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Strictly Come Horniman

Dance is a key theme of our collections, including ballet shoes, dance masks and costumes: we do love a good dance at the Horniman.

A figure representing the god Shiva, Lord of Dance

A print titled 'The war dance by the Ojibbeway Indians'

An archive photo from Project Tobong showing a Javanese dancer

Static objects can only show so much, so we like to host live dance in our galleries and gardens, providing a unique venue and performance for our visitors and the artists we work with.

An African dance performance in our gardens

For over 5 years, we have worked with Trinity Laban, a music and dance conservatoire based in Greenwich, commissioning new performances and hosting hundreds of performers.

Georgina Pope, Head of Learning, tells us about the dance collaboration between the Horniman and Trinity Laban at our Curious Tea Party last year.

One of our most recent dance commissions was with the fabulous Mandinga Arts as part of our African Summer. African Summer had a strong dance element, launching with African Dance. The event included performances by Trinity Laban, ADAD, Tazaviza and Ballet Nimba, all giving unique performances set against our gardens, bandstand and galleries.

Mandinga Arts leading our Africarnival with a brightly coloured dance

It is relatively rare for a museum to host dance performances, but we do like to do things differently. There are many artistic and logistical considerations to make but we love the chance to host cross-arts events with a broad participatory mindset.

With such a strong dance legacy and presence it's no surprise Strictly Come Dancing recently filmed a group performance in our gardens and we opened the show on 11th October.

If you would like to see some Horniman Dance, why not waltz down to our Secret Late on Thursday 12th November which features prohibition themed swing dance and circus performances.

Some of our Twitter fans' comments on our dance events this summer: