Space, Time, Architecture & Dance

As an instructor of Tumbling I am still learning about Architecture.

While I am learning about construction, constructing houses, setting trusses, wiring electricity, puttying walls…

I am learning about the part of architecture in perception, reasons for walls being the time and experience at which we move through a place where views are capped off, hidden and traded for something else more definite and prominent for that moment.  Sometimes architecture is a house that organizes daily life, other times architecture is a museum of pieces set out along our journey in an artful way so as to make our mind and body stumble together to capture a piece of resonating oddity.  For one second let our minds trip so as to glimpse the intense and happy evoking emotions this amazing and complex world has for us to enjoy.  That is Art.

I have gotten back into gymnastic teaching this year through a local dance studio, The Dance Difference.  While in architecture school I participated in the gymnastics club as an instructor and as a student.  Gymnastics pairs physical endurance with the technical skill of trusting your body and knowing the flying, twisting, hurling body’s reaction to gravity.

Since beginning at this studio in September I have learned much more than of lovely young ladies inspired to reach youth and the youthful with the poise and precision of dance.

I have always dreamed of dancing in a tall studio overlooking a town.  I am apart of this now, in this woman-owned business, dancing and tumbling two stories high with a beacon of light coming in through the tall rounded windows from the courthouse next door.

If you have never watched a ballerina perfect her balance through the delicate window panes, you must at least be able to  imagine how her silhouette must make the passerby pause.

In this experience I am learning again what role exercise tests our endurance of patience, brings us back to simple kinesthetic learning, how words of direction can be misinterpreted in one instant then fully embraced in the following explanation.  I learn how important exercise is to be agile in the body and also in our mind, keeping the rhythm of the two working together close to our heart.

I will be creating a routine to music for a spring recital.  In the past, gymnastic precision has been for the timely skills down the mat, one pass at a time, critiqued and finished in an instant.  Here, we create choreographed routines, set and played up against the music. My broadway selection is from the 1978 musical Grease. I drew a plan of the girls who would form this routine, listened and replayed the music while creating their gymnastic impressions.  This took a few hours to compose only minutes of a routine and last week I began teaching. In asking for assistance I spoke with the owner of The Dance Difference. Her  notes of dance and routine set up a list, side to side, with categories of time and words, dance steps aligned. 

I began comparing this to architecture and thought of composing mazes of walls alongside the orders of a home set toward its inhabitants. The time it takes to see a peek window is brought to you in the time it takes to walk the hallway.  The table edge you notice when you sit down to dinner and touch the corner. One will look toward the ceiling if there is a wall for support of the hand…all of this dancing in your house. The house is built on a standard of these secrets, moments only upon living there can the dweller enjoy their existance…a lifestyle set to the tempo of Andrew Bird, The National, or Lady Antebellum. Only now do I begin to understand and question what part ‘Time’ plays in Architecture, as it is the perception of parts over a course of time, places side to side, dance steps aligned that allow us to live in harmony with our space.

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One thought on “Space, Time, Architecture & Dance

  1. Being a former ballet dancer and now a connoisseur of architecture and its relationship with space and time, while listening to Andrew Bird, I wanted to mention how our thoughts overlap. =)

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