8 October 2021 at Museo Civico in Bassano del Grappa – Morning
It is a very soft arrival at Museo Civico in Bassano this morning.
In the open-air, feet standing in the grass of the old cloister, a group of elderly people is dancing a kind of soft meditation. Movement, peace, another type of concentration is already existing here in the space, to welcome us. No space is ever empty, even an empty museum in lockdown times, there is always secret or invisible entities.
Then a very warm welcome, by Roberto, Greta, for the whole team. Hugging, saying “hellos” and “good to see you” in different languages. We often talk about temperature in Dancing Museums. Ana Pi talks about how to bring warmth to a cold place, and it can be as simple as smiling at someone or offering them a chair to sit on. Warmth was overwhelming when everyone arrived this morning – some people embraced, fell into each other’s arms, touching hands. It’s good to finally see you here. I was wondering when I could hug you again. Ariadne says to me that it is nice to actually see people, feel them move in the space outside of a Zoom frame, see the whole of their body and their relation to space. Some of us have only met online so far.
“If you’re warm enough there is a dedicated place to leave your belongings to walk through the museum,” Roberto indicates. We talked of the importance of having a green room when being welcomed to work somewhere, a place to sit, lay, sleep, snack, rest, as Ingrid pointed out yesterday during the conference. A space away from the attention.
Then, starting upstairs in the museum rooms with Masako and her baby boy.
A collective warm-up centred around moving our pelvis in the infinity shape, in circles, up and down. A powerful move, loosening up, warming the space and the body. Smiling. Closing the eyes gently. Grooving to the music playing loud now from the speaker. I’m zooming out of the situation for a brief moment thinking this should be a possible experience for a visitor in a museum: creating a mini-party, moving your pelvis around to the sound of music. It clearly and visibly lightens the mood.
Walking in the space after the warm-up I feel drawn to details in the paintings‧ The colours, the fabrics – the thick velvet of a cape, the light and shiny silk of a dress. Warm colours.
In light of Dancing Museums, some art works stand out in relation to the movement in the space or the questions we have in our minds at a particular time.