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(photo by Julieta Cervantes / (c) Museum of Modern Art)

Maria Hassabi rehearses PLASTIC at MoMA on October 30, 2015 (photo by Julieta Cervantes / © Museum of Modern Art)

Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
February 21 - March 20, free with museum admission ($14-$25)

In a 2011 twi-ny talk, Cyprus-born, New York City–based dancer and choreographer Maria Hassabi declared, “I was born flexible!” That statement is true not only of the remarkable things she can do with her body but also of where she performs her impressive, often painfully slow movement. We’ve seen her wrestle with a carpet at PS122, maneuver through a packed house seated on the floor at the Kitchen, and crawl down the cobblestoned path of Broad St. Ever investigating the relationship between performer and audience as well as dance and object — in 2012, Hassabi collaborated with Lutz Bacher and Tony Conrad on “Chandeliers,” in which more than a dozen light fixtures descended from floor to ceiling over the course of the day at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève — Hassabi next will set up shop at the Museum of Modern Art, where she will present Plastic for one month. Every day from February 21 to March 20, Hassabi and her team of dancers will be at several locations in MoMA, moving among the visitors, so watch out where you walk, because there will be no barriers separating them from you. You’ll find Simon Courchel, Jessie Gold, Neil Greenberg, Elizabeth Hart, Kennis Hawkins, Niall Jones, Shelley Senter, RoseAnne Spradlin, and David Thomson in the Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, Hassabi, Hristoula Harakas, Molly Lieber, Paige Martin, and Oisín Monaghan on the Marron Atrium and Agnes Gund Garden Lobby staircase, and Jones, Michael Helland, Tara Lorenzen, and Mickey Mahar on the staircase between the fourth- and fifth-floor galleries. The sound design is by Morten Norbye Halvorsen, with song fragments by Marina Rosenfeld. “Taking place underfoot in the transitional spaces of a museum known for its crowds, the work can be seen from multiple vantage points and inverts the typical relationship between performer and viewer so that it is the dancer who appears static and the onlooker who moves,” writes MoMA associate curator Thomas J. Lax in the brochure for the living installation, which was co-commissioned by MoMA, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. On February 24 at 7:00 ($8-$12) in the atrium, Hassabi will discuss the work with Philip Bither of the Walker Art Center.

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