What do dance and architecture have in common? It's difficult to explain how our experiences of dance are stored in our bodily memory, but central to our recollection of a performance is the architectural space that it inhabited. Although dance may have been the central focus, the site is integral to its experience. Both disciplines are fundamental when exploring the ways we navigate and create cities and urban spaces.
It's no surprise that many choreographers explore both disciplines: dance and architecture. These pieces question how our bodies navigate through built environments. However, it is important to note that this experimentation is not merely contemplative but speaks to the way specific groups of peoples and cultures operate in their surroundings. In the words of the philosopher Marina Garcés: "The body is no longer what is and binds us to a place, but it is the condition for every place. It is the zero point of all the spatialities that we can experience, and at the same time, all the links that constitute us, materially and psychically."
Aerial dance is a relatively new modality that explores how and why we traverse the world. BANDALOOP is a collective that pays homage to nature, the community, and the human spirit through dance. Its exercises weave corporality and architecture through intricate choreography and climbing techniques that flip the dance floor on its side. Founded by Amelia Rudolph, BANDALOOP reimagines dance, activates public spaces, and inspires amazement and imagination to audiences around the world. The company trains dancers and young residents and has performed for millions of people in more than 22 countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, and Asia, as well as films and digital media.
Unquestionably, BANDALOOP is a collective that breaks the boundaries of dance and architecture. Viewing their work as an architect or dancer can help us open our mind and view each discipline from a different perspective.