Dance Dance Quarantine

Kids workshop

An online workshop by Mahsima Kalweit, student from the Institute for Education in the Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

Ever since the shutdown due to the coronavirus, we have been spending a lot of time at home and in front of the computer. Sometimes we don’t get enough movement and physical exercise. So one thing is all the more important: don’t forget to dance!

That’s what Pirate Care thought, too. Pirate Care is a group of activists who promote solidarity and acts of helping one another, while drawing attention to the fact that help should not be criminalized. Sharing knowledge, networking, and learning together are tools to counter this criminalization. For the current exhibition … of bread, wine, cars, security and peace, Pirate Care has been invited to present their web-based work and to develop a manual of sorts for the exchange of knowledge about political activism in the framework of workshops. In light of the pandemic, the group began collecting examples of solidarity and strategies for mutual care during times of the quarantine on their website – for instance, the section “Kids in quarantine.” There you will also find the call “Don’t forget to dance!” which inspired this week’s workshop Dance Dance Quarantine.

But how do an exhibition house and dance fit together actually? Already in 1962, Andy Warhol addressed this question in his work Dance Diagram and invited museum guests to dance according to depicted dance steps. Since longer, dance scholars have been examining how dance can be documented and how one can archive diverse choreographies. One of the most renowned projects is the Pina Bausch Archive, which took on the task to preserve the dance legacy of the famous choreographer and dancer Pina Bausch and make it accessible for future generations. Naturally, new technologies facilitate ever more options for archiving and notation, like a script, which are not confined to a sheet of paper. Also in pop culture, especially in the field of video games, there are games being developed that celebrate the act of dancing together in front of a screen. But now, let’s get away from the screens and start dancing!

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Here’s how to do it:

Watch this video or read these step-by-step instructions:

• Choose a song that you would like to dance to.

• Try to count from 1 to 8 in the rhythm of the song over and over again. Choreographies are usually structured into eight beats. Sometimes it’s not all that easy, but with some practice you will succeed!

• Once you have a feeling for the rhythm, download the worksheet here and think about your choreography. The first row is read from left to right; it is a sequence with 8 beats, then comes the next row.

• Now imagine that your starting position is in the circle in the middle of the arrows. You are looking in the direction of the arrow that points to the number 1.

• Your hands and feet have different colors: right arm = red, left arm = blue, right leg = green, and left leg = yellow. With the color gray, you can draw in freestyle dance, that means that everybody can dance how they like without any instructions.

• Now think about your dance movements – one movement per beat is best.

• Color in the arrows with the corresponding colors. On the computer you can use a software like Paint, otherwise print out the sheet and use color pencils or pens.

We would be really curious to see the choreography you thought up and for which song! Send a picture of it to us at:

… or post your choreography on Instagram #ofbread #kunsthallewien #ClosedButActive #AtMuseumsAnywhere #digitalmuseum #workshop #wienxtra #kinderaktive #spaceforkids #AkademieGehtInDieSchule

… or post it in our Facebook group /KunsthalleWienKinderworkshop

The workshop project Dance Dance Quarantine by Mahsima Kalweit was developed in the framework of the art and cultural education course Die Ausstellung als Lernort, a cooperation between Akademie geht in die Schule, the Institute for Education in the Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and Kunsthalle Wien.