Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Project introduction
 Overview of dance
 Dance as a metaphor in archite...
 Examples of successful dance...
 Project overview
 Project context
 Site analysis
 Departmental requirements
 Final design scheme
 A. Questionnaires
 B. Jacksonville regional dance...
 Illustration sources

Group Title: Metaphor in architecture : applying dance as a metaphor in the design of a Dance Academy for Tallahassee
Title: Metaphor in architecture
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AM00000308/00001
 Material Information
Title: Metaphor in architecture applying dance as a methaphor in the design of a Dance Academy for Tallahassee
Physical Description: vii, 175 leaves : ill., 1 map, plans ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Cosentino, Anthony
Publication Date: 1994
Subject: Architecture -- Designs and plans -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Architecture -- Psychological aspects   ( lcsh )
Dance -- Philosophy   ( lcsh )
Aesthetics   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.) -- Florida A&M University, 1994.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 173-175).
Statement of Responsibility: by Anthony Cosentino.
General Note: Typescript.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: AM00000308
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Florida A&M University (FAMU)
Holding Location: Florida A&M University (FAMU)
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 85835534

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
    Project introduction
        Page 1
            Page 2
        Metaphor in architecture
            Page 3
            Page 4
            Page 5
        Opportunity in using dance as metaphor
            Page 6
        Statement of the problem
            Page 7
            Page 7a
        Definiton of terms
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
    Overview of dance
        Page 11
            Page 12
        What is dance?
            Page 13
            Page 14
        "Genesis" of dance
            Page 15
            Page 16
        Dances throughout history
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
        Theatre dance
            Page 22
            Page 23
                Page 22
                Page 24
                Page 25
                Page 26
                Page 27
                Page 28
                Page 29
                Page 30
    Dance as a metaphor in architecture
        Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 33a
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 36a
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 39a
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 42a
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 45a
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 47a
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 51a
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
    Examples of successful dance schools
        Page 55
            Page 56
        Ballet school. Nanterr, Paris
            Page 57
            Page 58
            Page 59
            Page 60
            Page 61
        National academy of dance
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
    Project overview
        Page 66
        Building type
            Page 67
        Location / site attributes
            Page 68
            Page 69
        Major departments
            Page 69
        Net and gross areas
            Page 70
    Project context
        Page 71
            Page 72
        Participants of the facility
            Page 73
        Goals of the dance academy
            Page 74
        Overview of client operation
            Page 74
        Building occupant profile
            Page 75
        Relation to the community
            Page 76
            Page 77
    Site analysis
        Page 78
            Page 79
        City context
            Page 80
        Vicinity context
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Unnumbered ( 99 )
            Unnumbered ( 100 )
            Unnumbered ( 101 )
        Human-made features
            Page 86
        Sensory features
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
            Page 91
    Departmental requirements
        Page 92
            Page 93
        Primary departments
            Page 94
            Page 95
        Studio-related issues
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
            Page 105
            Page 106
            Page 107
            Page 108
            Page 109
            Page 110
            Page 111
            Page 112
            Page 113
            Page 114
        Spaces for each department
            Page 115
            Page 116
        Special requirements for major spaces
            Page 117
            Page 118
            Page 119
            Page 120
            Page 121
            Page 122
            Page 123
            Page 124
            Page 125
            Page 126
            Page 127
            Page 128
            Page 129
        Page 130
        Problem statement / conceptual intent
            Page 131
        Alternative design precepts
            Page 132
            Page 133
            Page 134
            Page 135
            Page 136
            Page 137
            Page 138
        Project review
            Page 139
        Project evaluation and recommendations
            Page 140
            Page 141
            Page 142
            Page 143
    Final design scheme
        Page 144
        Site plan
            Page 145
        Floor plans
            Page 146
            Page 147
        Sections and other drawings
            Page 148
            Page 149
            Page 150
            Page 151
        Photos of design model
            Page 152
            Page 153
            Page 154
        Page 155
    A. Questionnaires
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
    B. Jacksonville regional dance center (a design project from design 6.2, spring 93)
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
    Illustration sources
        Page 175
Full Text



Applying dance as a metaphor in the design of a
Dance Academy for Tallahassee

A thesis submitted to the graduate
council of the School of Architecture at
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of
Master of Architecture

Anthony Cosentino

April 26, 1994

-Dr. Charles U. Smith"
Dean of the School of Graduate studies,
Research, and Continuing education.


