January 27, 2020
Approaching Challenging Performance
and Honoring the Legacy of Chick Austin
January 30, March 19 and April 30
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota is known for visual art but you may not realize how much bold and adventurous theatre, dance and music the Museum hosts — as in the international Art of Performance series happening right now, with Chilean puppet artist Aline Kuppenheim exploring love with differing abilities, Miami’s Inez Barlatier’s vibrant original music and Dahlak Braithwaite’s hip hop exploration of the U.S. criminal justice system — and that’s just the next three shows.
Afro-Brazilian dance melded with poetic hip hop, modern flamenco and the music of Andalusian miners, animation and performance telling the epic history of the Earth and dance that explores single-use plastic bags are all on the horizon and well worth the drive.
With the FrEnemies of Contemporary Performance and Art lecture series, the Ringling takes inspiration from their first director, the innovative Chick Austin. Before he transformed the Ringling into a thriving public museum, Austin was a driving force in bringing modern visual, literary and performing arts to often reluctant American audiences — at a time when people didn’t think Dalí belonged in a museum.
“The function of a museum,” Chick said, “is more than merely showing pictures. The museum is the place to integrate the arts and bring them alive.”
A true visionary, Chick, revolutionized museum practice with a deep appreciation for the artistry of musicians, choreographers and dancers — and was a leader in presenting performance in American museums.
To help audiences accept these challenging new forms, Chick created a program in which people who loved or hated the show could come together to discuss why. He called this program the Friends and Enemies of Contemporary Performance.
Honoring Chick Austin’s legacy, the Ringling will host a series of programs that each focus on a particular performance medium. Discussions will allow participants to freely share opinions and create the opportunity for dialogue and conversation.
Programs are free but do require a reservation as space is limited.