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This paper argues that the art world’s current fascination for dance follows on from a previous high point of interaction in the late 1960s and 1970s, and before that, a moment in the late 1930s and early 1940s. It traces these first, second and third waves of dance in the museum at three institutions: the Tate in London, and the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Three institutional histories are sketched, drawing out the differences between their approaches. The conclusion presents the four most pressing possibilities/problems of presenting dance in the museum: historical framing, spectatorship, altering the work’s meaning, and financial support.


Ths work was originally published in Dance Research Journal.



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