It's not normal to walk through expensive artworks with your eyes closed.

But then, this is no normal exhibition.

Wellington's Te Papa museum has commissioned its first ever dance tour, a 20-minute experience at Toi Art that has participants led through the gallery's art by a dancer.

At times you are led through the gallery with your eyes closed, only to be stopped and instructed to open your eyes, for an immersive dance and art experience.


I went with low expectations, worried that it would be pretentious. I left blown away, having experienced the art gallery in an entirely new light.

Performer Josie Archer said the immersive experience of the Walk with Me tour was special because of the way it changed interactions with art.

"It's really exciting that, rather than having dance as a one-off, maybe at the launch of something, this work is actually a part of this exhibition.

"It belongs here, with all this art. It just doesn't happen to be on the wall."

Te Papa is offering the dance exhibition for free this weekend, July 28-29, although you do have to sign up for the one-on-one tours.

It's the first time Te Papa has commissioned a dance work.

Archer said she hoped people would be open to the new perspective.

"It's an opportunity to be a bit more playful and engaged in your experience at the gallery.


"Moving through it, engaging with the work, engaging with the architecture, rather than standing and looking at a painting, and standing and looking at another painting.

"I haven't done anything else like this. I love the one-on-one set up, and the chance to have a one-on-one experience like this.

"The participant, and the way they shift and change, informs how I do things."

The artwork is part of The BodyCartography Project, which has choreographed works in other museums around the world, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

It's delivered by the Footnote New Zealand Dance and freelance artists Josie Archer and Kosta Bogoievski.