The museum workout
“Turns out, a little music and movement really can
make you see things differently”
- NPR Morning Edition
Monica Bill Barnes & Company has reimagined the museum tour, creating a physical way for audiences to relate to the finest art in the world. Participants join the company in the early morning, before public hours, traveling through the museum, performing choreographed exercises in the galleries. Barnes invited artist and author Maira Kalman to collaborate with the company to create a new way to spend time in museums. Kalman curates the artwork visited on the tour. Creative Producing Director Robbie Saenz de Viteri mixes her recorded voice with a soundtrack ranging from Disco to Motown. The Museum Workout disrupts the normally contained museum environment, invigorating participants by creating a physical relationship to the art of the ages.
The Museum Workout was originally created for The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and ran for over 80 performances in 2017. Since then it has toured to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. Early versions of the project were developed at Princeton University's Art Museum and NYU's Villa Pietra in Florence, Italy.
The Museum Workout is made possible with support from Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and Jody and John Arnhold.
“It’s easy to think the Workout was all a dream” - Bloomberg News
“A Woman in the group wept, and my activity tracker reported that I had burned three hundred and fifty calories.” - The New Yorker
“A new way to experience art” - Forbes
“After the morning I had, anything seemed possible.” — The Village Voice
“What the workout gives participants is an appreciation of the museum itself: the soaring ceilings, narrow hallways, spacious galleries; how the sunlight rakes and refracts through the windows, then scatters like beads from a broken necklace across the floor. Yet these moments of sublimity are tempered by irreverence. The workout, with its pop-rock playlist and jazzercise-y moves, successfully removes any pretense or affected erudition...And the constant disorientation disallows for higher cognitive thought to occur” —T Magazine, The New York Times
For all booking inquiries please contact Pomegranate Arts:
Pomegranate Arts, Inc
Select photo credits Mallory Lynn , The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Eugene Hyland