Lectures 2006
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"Dancing the space- architectural scenography" Marina Arampatzi


The space and the body, their expressions and their interaction, occupy equally the arts of dance and architecture. This lecture has to do with the analysis of four dance performances that concern in that reflection of cross-correlation of movement and space, dance and architecture, choreography and scenography. It is the work of Frιdιric Flamand, Belgian choreographer who was artistic director of the team of modern dance Charleroi/Danses - Plan K in Brussels from 1991 up to 2004. Moving Target is the first performance in 1996 with Diller+Scofidio as stage directors (scenographers). It negotiates the subject of human body in modern world of information. In 2000, the performance Metapolis-project 972 follows, with collaborator Zaha Hadid and subject the utopian city, the networks that it’s constituted of and also the process that determines the way of life in it. In 2002, Frιdιric Flamand continues the dialogue of architecture and dance, collaborating this time with Jean Nouvel for BodyWorkLeisure. This performance investigates the changes of situation of human body in its everyday routine in modern city after digital revolution. The fourth and last performance that is analyzed in this lecture is Silent Collisions for which Thom Mayne (Morphosis) signs the settings. The subject concerns in the modern city, seen through the eyes of Italo Calvino in “Invisible Cities”, as a dynamic system of transformations, intensities, ruptures and conflicts.

The particularity of these performances is that each time, architect and choreographer, both collaborate from the concept up to the achievement of target. In this way, choreography, scenography as well as all the other elements that compose the performance, have been shaped on a common course of interactions.

In the performances that were studied the architects tried to design the scenic spaces with fundamental axis elements that connect architecture and modern dance. Significances and qualities of kinetic vocabulary is attempted to be transported in the scenic space and they are expressed through design.

In their architectural and scenographic work, Diller+Scofidio negotiate more with the significance of control and discipline in the modern society, Zaha Hadid with the significance of fluidity, networks and complexity of space. Jean Nouvel deals with the appearance, the disappearance, the depth of field and the incorporation via the transparency while Thom Mayne focuses in continuous changes and the architecture as a process. Via collaboration of architecture with dance, the mind of architect ceases focusing only in architecture. It listens for the person, his movement, the society in general in order to include all the information in his thoughts while drawing.  Building is changed in a live organism. Time and users compose the final form of it