The Peabody Essex Museum is seriously giving every other museum ever a run for their money, hosting so many phenomenal events on a consistent basis. Really. I’ve been saying this for years now, and I hope you are listening because you may have just missed the experience of a lifetime.
April 18th, the PEM hosted a special performance by Nick Cave, culminating in a full-blown museum dance-party. Dancers in the Atrium. Dancers in the exhibition rooms, dancers in the gift shop. Dancers on the stairs, in the chairs, dancers everywheres!
Oh. The dancers looked like this:
It was a whole night filled with joyous movement, performed by kabuki-muppets (actually called Soundsuits) dancing to trance music. You literally couldn’t contain your smile when one of these beasts bounded towards you. Unless you were my friend’s kid, who has a minor meltdown in sheer terror for about 7sec before she sat down and watched, mesmerized, for the next 20minutes.
The best moments were watching young kids actually get up in the middle of performances and dance with the Soundsuits.
There was this wonderful moment where the children mimicked the dancers, where you could see them exploring movement, learning how to maneuver their bodies, and then being completely taken over when the music swelled. There was something so wonderfully primitive about these moments, like you were watching the most basic form of communication, and the kids were so immersed in this fantasy that they completely forgot who they were and why they were there. It was very pure, and reminded me why I love surrounding myself with art. If only I could see it all the way these kids did.
The event came at a time when Boston really needed something spirited, and a means to get away from the world for a moment. Offering the exhibition for free, and opening the museum halls to anyone who wanted some respite, was a truly wonderful gesture (of course, no one could have imagined 4hrs later there would be this). Overall, it was a brilliant night where no one left the museum dissatisfied, but we were all a little sad to see it end. Of course, we can expect another amazing night to come from the PEM in no time. It’s just what they do.