( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) IMoD Creates New Ways to Engage The Art
ENSPIRE Contributor: Adrian de Vernou
Recently, the International Museum of Dance (IMoD) is creating a revolutionary way to promote and recognize dance performances. It was originally created in 2016 and founded as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2018. IMoD is an experience that invites people to engage with the positive impacts of global dance forms and techniques. With both in-person and virtual events, the IMoD is pioneering a first-of-its-kind museum experience for audience members.
The bulk of IMoD’s work is represented through its three main brands: IMoDEXPERIENCE, IMoDSTUDIO, and IMoDBUILDING. IMoDEXPERIENCE is focused on in-person and virtual pop-up events. These include dance exhibitions, classes, workshops, school residencies, and cinema. IMoDSTUDIO is a platform for dance education, archives, and other much-needed resources. Finally, IMoDBUILDING will include brick-and-mortar locations that will serve both as a place to house and preserve physical dance archives. It will also be an affordable space for dance artists to promote their work and collaborate on exhibitions.
Hilary Palanza, who is both the founder and the director of the IMoD, said that the main intention behind creating the IMoD was to, “provide a space to centralize, serve, and celebrate all artists.” For director Palanza, dancing has always been a big part of her life. Palanza recounts that “I started dancing at a very young age. I tried other forms of art like painting and writing. Dance always kept me in because of its ephemerality, depth, and ability to create a community in a way that was not violent.”
With this lifelong love of dance and knowledge of what it can do, Palanza sought to create a space where all forms of dance from all cultures are included. The International Museum of Dance was the first to do this. Palanza stated that “There was virtually nothing up until we created the International Museum of Dance that helped to educate the everyday person through immersive experiences and exhibitions as to the history of dance, where it comes from, who created it, and to make sure that our audience felt included in the dance conversation.”
The Purpose of Dance
Dance today is more important than ever as schools and communities are becoming clouded with mental health issues and violence. All forms of art, especially dance, can help resolve this issue. Palanza stated that “Arts at all levels are being stripped from our schools. I think we are seeing a loss in arts and a rise in violence. Arts provide a safe place for kids surrounded by violence to express themselves and turn away from their environment.”
Being an organization and company that was just recently founded, IMoD was in a unique position leading into 2020. When asked about how the pandemic impacted the International Museum of Dance, Palanza responded by saying, “We were at a really interesting inflection point because we had just founded in 2018 and unlike the other dance institutions that had been around for a really long time, they really struggled and did not make it. The pandemic was an interesting opportunity for us to pivot. Instead of launching these live experiences right away, we formulated our thinking around an online reach.” As director Palanza just noted, the IMoD has massive potential for how it can grow in the future.
The Future of IMoD
Palanza spoke passionately about the future of the International Museum of Dance. She talked about both the physical and virtual opportunities that will be presented. While brick and mortar locations are certainly considered, Palanza stated that “We are prioritizing our reach both online and in our pop-up faces. We are building a platform for Microsoft that will be open sourced so that institutions and individuals have a place to upload their dance archives and build a 3D platform for dancing.”
IMoD and its three brands are creating some of the most innovative and exciting events and performances within the dance industry. If you are interested in learning more about what they do, dance over to their website here.