Dance can be described as a set of repetitious movements in space performed rhythmically. It is usually associated with aesthetic qualities and has a symbolic value for observers and varies greatly depending on their culture (Gavrilou 3). The theory of choreology is concerned with the elaboration of the connection between the conscious expression of movement patterns in dance and the principles that guide those movements.
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It is essential to realize that the form of dance cannot be directly observed or measured and only exists in the beholder (Gavrilou 3). Every moment of performance is a part of the flow created by the intricate complexion of coordinated movements that unfold before the observer. The vocabulary of dance allows stressing particular poses and presents others in a fleeting manner, thus creating culminations and pauses in motion. The viewer is able to recognize those patterns and construct an underlying structure from visual and aural components of the performance (Gavrilou 4). Therefore, it can be argued that dance is specially structured on two levels: the level of the dancing subject and the level of the observer.
Ballet Pas De Deux: An Exhibition of Dance and Architecture provides a unique possibility to explore the juxtaposition between the two mediums of artistic expression: dance and architecture (Gavrilou 4). The photographs presented at the exhibition invite the visitor of the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design to discover striking similarities between the two genres. It is absolutely clear from the images that Valerie Tellmann-Henning and Kirk Henning were required to create particular shapes with their moving bodies (The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design par. 3).
Moreover, they had to rely on their strength and endurance to make the whole act look natural and effortless. It can be argued that their precise movements and graceful positions were supported by a buttress of continuous training and motivational practices (Wilcox and Vogel par. 7). In a similar vein, the structural reinforcement is used in architecture; it is one of the main components of architectural design. The visitors of the museum are able to imbibe the silent dialogue between the “artistry of the ballet” and the aesthetics of physical structures (The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design par. 3).
By looking at the striking imagery of dance, they can draw the connection between the seemingly palpable elegance of body movements and the architectural balance that is borderline on the divine. Another similarity between the two mediums comes to the fore after a closer examination of photographs. It seems that dancers are always aware of their surroundings and are able to direct their bodies in accordance with their notion of exterior space (Wilcox and Vogel par. 8).
This notion of coordinated movement helps to relate the mechanical experience of the body to the architectural design. Both dance and physical structures manipulate the morphology of space and provide the observer with a unique spatial experience that is inevitably enhanced by the striking juxtaposition between them. The boundaries restricting dancers’ movements and building spaces can be regarded as punctuation marks that help to articulate the meaning of design or even guide the entire process of creative construction.
The rhythmic patterns of motor skills employed in dance are very similar to the building units of architectural design. It can be argued that Ballet Pas De Deux: An Exhibition of Dance and Architecture is an amalgam of different unique experiences that connect the two seemingly unrelated sources of intentional manipulation of visual expression.
Gavrilov, Evelyn. Inscribing structures of dance into architecture. n.d. Web.
Wilcox, Jess, and Wendy Vogel. Brendan Fernandes. 2014. Web.