Beautiful Dance Performances That Incorporate Books

As book lovers and library enthusiasts, we’re always on the lookout for works of art that pay homage to their beauty. When we spotted a beautiful performance set against a library of books at Art Fag City, which we feature after the jump, we were mesmerized by the dancer’s physical engagement with the space and the intersection of movement and stillness. Wanting to see how other dancers translated this concept, we discovered more performances that incorporated books and libraries — some within the dance itself, and others as a setting.


London-based artist Idris Khan filmed Sarah Warsop’s dance amongst a series of moving bookshelves that contained thousands of decommissioned library books for his triple-screen film installation, Lying in Wait. The minimalist project took two years to complete. The only sounds audible in Khan’s video are those recorded from the microphones strapped to Warsop’s thighs and the neck of her dress. The noises add to the tension of the mesmerizing piece and suggest the turning of pages. Watch the eight-minute video on The Space.