Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594–1665) was the most influential French painter of the 17th century, and an artist fascinated by movement. Living and working in Rome, he painted scenes of wild revelry—dancing nymphs and satyrs—that drew inspiration from classical antiquity and helped make Poussin a star of the European art world, widely recognized as the originator of French classicism.\n\nOn view February 15–May 8, 2022, *Poussin and the Dance* will present a selection of the artist’s paintings and drawings alongside the antiquities that inspired him, and place these objects in dialogue with contemporary dance. [Screened in the exhibition galleries and online, a series of original dance films by Los Angeles-based choreographers](https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/poussin_dance/video.html) Micaela Taylor, Chris Emile, and Ana Maria Alvarez will engage Poussin in a conversation across centuries—exploring the structure and subject matter of his compositions and challenging his position of cultural authority. \n\n“Dance was a key theme in Poussin’s art and one that still resonates today,” said Timothy Potts, Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “The exhibition will invite visitors into Poussin’s process—from study of the antique to composition and completed paintings—in a fresh and compelling way. Connecting these extraordinary 17th-century works with contemporary dance offers a splendid way to open up Poussin’s work for today’s visitors while also highlighting the artistic vitality of LA’s dance community.” \n\nPoussin gravitated to the theme of dance in the late 1620s and the 1630s, shortly after his arrival in Rome. Portraying dancers allowed him to work through the problem of depicting motion in a still image, to explore the expressive potential of the human body, and to devise new methods of composition. Poussin carried lessons learned from dance into every corner of his production, famously using a toy theater populated with wax figurines to stage the compositions he drew and painted. Orchestrating complex, colliding movements with his wax figurines, he envisioned dramatic—even violent—action with a choreographer’s eye. \n\n“Although many scholars have described Poussin’s pictures as balletic, dancelike, or choreographed, no exhibition has ever explored the theme of dance in this artist’s work,” explains Emily Beeny, curator in charge of European paintings at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and curator of the exhibition at Getty. “By bringing together many of the artist’s very most beautiful works and examining them through the lens of dance—a universal human impulse—this exhibition offers visitors a point of access to an ‘old master’ through their own lived experience.” Dance was a key theme in Poussin’s art and one that still resonates today Sarah Cooper, public programs specialist at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and co-curator of the contemporary dance commissions, adds, “these choreographers represent the most exciting thinkers and movers working in dance at this moment in Los Angeles. As we looked at Poussin’s works with these three choreographers, they each found eye-opening ways to dig into their worlds, pulling out details, expressions, textures, as well as perspectives about how the visual story was formed in a way that only someone with intimate knowledge of the physical experience of dance and its capacity for expression could uncover. What emerged was a conversation between artists—a dialogue that transcended centuries of distance, radically separated by cultural contexts and artistic tools, yet found compelling resonance in their mutual investigations of the distinct emotion and meaning that only dance can elicit.” \n\n### Choreographers Featured in the Exhibition\n\n**Micaela Taylor** \nMicaela Taylor is a choreographer, a dancer, and the artistic director of The TL Collective. She is the recipient of the Inaugural Springboard EMERGE Choreographic Award, was recently named one of *Dance Magazine*’s “25 to Watch,” and was featured on the cover of *Dance Magazine* in May 2020. \n\nIn addition to her work for The TL Collective, Taylor has been commissioned to choreograph for the Rambert Dance Company, London; BODYTRAFFIC, Los Angeles; Springboard Danse, Montreal; Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Denver; B12 Festival, Berlin; Carlos Acosta’s Acosta Danza, Havana; and more. Taylor's work has been presented at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Broad Stage, Ford Amphitheatre, The Barclay Center, and the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, among other venues. \n\n**Ana Maria Alvarez** \nAna Maria Alvarez, a 2020 Doris Duke Artist and an inaugural Dance/USA Artist Fellow, is a choreographer, dancer, teaching artist, movement activist, and the founding artistic director of CONTRA-TIEMPO, a multilingual Los Angeles-based activist dance theater company. A two-time grantee of NEFA National Dance Project, Alvarez has taken CONTRA-TIEMPO on multiple tours in Central and South America through the US State Department and has toured the company to Jacob's Pillow, Lincoln Center, and The Ordway. She received a BA in Dance and Politics from Oberlin College and an MFA in Choreography from UCLA and traveled to Cuba from 1999 to 2009 training with Cutumba Baile Folklorico and Narcisco Medina. Her thesis work, exploring the abstraction of Latin dance, specifically salsa, as an expression of resistance to immigration policy, became the impetus for founding CONTRA-TIEMPO in 2005. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. \n\n**Chris Emile** \nChris Emile is a choreographer, filmmaker, performer, and co-founder of the movement-based project No)one. Art House.\n\nChris’s directorial and choreographic work oscillates between the experiential, film, stage, and commercial worlds. His film work has appeared on NOWNESS, 4:3 Boiler Room, *CULTURED Magazine*, and in museums such as Art + Practice and COMPOUND Long Beach. His choreographic work has been commissioned by the Kennedy Center, MAK Center for Art & Architecture, Solange Knowles, São Paulo Opera, Anderson Paak, San Francisco Symphony, the University of Southern California, the Institute of Contemporary Art, LA, Museum of Contemporary Art, LA, and LA Opera where he assistant directed and choreographed the Pulitzer Prize winning opera *prism*, among others.\n\n*Poussin and the Dance* is organized by the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and the National Gallery, London.\n\nAccompanying the exhibition is the volume *Poussin and the Dance*, published by Getty Publications and edited by Emily A. Beeny, former associate curator of drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and currently curator in charge of European paintings at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and Francesca Whitlum-Cooper, the Myojin-Nadar Associate Curator of Paintings, 1600–1800, at the National Gallery, London.