April 9, 2016 - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Robert Binet: Lake Maligne
April 9, 2016

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Images courtesy of Tony Nandi. 

Robert Binet
Lake Maligne
April 6–10, 2016

Performance: Wednesday–Friday 2pm, 6pm, 8pm,
Saturday–Sunday 11am, 2pm

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue
Avenue of the Arts
Boston, MA 02115
United States
Hours: Monday–Sunday 10am–5pm,
Wednesday–Friday 10am–10pm

T +1 617 267 9300

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Lake Maligne, a seven-minute solo performance, is the first museum presentation of a work by Robert Binet, Choreographic Associate at The National Ballet of Canada. At just 24 years old, Binet is a leading figure among a young generation of choreographers who are reinvigorating ballet with 21st century values. Through this centuries-old art form, Binet addresses the question, “How do I make something that shows how people relate to each other today, through a technique developed at a different time?”

Inspired by the mid-century landscape paintings of visionary Canadian modernist Lawren Harris (1885–1970), Binet’s Lake Maligne unfolds within the exhibition The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris, on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, until June 12. The dance responds to the light, composition, and spirit of Harris’s works, in particular elements of both figuration and abstraction present in the painting Lake Superior (about 1923, The Thompson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario). Staged in the gallery amongst the paintings that prompted it, Lake Maligne is performed by The National Ballet of Canada’s corps de ballet member, Spencer Hack.

The dance brings intimacy to Harris’s distanced, majestic landscapes, paying homage to the environments they conjure while activating them in the flesh. For Binet, “the contrasting qualities of fearsome magnitude and quiet isolation present in Harris’s work manifest in the body...all elements are constantly shifting to respond to one another, as they do in nature.”

Organized by Liz Munsell, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art and Special Initiatives, a position supported by Lorraine Bressler; Taylor L. Poulin, curatorial research associate, paintings, Art of the Americas; and Kristen Hoskins, manager, Lectures, Courses and Concerts. Lake Maligne was originally co-commissioned by Wayne McGregor and The Place, London, 2012.

Robert Binet was born in Toronto, Canada, and was appointed Choreographic Associate of The National Ballet of Canada in June 2013 following eighteen months as the Royal Ballet Choreographic Apprentice. His most recent works include The Wild Space Between Two Hearts to represent the National Ballet at the Eleventh International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize; Orpheus Becomes Eurydice, a co-production between The National Ballet of Canada and the Banff Centre, and subject of his TEDxToronto lecture; and The Blue of Distance, created for The New York City Ballet. Additionally, Binet has created works for the Dutch National Ballet’s junior company, the Estonian National Ballet, the Genée International Ballet Competition, Ballet Black, and the Hamburg Ballet’s junior company. He also choreographed the music video for Owen Pallett’s Song for Five & Six and Belle and Sebastian’s The Party Line.

Spencer Hack was born in Toledo, Ohio, and trained at Canada's National Ballet School. Hack joined The National Ballet of Canada as a RBC Apprentice in 2014 and became member of the corps de ballet in 2015. His repertoire includes The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Nijinsky, and Manon.

Performance Art at the MFA
The MFA is one of the first encyclopedic museums in the US to fully integrate performance art into its collection, exhibitions, and programs. Since the opening of the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art in 2011, the MFA has commissioned and presented dozens of performance artworks by international, national, and local artists, including live works that unfold in the Museum’s galleries and engage with its collection, performances that form part of cross-media contemporary art exhibitions, and interventions that appear in unexpected spaces inside the Museum or outdoors. These foundational, artist-driven projects question the role of performance art in a museum environment and reframe visitors’ experiences of the Museum. More information and video documentation of select works can be accessed through the MFA’s Performance Art Archive.

Performance Art at the MFA is supported by Lorraine Bressler.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
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Lake Maligne
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