DB Lampman, The Dance

November 9, 2015 to November 9, 2016
Conference House Park, Staten Island

DB Lampman’s “The Dance” at Conference House Park Staten Island.

The Dance consists of five figures floating 15 feet above the ground. The figures, formed with steel and wrapped in nylon, hold hands and dance whimsically within a rectangular steel structure. At night the figures light up and cast a glow around the neighboring trees. The Dance is inspired by Henri Matisse’s painting by the same name. Similar interlocked figures can be found throughout art history, including Mayan art, African tribal sculptures, and ancient Mesopotamia, among others, to symbolize family, community, and spiritual or universal connectivity. Lampman uses this symbol for the coming together of the Staten Island community. DB Lampman lives and works in Staten Island and has embraced the diverse community made up of residents from around the world. In the exhibition, the five figures are entwined in a dance—they could be Flamenco dancers from Mexico, Kandyan dancers from Sri Lanka, or a dance from West Africa such as the Yankadi, or the Makru.

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DB Lampman, The Dance, photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Many Staten Island neighborhoods were flooded during Hurricane Sandy, and sadly lives and homes were lost in the storm. However, Staten Island came together during this crisis—strangers dropped everything and join people from around the island and all over the world to rebuild the community. The neighborhoods’ joint effort is an integral part of the inspiration for Lampman’s public artwork. Additionally, Lampman hopes that the installation will inspire additional community development, as the informal pavilion can be used for public dance and music performances by community members.

For more information, please contact the Conference House Park Visitor Center at 718 227-1463.