I love a good top ten list, and this year has been a year of transformative experiences for the Knight Arts program. So I thought I’d take a minute and list some of the amazing cultural events that took place this year in the eight cities where Knight Arts concentrates funding
I’ve been preaching the mantra that the future for arts presenters is to let audiences curate their own experience. Never was that approach more evident than in the six, 30-minute presentations by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in Miami during Art Basel week.
The place where the audience typically sits had been turned in a 30-foot high sculpture of white boxes, exercise balls and other flotsam and jetsam by Miami’s Daniel Arsham. Spectators proceeded to the stage where they were free to move around three areas where the dancers, dressed in costumes designed by Robert Rauschenberg, performed.
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The dancers moved between three stages, with two to six dancers per stage. Tired of the first area? Move to the second. Stand as close to the edge of the dance floor as you like, hear the dancers’ exertion, see the sheen of their sweat. This is no “I dance, you sit still and watch for two hours from 30 rows away” performance instead the dancers’ opportunity to move was also made available to the audience.
Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation’s president and CEO, has been telling me for years how special the troupe is (I think he went to all six shows over three nights!). Seeing the awestruck look on the faces of the audience members was confirmation of the transformational nature of the experience.
For the complete list, with events from other cities, go to Knightarts.org.