New DIA exhibit explores dance in American culture

A new exhibit organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts presents more than 90 paintings, sculptures, photographs and costumes to celebrate and explain the importance of dance in American culture.

"Dance! American Art 1830-1960" opens Sunday at the Detroit museum and runs until June 12. After its Detroit run it's scheduled to travel to the Denver Art Museum in July and to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas in October.

The artworks illustrate sacred dances of indigenous North Americans, the history of African-American dancing and other kinds of dancing. Paintings from the turn of the 20th century and works by Harlem Renaissance artists are featured.

The exhibit features places people dance, such as nightclubs and parties, and dances such as the jitterbug, swing and Charleston from distinct eras. Videos include historic footage and contemporary dancers discussing and demonstrating kinds of dance including ballet and tap.

In Detroit, live performances, movies, dance demonstrations and talks are planned as part of the exhibit. A preview dance party is planned. And "Dancing in the DIA," a creative movement class, is scheduled to take place in the museum's Great Hall.

To learn more about the exhibit, watch the interview in the video player above. For more information, you can also visit

The Associated Press contributed to this report.