A cultural workout

23.01.2017 The Met : Museum : Fitness
The Museum Workout by Monica Bill Barnes & Company, New York. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) has collaborated with dance company Monica Bill Barnes & Company to launch The Museum Workout.

  • Participants will take part in a 45-minute, two-mile athletic tour of the museum
  • The workout’s pleasure is said to come from the physical element and the fact that it borders on trespassing

The event is somewhere between a museum tour and a fitness class in which a small group of participants are invited to take part in a 45-minute, two-mile series of exercises and stretches within the museum before it opens to the general public. Participants in the workout, described by The Met as a ‘physical and interactive journey through The Met in the morning hours’, are told they will ‘experience an awakening to their surroundings unlike any other museum tour’.

The choreography for the tour was developed and is led by Monica Bill Barnes and dance partner Anna Bass. Writer and illustrator Maira Kalman developed the route, selecting certain artworks to visit along the tour, as well as a soundtrack that mixes her recorded voice with various disco and Motown songs.

The workout was commissioned by The Met’s MetLiveArts programme.

The Big Picture

In a bid to drive innovation, museums are working harder than ever to introduce bold new initiatives. For more on original approaches to museum tours, see Museum Hack founder Nick Gray’s piece on Hacking Institutions for the Better.

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