It is with gratitude and appreciation that I first acknowledge my main advisors. Professor
Edward T. White, for his constant dedication, time, and invaluable academic advice, both
in this thesis project and from classes taken with him. Associate Professor Michael
Alfano, Jr., for a great year and a half of design under his guidance, advice, wit and
friendship. Professor Lynda Davis from FSU's Dance department for giving me the
ability to come as close as possible to see this project through the eyes of a dancer. In
spite of her hectic schedule of rehearsals, classes and Dance Repertory Theatre, she has
been a constant presence throughout the duration of this project. Her participation has
been a catalyst towards promoting future academic joining between FAMU and FSU.

I also wish to thank the following for their invaluable assistance: Russell Sandifer
(production coordinator of the FSU Dance Theatre) for reviewing the design's program
and giving me the opportunity to work as stage crew during 12 Days of Dance. To all the
dancers who answered questionnaires, both from FSU and the Tallahassee Ballet
Company. Special thanks to the following dancers for the extra contribution they provided
for the project: Elizabeth Ayers, Kathryn Cashin, Wanda Ebright and Amy Grimm.
Without exception, each gave warmly, enthusiastically and shared precious insights which
added immeasurably to the value of this study. A special thanks also goes to my peers and
friends, Robert Ihasz and Jeff Cahill for their valued time and assistance.

Finally, my deepest acknowledgements go to my dear parents, and family. Their love,
pride, encouragement and unconditional support, have led to the success of my
educational goals. May God bless you.


I chose to design a dance facility because it represented to me the union of the two
wonderful worlds of dance and music. In a way, it is my personal way of saying "thank
you" to the two art forms through my architecture. I wanted to create a place for dance
because through dance one experiences all the senses, it is a three dimensional experience,
much like architecture. One hears the music, guiding the dancer and amplifying the
already felt sensations. One feels the tension in the jumps, the runs, and when the person
catches the dancer. One sees the emotion through body movement, stillness, and through
the message being expressed. The feelings of physicality landing on the surface after a
leap, the momentum being developed during a spin, and the giving of self to achieve a
perfect piece, further amplify the previous sensations.

So can architecture both capture all this energy and recall it within itself ? Can dance serve
as an inspiration to create architectural form? Or even serve as a conceptual framework in
which to base a project before beginning it? When does dance stop influencing the design,
and what parts of dance will not serve the design as a form giver? These are questions
constantly being asked of the metaphor and the answers will be discussed at the end of this

A final debate may include the idea of using dance to inform any architectural project. At
first glance, it would seem absurd to apply ideas of dance into the design of a library. But
would it? The argument of whether or not opportunities exist through the
experimentation of implementing a metaphor, and letting it inform a design is open-ended.
It has been concluded through this study, that I could not let the metaphor take control of
the design. The designer must make it work for the project. It must support, if not
amplify the livingness of the building, both programmatically, and aesthetically. If it does
not seem appropriate, or if the metaphor does not have justification in the design then it
should not be used.

Working within the dance department at F.S.U., and learning about dance and its history
has become a valuable lesson. Getting the hands on experience and seeing how dancers,
teachers, and theater technicians work gave me insight toward taking careful steps in
achieving a program that is in harmony with the special needs of the dancers.

In addition to serving the project, my experience with working among dancers has given
me a new perspective on what the dancers must endure before putting on a show. They
must all put up with sacrifices and numerous rehearsals in order to share with everyone,
the magic of dance.






Introduction 2
Metaphor in architecture 3
Opportunity in using dance as metaphor 6
Statement of the problem 7
Definition of terms 8

Introduction 12
What is dance? 13
"Genesis" of dance 15
Dances throughout history 17
Theatre dance: 22
Ballet 22
Modem 24
Jazz 27

Introduction 32
Balance 34
Centering 37
Form 40
Gesture 43
Line 46
Movement 48
Rhythm 52

Introduction 56
Ballet School. Nanterre, Paris 57
National Academy of Dance 62

Building type 67
Location\ site attributes 68
Occupants 69
Major departments 69
Net and gross areas 70

Introduction 72
Participants of the facility 73
Goals of the Dance Academy 74
Overview of client operation 74
Building occupant profile 75
Relation to the community 76

Location 79
City context 80
Vicinity context 81
Size 82
Natural features 83
Human-made features 86
Sensory factors 87
Circulation 89
Climate 90

Introduction 93
Primary departments 94
Studio related issues 96
Spaces for each department 115
Special requirements for major spaces 117

Problem statement\ Conceptual intent 131
Alternative design precepts 132
Project review 139
Project evaluation and recommendations 140

Site plan 145
Floor plans 146
Sections and other drawings 148
Photos of design model 152

A. Questionnaires 156
B. Jacksonville Regional Dance Center 169
(A design project from Design 6.2, Spring 93)



This thesis project is compromised of four basic elements.

