The show looks back on over 120 years of art and dance history and highlights how dance stimulated cultural and political developments in societies. From contemporary collaborations or the first Happenings by the Japanese Butoh dancers and the pioneers of Modern Dance, we trace a line in the cultural history of contact between the West and East back to the early performances of Asian dancers in Europe around 1900.
In six chapters and a prologue, Global Groove with its interdisciplinary thrust outlines how encounters between Western and (South) East Asian societies gave rise to new expressive forms in art, dance, performance and design, and what influence this has had on the history of Modernism. On display are about 280 works by over 60 artists, among them John Cage, Madame Hanako, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Anouk Kruithof, Ito Michio, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Auguste Rodin, Ulrike Rosenbach, Simon Starling, Mary Wigman, Haegue Yang and many others. The international loans include photographs, paintings, sculptures, installations, and films. An artificial garden created by Danish choreographer Mette Ingvartsen forms the heart of the exhibition - inviting visitors to tarry a while. The piece realized in cooperation with the Ruhrtriennale will be performed on several weekends.
Global Groove presents international collaborations in which experimental energies are triggered, such as between US photographer William Klein and Butoh dancers Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno or between choreographer Merce Cunningham and fashion designer Rei Kawakubo. A focus is on transcultural working relationships such as between sculptor Isamu Noguchi and choreographer Martha Graham. The exhibition also outlines constellations in which artists find their inspiration and materials in cultures outside Europe, among them Mary Wigman, whose choreographic oeuvre was replete with Asian influences, although she herself had never travelled there. The extensive video installation Universal Tongue by Anouk Kruithof brings the topic right up into the present day: Fascinated by dances as a form of interaction and self-empowerment, she has together with an international team collected traditional, Pop-culture and experimental dance forms from the Internet and used them to create a kaleidoscope of global dance today.