When Judy Chicago debuted her now-iconic feminist art installation The Dinner Party 40 years ago, everyone had thoughts—it was striking and powerful piece to some, and controversial to others. Featuring a large triangular table with 39 dinner plate settings, the piece served as a tribute to women Chicago believed deserved a seat at the table and quickly became her most recognized and praised body of work. In honor of International Women’s Day and the 40th anniversary of The Dinner Party, Chicago joined forces with The Ailey School to honor the 39 pioneering figures through another art form: dance.
“History is made by heroes” opens the video of the collaboration premiering today, March 6, exclusively on ELLE.com. Co-directed by Redha Medjellekh and Katya Martín from the production company, Red is Dancing, 39 dancers line the triangular table as they perform an interpretive dance routine choreographed by Jessica Castro that gave The Dinner Party a new meaning.
“I am thrilled and honored that the Alvin Ailey dancers chose to create a piece in relation to The Dinner Party, my symbolic history of women in Western Civilization, now permanently housed at the Brooklyn Museum,” Chicago tells ELLE.com. “As I watched the women sway in rhythm around the table it was if the centuries of women represented were rising up to insist on freedom and equity for everyone on the planet. What a wonderful way to remind us that women’s rights are human rights.”
Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party is currently on display at The Brooklyn Museum.