Settlement

Publication Type:
Performance
Citation:
2005
Issue Date:
2005-01
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The idea behind Settlement was literally to settle the new Divergence Dance Company (Wales' contemporary dance company) into their home in the Cardiff Millennium Centre. Commissioned by the company as co-director, designer and dramaturge, the project was to conceive a series of site-specific dance performances responding to the interior architecture. Merging dance and architecture to generate movement vocabularies for solo works, a research program was initiated to establish the new building's architectural functionality, program and circulation. The analysis revealed a series of positive elements and flaws that were developed as tools to field a series of body/space movement concepts for dance creation. An original and significant relationship between dancer and architecture developed; one that created singular reflective compositions between the ephemeral (dance) and the permanency of built space (building). Site-specific choreographies generated new emergent forms: the body as architectural indent, critique, surface and flexibility. A type of 'room writing' was developed where body inscription reflected architectural program. To navigate an encounter with the solo works through the vast public spaces of the building's foyer and floor levels, 400 metres of orange rope was rigged, creating a line of circulation throughout the building. The new spatial conditions the rope created to the existing volumes of the building resulted in ground/floor and wall/ceiling virtual intersections. Another defining material was applied through the introduction of 200 metres of orange safety tape that was applied to floor, wall and object surfaces to reflect various architectural details thereby creating virtual boundaries for the dance. Settlement was supported by Divergence Dance Company through the Welsh Council of the Arts.
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