We are a passionate bunch here at the Australian National Maritime Museum. We preserve and bring to life Australia’s maritime history, through exhibitions, public programs and even this blog, but rarely do we use dance as our primary communication medium.
Museum Dance Off grew out of Maggie Guzowski’s popular blog When You Work at a Museum. Now in its fifth and final year, Museum Dance Off is an international competition which unities museums, galleries, archives and libraries together from around the world to showcase our collections, facilities and staff as well as our dance moves. This year there are 48 entries from dozens of countries and seven international finalists will face off in the Grand Final round, aka THUNDERDOME, next Monday/Tuesday.
Museum Dance Off was a unique opportunity for our staff and volunteers to share our passion for history – and hidden dance talents! The Last Dance was inspired by photographs in our collection featuring couples boogying on board ships. We wanted to bring the collection to life and share our enthusiasm for our magnificent vessels. What better way to do that than with Benny Goodman’s iconic Sing Sing Sing, which just makes you want to swing. From filming inside a spacious submarine, to dancing on the deck of the HMB Endeavour and even bringing out the big guns on HMAS Vampire, this project has been an adventure. Above all, Museum Dance Off encouraged our staff to collaborate together in an unexpected and wonderful way.
May 7 and 8 was the Australian semi-final where we had a showdown with the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) to represent Australia in THUNDERDOME. It was a tight round but NFSA went on to THUNDERDOME.
BUT all is not lost, as there is a bonus People’s Choice round for all the entries who didn’t make it to THUNDERDOME. Voting closes tonight, May 15, at 9:59 pm.
— Kate Pentecost, Digital Curator