Architecture and/as Choreography: Concepts of Movement and the Politics of Space

In December 2021, a new paper by Lisa Beißwanger has been published in the open-access and peer-reviewed journal Dimensions of Architectural Knowledge. The second issue of the journal is themed “Spatial Dimensions of Moving Experience”. The essay highlights the interpretive potentials of combining dance and architecture.

Dance projects exploring and interpreting architecture through choreography have become increasingly popular over the past two decades. This article takes a similar but theoretical approach, using the concept of choreography as a lens to look at the underlying scripts that shape the ways in which subjects move in, and are being moved by, architecture. Typically associated with the field of dance, choreography refers to spatial ordering principles, evoking highly political questions of authorship and authority, interpretation, improvisation, appropriation, accessibility, inclusion, and exclusion. Applying historical and comparative analysis, this article focuses on seminal examples from the fields of 20th-century Western dance and architecture. By mapping out evolving concepts and constellations of architecture and/as choreography, it aims to help create awareness of the spatial politics of architecture and their historical situatedness.

Lisa Beißwanger, Architecture and/as Choreography: Concepts of Movement and the Politics of Space, in: Dimensions of Architectural Knowledge 1, no 2, 2021, 23–49.

The open access article can be found at transcript-publishing.

Still from: Maribeth Romslo, Kitchen Dance, 2020, 7:30 min.