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Artist in Residence, Cid Pearlman is creating a participatory movement experience with teens, interns, professional dancers and visitors.

Posted by on June 12, 2014

As part of our ongoing Participatory Performing Artist-in-Residence Program (PPAIR), Cid Pearlman invites visitors to co-create a participatory movement experience for all ages at Art that Moves, Friday June 20th 2014 (click here for more info).

by Cid Pearlman

MAH’s Subject to Change Teens rehearsing with PPAIR artist Cid Pearlman

MAH’s Subjects to Change Teens rehearsing with PPAIR artist Cid Pearlman

Over the last month I have been working with MAH’s Interns and Subjects to Change Teen Program, three of my dancers, and MAH’s fabulous staff to create Knotting the Broken String for Art that Moves on June 20th.

Early on in the process Stacey Marie Garcia, MAH’s Director of Community Engagement, asked me to set some goals for my project. I wrote: “I’d like to imagine big, and then scale down to do-able. I’d like to get my hands dirty and make things. I’d like the museum to feel mysterious and full of possibility, with surprises behind every door.”

The MAH has given me a lot of freedom, I am having a great time, and I think we are getting somewhere interesting. The big challenge is to figure out how to get visitors moving their bodies on the day of the event. We’ve come up with a variety of ways folks can participate as performers.

We are creating three installations that museum visitors can contribute to and inhabit: The World of Newspaper & String; The World of Plants, Rocks & Things; and The World of Forgotten Technologies & Birds That Sing.

The Interns – Charlotte, Lisa, and Kelsey – have been helping me create the three environments. These are a few of our early ideas:


Three amazing dancers – Sara Wilbourne, Cynthia Strauss, and David King – will act as “Dance Ambassadors” to each world, helping participants with translation and how to navigate the terrain.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to learn two set dances. The Memory Map Dance, considers what we take with us and what we leave behind as we move through our lives. This simple movement poem engages with some of the themes in Belle Yang’s Crossing Cultures: A Story of Immigration, which opened last week at the MAH. And David King will also teach a rhythm step dance that everyone can do.


MAH Intern, Kelsey Mathews wearing newspaper costumes.

Throughout the event folks will have the opportunity to make a variety of things to wear and to contribute the performance environments. Most everything we are using is recycled/repurposed, and it’s been fun to find new ways to use old things.

And to top it off there will be a parade – where you can show off the things you’ve made and learned throughout the day.


Cid at Viinistu Art Museum, Estonia, with “100 Kohvrit” by Marko Maetamm & Kaido Ole

When I returned from my Fulbright year in Estonia in 2010, I began a series of works examining landscape, memory and community. This project for the MAH is an extension of this area of exploration.

…and suitcases continue to make appearances in my dances – so be on the look out for them at Art That Moves on June 20th.