There are towers that "twist" and buildings that "dance"—and industry fans may occasionally want to do a quick jig about a project—but it's unusual for structures to actually move (usually avoided, in fact). A new collaboration between Thodos Dance Chicago and local firm Studio Gang Architects, however, explores the differences between typically-static architecture and dynamic dance.
The duo teams are working on a currently untitled performance in February at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Ill. Based on a process called "jamming," Studio Gang Architects is creating a load-bearing structure that is supported by a vacuum. While we eagerly await specifics on what this will actually look like, the press release announcing the pairing says: "Responding to movement and other stimuli, the structure, stage set and dancers will transform into a live study of motion, material, shape, composition and light."
The firm, founded by Jeanne Gang, FAIA, was behind Chicago's Aqua Tower, completed in 2010. (ARCHITECT visited the studio in 2011.) The firm also designed the Nature Boardwalk at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, pictured at top with members of the dance company.
"As architects we are interested in how TDC uses the body's physicality and the mechanism of performance to catalyze community and creative discovery," Gang said in the press release. "We are thrilled to collaborate with Thodos Dance Chicago on this unique project exploring parallels between the worlds of audience and performer, art and science, movement and stasis."