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Experience the transformative power of dance at the Cincinnati Art Museum November 11–February 5

10/5/2022 12:00:00 AM

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CINCINNATI — October 5, 2022 — Explore the representation of dance in the arts from South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Himalayan region from the first to the 21st century in Beyond Bollywood: 2000 Years of Dance in Art, on view at the Cincinnati Art Museum from November 11, 2022–February 5, 2023.

For the first time in an American museum, visitors are encouraged to consider the compelling visual language of dance through dynamic artworks from India alongside works from Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia. Jointly organized by the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the exhibition features more than 100 artworks drawn from US museums and private collections. Large-scale sculptures, vibrant paintings, jewelry, textiles and compelling video works by contemporary artists each embody aspects of dance and performance.

“Dance occupies a vital role in the religious and cultural practices of South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Himalayan Region,” says Cincinnati Art Museum Curator Dr. Ainsley M. Cameron, “The force and meaning of dance often convey profound spiritual, social and cultural messages. Dance can communicate aspects of one’s identity, status and beliefs. And it can convey joy and exuberance through patterned or free movement. Join us to explore the multiple meanings of dance through these exquisite works of art.” 

Major support for Beyond Bollywood is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and is presented by Procter & Gamble. The show will be on view in the Western & Southern Galleries (232 and 233).

Tickets are $12, with discounted rates for students, children and seniors and can be purchased onsite and online starting Nov. 11. Admission is free for members. The exhibition will be free for members and nonmembers every Thursday evening from 5–8 p.m. and also during the Bollywood-themed Art After Dark from 5–9 p.m., Friday, January 27. Photography is permitted, but no flash. On social media, use the hashtag #BeyondBollywood.

The Cincinnati Art Museum is the first partner to present this exhibition. Beyond Bollywood will then be on view at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco beginning March 31, 2023.


Exhibition overview:

Through religious, courtly and everyday objects, museum audiences can explore how dance occupies a uniquely prominent place in the cultures of South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Himalayan region. The dance of the gods provides religious and ethical lessons to devotees and also symbolizes divine power and majesty. In daily life, people have long danced for worship, for festivals, for the entertainment of emperors and princes and for their own enjoyment. Visitors will experience artworks that depict celebratory dance, divine love, romance, devotion, power and transformation. Dance was, and is, not only for delight.

The exhibition is accompanied by an interdisciplinary, multi-author publication available soon from the museum shop in person and online. The book tells the story of dance in the arts through more than 250 lavish color illustrations and essays from scholars of art, dance and cinema.


Upcoming, related events:

Dr. Mrinalini Rajagopalan from the University of Pittsburgh will deliver a lecture at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, that critically and creatively engages with representations of the female dancer’s form throughout India’s art and performance histories. The lecture is free for members. General public, $20; Students, $5.

Beyond Bollywood will be accompanied by a variety of public programming including the upcoming CAM Kids Day: Dance Party from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, and Art After Dark on Friday, January 27, 2023. Additional programs include a series of dance performances within the exhibition space, as well as a larger ticketed performance planned for the auditorium. Programs will be posted on the museum’s website and updated regularly.


About the Cincinnati Art Museum

The Cincinnati Art Museum is supported by the generosity of individuals and businesses that give annually to ArtsWave. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Cincinnati Art Museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Cincinnati Art Museum gratefully acknowledges operating support from the City of Cincinnati, as well as our members.

Free general admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is made possible by a gift from the Rosenthal Family Foundation. Special exhibition pricing may vary. Parking at the Cincinnati Art Museum is free.

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