As part of Gerard & Kelly’s project on the Fifth Floor, and in conversation with the Fall 2014 R&D Season thematic CHOREOGRAPHY, the public is invited to observe and participate in pole-dancing classes, practice sessions, and on occasion, hosted events. These “Open Pole” gatherings will occur during “Pay-What-You-Wish” Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. at the New Museum. Pole classes by invitation only will be held from 7–8:30 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to observe. From 8:30–9 p.m., the artists open up the floor and invite visitors to practice their pole skills.
*Class with Keisha Franklin, yoga, dance, and pole instructor at Shockra Studio
Coinciding with the Museum’s weekly Pay-What-You-Wish Thursday evenings, Gerard & Kelly will continue to stage “Open Pole” on Thursday February 5 and Thursday February 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. The last two installments of “Open Pole” feature two crews of dancers who perform on the poles in New York City subways—the Chosen Ones and We Live This—in an open-mic-style, improvisatory event that will be conducted in the installation.
Keisha Franklin’s love affair with movement began with street dance at the age of eight, but it wasn’t until 1993, when she entered the hip-hop and underground house scenes, that her real dance education began. In 1999, she began her formal training with Oriental dance and samba and, later, moved into everything from African to modern dance. Years of work as a theatrical performer gradually brought her to pole. She became instantly connected to the athleticism and beauty found in the art form, and how it makes participants feel confident and strong. Franklin’s approach to teaching pulls from her experience with different movement vocabularies. She focuses on proper alignment and strength development as well as building a solid foundation; her style is warm and welcoming, and she invites laughter and self-exploration in every class. Franklin is a two-hundred-hour certified Hatha Vinyasa Yoga Instructor and an X-Pert Pole certified. She is also an avid yogi and a student of Pilates.