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Gallim Dance will engage in a performance conversation with the Temple of Dendur at the Met this weekend (photo by Nikki Theroux)

Gallim Dance will engage in a performance conversation with the Temple of Dendur at the Met this weekend (photo by Nikki Theroux)

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Gallery 131, the Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing
1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.
October 28-29, $65 (includes same-day museum admission), 2:00

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s first-ever artist-in-residence choreographer, Andrea Miller of Gallim Dance, will debut her site-specific project, Stone Skipping, on October 28 and 29 at 2:00 at the Met Fifth Avenue, at the Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing. The Salt Lake City-born, New York City-based choreographer, a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow who formed Gallim in 2007, created the piece as a conversation with the popular historical artifact, a Roman Period Egyptian temple completed in 10 BCE, during the reign of Augustus Caesar, who is depicted on one of the outer walls as a pharaoh. “I am curious to understand the capacity of the body, its anatomy, its power, and its instinct to connect with the space and events around us. In my work, I look for texture, a quality of energy, or a psychological pitch that surfaces in the doing of things,” Miller, whose previous pieces include W H A L E, Fold Here, Wonderland, and Blush, has said. That mission should resonate beautifully with the Temple of Dendur, a favorite of Met visitors. Stone Skipping features ten members of the Gallim company, joined by six guest dancers from Juilliard, with an original composition by Phil Kline (Unsilent Night, John the Revelator), performed live by the viola quartet Firewood, consisting of Ralph Farris, Stephanie Griffin, Jessica Meyer, and Lev Zhurbin; the costumes are by fashion designer Jose Solis. Stone Skipping will also touch upon the journey the Aeolian sandstone structure made from Egypt, which, in conjunction with the White House, awarded the institution the temple in 1967. “I am convinced that the Metropolitan’s plans for the temple will protect it and make it available to millions of Americans in a setting appropriate to its character,” President Lyndon B. Johnson wrote to museum director Thomas Hoving in April 1967. Exploring such universal themes as loss, preservation, and survival, Miller’s Stone Skipping should only add to the special nature of this extraordinary artifact. Tickets are $65 and include museum admission; for an addition dollar, you can bring a child between the ages of seven and sixteen to the performance, up to three kids per adult. Back in 2011, we saw Shen Wei give a gorgeous presentation in the Met’s Charles Engelhard Court, so we can’t wait to see what Gallim has in store for us.

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