Feature: Watch this Space

Friday 7 April 2006

Watch This Space
- a symposium on dance and architecture hosted by Dance UK in collaboration with Dance Umbrella and the Royal Institute of British Architecture took place the Chelsfield Room, Royal Festival Hall, on 28 October. Chaired by architect *John Lyall*, Speakers: *Frédéric Flamand* choreographer & Artistic Director of *Charleroi Danses*, *Carol Brown*, choreographer, *Siobhan Davies* choreographer & *Sarah Wigglesworth*, architect. Symposium produced by *Suzanne Walker* !/mmfiles/old/images/10389def5eb98fa12158bd43c56823ce.jpg(Dancers the Place)! The relationship between dance and architecture is obviously intriguing, if the numbers attending this symposium are anything to go by. Some 150 people, dancers, architects, dancer/architects and architects who dance, packed the room and scores more were on standby.
Choreography and architecture may be disciplines with very different concerns and practices, but as the introduction to the event said “both share a concern with making space dance”.

Dancebase Edinburgh Architects and dancers are finding a variety of meeting grounds these days, as John Lyall, the architect who chaired the event summarised.

? The Capital Lottery Programme has enabled a blossoming of exciting new purpose built spaces for dance to happen – from Malcolm Fraser’s Dance Base in Edinburgh (shortlisted for the Stirling Prize) to the newly refurbished Place by Allies and Morrison and Herzog & de Meuron’s new Laban Centre, opening early next year here in London.
? Site specific dance works are increasingly being made for particular settings. This September’s Open House Weekend saw dance made for 5 locations in London – ranging from the foyers of the Place to the derelict 18th Century Shipwrights Palace, Deptford. Random Dance performed in the new Canary Wharf tube station recently and the Dance Umbrella 1999 season featured a programme of dance placed in locations along the Thames: ‘Take me to the River’.
? There have been a growing number of collaborations between choreographers and architects to make work together (see Fredereric Flamand below).

John Lyall – the architect who chaired the event, has a particular interest in dance….
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Frederic Flamand – choreographer & Artistic Director of Charleroi Danses, has been working with architects since 1996 to realise his work…
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Carol Brown
Historically, dance has so often been made for theatrical spaces, or as Carol Brown put it: “we customise ourselves for the built environment of the theatre”….
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Siobhan Davies – is currently working with architect Sarah Wigglesworth on the design for a conversion…
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From the Floor
Points of discussion
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