1) The dance
2) The metaphor
3) The facility program
4) The design

The study's focus is on how metaphor and transformation can be used as a means to attain
a building's form. Dance was chosen as the metaphor, and a dance academy was the
vehicle used to demonstrate how key elements from dance could be used to develop the
building's form. The first part of the study dealt with gaining a better understanding of
dance and its theory. Seven dance elements were chosen:
1) Balance
2) Centering
3) Form
4) Gesture
5) Line
6) Movement
7) Rhythm.

These elements were then further studied and considered as architectural form generators.
Next a facility program was developed for the dance academy, paying particular attention
to the dance studios. Finally, a design scheme was created by transforming the key dance
elements into an architectural language. In some cases, forms seem to have a one to one
relationship with it's dance element's counterpart. On the other hand, the dance element
totally transformed itself into a form where a one to one relationship could not be seen
first hand, because of the transformational process the element took.



The focus of this study will demonstrate the use of metaphor and transformation through
an architectural design. "Dance and architecture" is the theme for this particular project.
The study will investigate selected elements of dance and implement them as useful
sources toward the design of a dance academy. This thesis is divided into four parts:

* An overall, unbiased study of dance throughout time.

* Identifying the main elements of dance; these elements being balance, centering, form,
gesture, line, movement, and rhythm. Their possibilities as metaphors will also be

* A facility program for the Dance Academy.

* The design of the facility demonstrating how the metaphor of dance was used to create
architectural form.

The design will be formed by the elements interpreted from the study. This interpretation
will occur at two levels: at the first, each studio will become a unique and different form
recalling the type of dance it is accommodating through the architecture. At the next
level, all the dance studies will inform the overall building form, as well as it's parti,
circulation and overall organization. The success in this level does not lie in whether the
viewer "sees" dance in the building, rather, it rests on how dance is implemented to
achieve the building design, and if it satisfies the needs of the users as well. Information
on how the different dance essentials were studied are mentioned in the Approach and
Procedure of the Thesis Proposal, included in the appendix at the end of this document.


"The possibility of metaphor springs from the infinite elasticity of the
human mind; it testifies to its capacity to perceive and assimilate new
experiences as modifications for earlier ones, of finding equivalencies in
the most disparate phenomena, and of substituting one for another.
Without this constant substitution, neither language nor art, nor indeed
civilized life, would be possible." (E.H. Gombrich, 1970, p.5)

Leone Battista Alberti would suggest to his readers to think of a house as if it were a city,
and to conceive the city as no more than a house. He would ask them to employ a
metaphor so that they could better understand the topic under discussion (the origin of the

We all perform metaphoric acts whenever we:
* Attempt to transfer references from one concept or object) to another.

* Attempt to "see" a subject (concept of object) as if it were something else.

* Displace the focus of our scrutiny from one area of concentration or from one inquiry
into another (in the hope that by comparison or through extension we can illuminate
our contemplated subject in a new way.
(Antoniades, 1990, p.29)

The advantage of displacing one concept into another can offer many creative channels to
the designer. In fact, it is a more useful tool for the designer than for the building users or
the critics. Using a metaphor in a design can be helpful in achieving a new form in a
building, and the overall organization may become more expressive of the content. The
architect's communication of the feeling of a particular building type may become more
This project will demonstrate the exercise of transforming the art of dance into

The act of exploring metaphor and transformation into a design scheme, or as a design
method is merely on of many other ways of achieving form in architecture. The
inspiration for this study was handed down from many previous architects that employed a
metaphor as a way to explain their design methods, their design projects, and their overall
design philosophy. Using another object, or idea can help explain what the design project
is all about in terms of how it behaves in relation to the metaphor. This can give the
design a clearer meaning and purpose. A good example is Louis Kahn's way of asking the
building "what it wants to be"; his Stockholm Library was inspired from the metaphor of
the human brain, as the center of knowledge. From that standpoint, decisions made in the
design development are more deliberate, and confident, yielding forms that have meaning,
and richness.

