Rob Kitsos is an acclaimed dancer, dance instructor, performing artist, musician and choreographer who performed across North America, Europe and Asia. He continues to choreograph and produce his own interdisciplinary works having created over 100 dance works with collaborators from a wide range of disciplines. Rob is on the faculty of Simon Fraser University as an Associate Professor in the School for the Contemporary Arts. He teaches contemporary technique, composition, repertory, dance aesthetics, improvisation in performance and interdisciplinary collaboration. www.robkitsos.com
Your secret art venue when you seek peace and quiet
When I was in graduate school at the University of Washington in Seattle, I would often make my way to the Henry art Gallery. The architecture has an intimate feel and flows from the campus into the café and entrance of the gallery. This is a small gallery that you could walk through in a reasonable time and had amazing exhibits. Part of it was the convenience but it was also the tranquil atmosphere and inspiring spaces and art works.
The best food experience in an art space
I’ll never forget the café connected to the MOMA in New York City- Café 2. It’s a cafeteria-style café that has great food. The focaccia looked amazing walking in and it was. We also had several shard plates of tapas and everything was delicious. Anytime I’m in New York I look forward to going back.
A museum gift shop that you never leave empty handed
SAM in Seattle is one that is hard to leave without buying something. They have large items and high design trinkets but also lots of small fun things that are reasonable and great for kids. The space for the shop has a large layout so you can look over the span of the items and it’s easy to move around the merchandise. I often found this shop more interesting than the exhibits….
Your museum with a wow-factor
My favorite museum is Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris. Monet’s water lilies are one of my favorite works of all time. I loved them as a child and would paint them over and over. The design of this museum where the water lilies are is perfectly constructed for these works, slightly curved walls where you can sit in the center of the room and take in the scale of the paintings. I would sit there and get lost in those blue-green worlds – an immersive experience. I would also have to mention the Marc Chagall Museum in Nice. I also love the work of Chagall and this building is a perfect frame for his vision. The building felt like walking into one of his paintings.
Please share with us a special personal memory related to a museum experience
Going back to the Henry art Gallery in Seattle, I walked in one day and saw the work of Wolfgang Laib. I was blown away. There was a perfect square of flower pollen on the floor that radiated a yellow that I had never seen before. It was so simple and so powerful. The vibration of color something you could feel in your body. I ended up choreographing a quartet called yellow in honor of this work with the brightest yellow costumes I could think of. This work was performed at Meany Hall – a theatre just 100 yards away from the Henry Art Gallery. It was a testament to the power of that experience and something as simple as color can move you. Later I found out that Laib would actually collect all that pollen by hand from flowers – a highly work intensive process that made the work even more impressive to me.