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Exhibition explores role of dance in Indian culture

The exhibition will feature live performances by a variety of dance schools and performers from across the Bay Area who will bring in South Asian culture.

Still from the exhibition (Image - Asian Art Museum)

San Francisco's Asian Art Museum's latest exhibition "Beyond Bollywood: 2000 Years of Dance in Art," explores the role and importance of dance in India and South Asia. The exhibition will be on display till July 20.

A multimedia showcase of dance and 120 works of art from five countries borrowed from 25 museums and private collections is on display at the exhibition. The artworks include historical and modern sculpture, painting, textiles, jewellery, photographs, and more.

“The world loves Bollywood films for their famously elaborate choreography, and we wanted our community to be able to appreciate the deep historical, spiritual—and even economic and political—roots of dance across South and Southeast Asia, as well as parts of the Himalayas,” Jay Xu, the Barbara Bass Bakar director and CEO of the Asian Art Museu said.

The entire exhibition is divided into thematic sections such as Destruction and Creation; Devotion; Subjugation; Glorification; and Celebration to depict how dance is used as an form of human expression.

"There are few major world cultures in which gods dance and dance to convey matters of such divine seriousness. By arranging artworks across these five themes we reveal how much dance, and the art that depicts it, enriches and connects this massive, diverse geography of peoples, places, and beliefs," explained Forrest McGill, Wattis senior curator of South and Southeast Asia at the Asian Art Museum.

Jointly organized by by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and the Cincinnati Art Museum, the exhibition is supported by Google CEO Sundar Pichai and his wife, Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India and other Indian community members.