the time of his deaccession. To correct this error, Adam launched a digital installation at MoMA unauthorized by the museum and invisible to the naked eye. Through the use of an Augmented Reality platform he created a permanent installation of his performances at MoMA rendered accessible via mobile technology. Through the use of a mobile app, participants are able to view footage of his performances simply by training their smartphones or tablet computers to the museum galleries where he performed. The project brought to life fascinating questions around the nature of an archive, the challenges of live performance in museum settings and point towards digital intervention as a possible new horizon for the preservation and dissemination of this ephemeral form.
To close, Adam will provide a sneak peek into his upcoming collaboration with Woods Hole Research Fellow Alumna, Heather Clark.
Adam Weinert began his training at The School of American Ballet and continued on to Vassar College, The Juilliard School and New York University, where he recently earned a Master’s Degree under the tutelage of André Lepecki. Adam has danced with The Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, The Mark Morris Dance Group, Shen Wei Dance Arts, and Christopher Williams and for six years, served as the Artistic Associate to Jonah Bokaer. In addition to his performance work, Adam has been published in The New York Times, the Juilliard Journal and as a featured profile in Dance Magazine. He produced and choreographed an award-winning collection of dance ﬁlm shorts screened nationally and abroad, and his performance works have toured to four continents including a number of non-traditional dance venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, The Tate Britain Museum and The Tate Modern Museum. Weinert was awarded the Léo Bronstein Award for Artistic Scholarship from New York University in 2014, Presidential Distinction and Scholastic Distinction from the Juilliard School and in 2008, received the Hector Zaraspe Prize for Outstanding Choreography. He is currently Visiting Artist in Residence Faculty at Bard College and Artist in Residence at Interactive Media Culture Laboratory and Gallery in New York City.