Disco - the mere word sets off memories of Qiana shirts and Halston dresses, Donna Summer and the Village People, high society and suburban hustle champs. Nostalgia for the 1970s never seems to wane, but disco was more than an innocent craze. It was the soundtrack to the sexual revolution and a hugely influential musical trend that still touches dance floors around the world.
With Disco: A Decade of Saturday Nights, Experience Music Project becomes the first museum to explore the rich, complex world of disco in a major exhibition. Pulsating with light and sound, EMP's exhibit follows disco from its beginnings in New York club culture to the fad created by
Saturday Night Fever, the ensuing backlash, and disco's influential afterlife.
Vince Aletti (Village Voice, journalist),
Earl Young (The Trammps, drummer), and Marty Angelo (Disco Step-by-Step®,
producer) at disco exhibit opening in Seattle, 2004.
The show is rich with artifacts, including the drum kit used by Earl Young, the inventor of the disco beat; the Plexiglas guitar played by Nile Rodgers of Chic; one of
Saturday Night Fever's famous white suits; a selection of photographs taken by Andy Warhol at Studio 54; and rare artifacts from legendary nightspots ranging from the Loft to the Paradise Garage. Artists represented include Nile Rodgers of Chic, Donna Summer, Grace Jones, the Bee Gees, Sylvester, A Taste of Honey, and many more.
Marty Angelo and
disco dj legend, Rene Hewitt at Disco: A Decade of Saturday Nights Exhibition at the New York
Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, NYC 1/31/05
Beyond the dazzling collection of material, Disco features a fully operational dance floor complete with light show; an interactive DJ booth; video arrays flashing multiple vintage images; and dozens and dozens of key songs to be heard at listening stations, kiosks, and on EMP's audio tour. Through film and audio, Disco presents original interviews with the people behind the phenomenon - from the groundbreaking producer Giorgio Moroder to the Queen of the Discos, Gloria
Mel Cheren and Marty
Angelo at Disco: A Decade of Saturday Nights Exhibition at the New York Public
Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, NYC 1/31/05 photo by (c) Tina
Paul 2005. All Rights Reserved.
With help from a group of expert consultants (Marty Angelo, Nicky Siano,
etc.) led by Vince Aletti, the first journalist to write nationally about disco in 1973, EMP's curatorial team has created an exhibit that will forever change people's thinking about a musical genre that has been hugely important and hugely misunderstood.
The exhibit made stops at the Henry
Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan in 2004 and the New
York Public Library for the Performing Arts in New York City in
Marty Angelo and Tom
Silverman at Disco: A Decade of Saturday Nights Exhibition at the New York
Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, NYC 1/31/05 photo by
(c) Tina Paul 2005. All Rights Reserved.