The use of a metaphor can have a simple and arbitrary role too, yielding designs that are
rich and meaningful, regardless of what the metaphor is. It is here where the process of
employing a metaphor may serve the designer as an inspirational device, but not saturate
the whole design process. Japanese architect Arata Isozaki likes to use what he calls, the
"Marylin Monroe curve" in his buildings. Part of the building's skin where the geometry
of the plan shifted, would be curved and contorted as if it was caused by the bending of
the building. At these places he would define the building's entry. He also used the
metaphor of a train, in a rather literal manner to achieve the form of a museum of art. The
image is that of a train, long, narrow and tall.

Some architects used a metaphor to try to explain how they feel about architecture from a
global standpoint. The machine was LeCorbusier's vehicle to explain his stand on what
architecture is. He labeled everything humans used, as machines: "A house is a machine
for living in. Baths, sun, hot-water, cold water, warmth at will, conservation of food,
hygiene, beauty in the sense of good proportion. An armchair is a machine for sitting in
and so on." (Corbusier, 1931, p. 95). He dissected the role of house, its rooms, and stated
their conditions as if they were part of a system governed by a machine. Take the house
again, what is it? He defined it as a receptacle for light and sun; in it there are cells, each

one devoted to certain functions. Employing words like receptacle and cells, he
transformed the idea of the machine into an architectural language and idea. No
extraneous parts, all parts serve a purpose to the whole, these should be the standards of
the dwelling.

Frank Lloyd Wright was another architect who use the global metaphor of nature, and the
land to inspire his architecture. His treatment of expressing horizontally in his designs for
made the houses seem as if they were of the earth. The Kaufmann House, "Falling
Water", seems to grow from the rock below, creating a dynamic balance with the nature
above, below, and around it. His architecture seems to stem from the metaphor of nature
and earth. Most of his buildings reflect this sentiment. In Wright's case, the metaphor
could be seen as a global metaphor.

Other buildings that have been inspired by metaphors are the Sydney Opera House, where
the metaphor of the sailboats that pass by on water inspired the dramatic roof forms. The
Berlin Philharmonic Performing Arts Center's form was conceived from the nearby
sloping hills and vineyards; the section of the building is especially good at showing this.
It is almost the architect's secret, since nobody could actually see a building in elevation,
or section. Florida architect William Morgan, once used the metaphor of sand dunes, with
their sloping forms to design many housing and commercial projects; they featured sloping
roofs that met bermed earth and had small openings to let natural light in. All these cases
were studied to see where the nature of this study would fall under.

The main issue for this study is to establish a process in which a design scheme can be
developed through employing a metaphor, and transformation. In the case of this project,
the design of a dance facility is being conceived through the transformation of selected
elements of dance. The metaphor, therefore, is project specific. The process involves
employing a metaphor that is related to the nature of the project and its content.


The topic of metaphor invites new opportunities that can offer new methods of creating
strong architectural form. Through this study, a design of a dance academy will be
manifested by extending key essentials and ideologies from dance. There can be value in
developing a deeper focus on the idea of examining how dance can inform architecture.
Both deal with "...space, time, and thematic representation." (Kirkland, 1986 p.86) Dance
can inform the architecture of a dance facility by recalling elements of individuality,
freedom, democracy and collective good. These elements are evident in the different
forms of dances studied in this document and have been a source of inspiration toward the
design of the Dance Academy.

Dance studios that the writer visited and observed were basically providing dancers with
their most basic needs: rehearsal spaces (with minimum dimensions), dressing rooms,
decent floors, a dance theatre, if that, and storage. That is where the planning usually
stops. It has been concluded that utilizing the many ideologies of dance and transforming
them into the design will give the design scheme an overall sense of wholeness and
meaning because it will be an extension of the activity happening inside. It may also offer
the dancer more inspiration compared to standard dance studios.

Through this study, the writer wishes to gain a better understanding for employing a
metaphor toward an architectural design. The ability to apply the principles and
procedures learned through this study toward other projects is the ultimate goal. Perhaps
equal situations may be using the concepts of fiberoptics to inform the design of a cable
television headquarters, or employing ideas from music toward a school of music.


