The purpose of this paper is to write about my visit to the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design on Monument Avenue at North Davis Avenue, Richmond VA, when I went to see the special visiting exhibit entitled: “Ballet Pas de Deux: An Exhibition of Dance and Architecture.” This event was given great support by Richmond Ballet.
Dance and Architecture: Diversity and Sameness
This is a very dynamic and unusual exhibition which intertwines two diverse disciplines that also boast a distinct relationship. These two cardinal manifestations of human creativity utilize and define space as their major focus for creative representation. The exhibition takes the fundamental conventional ballet terminology: pas de deux, which means a duet performed by a pair of dancers, and builds on it with incredible creative expression and innovation. The basic theme that it started out with developed into an incomparable juxtaposition between architectural aesthetics and timeless balletic artistry. The exhibition comprises a breathtaking series of thirty photographs, all of which I viewed, as well as sound and video, which really gave the exhibition a wonderful multi-dimensional feel. My favorite exhibit was of Valerie TellmannHenning and Kirk Henning, two leading dancers from Richmond Ballet. They are featured dancing along the majestic rooms of Branch House.
Sharing the Same Form
Although I had never considered this before, it became clear to me that dance and architecture enjoy the same elements of shape and form when they both employ texture, patterns, rhythm and color.
Both disciplines appear to influence a solidified body within a particular space in order to characterize each other. The splendid architecture appears to be framed by the dancers and their actions. It highlights their bodies which effortlessly move from one pose to another during the dance routine. They exude rhythm and harmony with the surroundings. I could see that these dynamic elements can be aligned with the architecture, as the building procedure and cutting-edge makes viewers like myself focus on the unusual curves and lines of its physical surround. I easily saw that throughout the activity of generating and defining space, a building exudes the same feeling of movement that is present in dance and the activity of generating and defining space. The connectivity between the two fields generated a wonderful, clear and real dynamism that was very apparent to me.
The impressions that I have been left with after my visit to the exhibition, are that architecture and dance are definitely linked and that they enjoy a special relationship. I now understand that the two fields have to utilize space as their major medium for creative rendition. And that dancing represents the exquisite actions of the dancers’ bodies throughout space over a period of time. And that in a parallel way, the magnificent spatial qualities of architecture are felt by the human body via movement and over a period of time. I clearly saw that the space generated by and for the human body is the mutual connection between architecture and dance. The designer of the exhibition opened my eyes and and those of other viewers to the fact that dancers performances can be utilized as a means of architectural design investigation, and that the spatial concepts evident in dance can highlight the construction of architectural space. This display and what I have learned had taught me to be mindful about unusual artistic connections that I would never have considered. This creativity of design via the interaction of ideas from two artistic fields was a huge success for me and other people who I spoke to. at the exhibition.