The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the process of using a metaphor in creating
an architectural scheme.

The following subproblems were involved in the completion of this study.

1. To identify and describe key elements of dance:

movement in space

2. To obtain a metaphorical interpretation of the key elements so that they
can be used as generators of architectural forms.

3. To develop a facility program and a design scheme named:
A Dance Academy for Tallahassee. This will be the vehicle used
to demonstrate the metaphor of dance.








influence on...

influence on...

influence on ...

Ancillary dept.

Administration dept.

small theatre





The following are terms mentioned throughout this project. They are described here for
how they apply to this particular study. Diverse meanings may be attached to these words
in scenarios outside this project.

For this project, balance will be used in the physical sense. This is when all the points of
body achieve an inner relationship. This relationship occurs when it can be held in the
dancer's awareness. It is not something that is achieved once in a while, but something that
is always worked on whether standing or moving. The entire body can be sensed and it
feels in harmony with itself. Balance does not mean "symmetrical". Certain parts of the
body may be in different locations, but there is a play in counterbalancing which reconciles
any imbalance.

A form of concert dance which began its development in Western Europe during the
seventeenth century. It has a fixed movement vocabulary based upon an outward rotation
of the legs and five positions of the feet and is characterized by a regal posture, a tendency
to move in the higher spatial levels and movement with a high degree of abstraction from
reality in order to place emphasis on linear and spatial design. Ballet's aesthetic premise is
grounded in Renaissance concepts of proportion and harmony.

When referring to centering, it is in terms of the dancer's own physical body center. Like
the world orients its entire mass around one measurable central point, the dancer
possesses an identifiable central point in his or her body from which he or she moves. This
essential is considered paramount since dancer can develop beautiful looking arms and
legs, but will never move well without achieving a physical center.

In terms of this study, dance will be referred to as an expression in rhythmic movement by
a person, of an intensified sense of life, arising from an inner perception that stimulates
both the mind and the body.

Form refers to the structure of a dancer's body in space. At another level the dancer can
start to define negative spaces by their body components, as well as with other dancers in
space. This form is set apart from color or material.

As a species, humans discovered that their chances for survival were greater within a
social group, rather than alone. Since we did not have specialized claws, sharp teeth or
hardlike shells for protection, humans used gesture to communicate their ideas. Now we
show other people what are thinking through our subtle gestures and postural attitudes, in
company of speech.

Jazz dance:
"American dance that is performed to and with the rhythms of jazz--that is, dancing that
swings. .. makes jazz rhythms visible"(Stearns, M. & J., 1968, p. xiv). Its (jazz dance)
key characteristics are a fluid spine, the spirit of improvisation and spontaneity, contrasting
dynamics, intrinsic rhythmic propulsion and a direct manner of communication.

In dance, line refers to a number of things. For the purpose of this project, the term will
refer to how dance communicates different emotions and messages through line.
Line can be expressed through the dancer's body and stance: legs firm and straight, torso
rigid and stiff, or the opposite, depending upon what needs to be communicated. Line can
also be communicated through movement such as when a dancer dashes across the floor.
This journey may be straight, zig-zagged, or in a circle; again, it all depends on what is
being communicated.

Modern dance:
A form of concert dance which began its development in the United States and Germany
in the early twentieth century as a conscious rebellion against what its pioneers felt was a
stagnation of the arts of ballet. Its philosophy rests in quest for individuality, and thus its
movement vocabulary is unrestricted. It is characterized by the tendency to emphasize
exploration of spatial and dynamic aspects of movement and to use the torso as a motive

Movement in space:
Movement in dance goes together with space because the movement takes place in a
tangible space. This space is not merely empty air, but a tangible element a dancer moves
through like a fish in water. Dancers have that attitude toward space, like they are
penetrating it to reach something out there.

Most people will think that rhythm is an innate quality, but it can be learned. Tribal people
seem to possess a natural affinity to rhythm, however they have been learning about
dancing and drumbeats since their childhood. A good sense of rhythm is vital for a
dancer. For the purposes of this thesis, rhythm will be referred to as the type of pattern
the dancer moves to, whether it be from an external source, or from the dancer's inner
self. These will vary from each type of dance.

Webster's dictionary explains this term as the process of setting up correspondences
between the elements of two sets or spaces so that every element of the first set
.corresponds to a unique element of the second set.
For this project, dance will represent the first set and the design scheme the second. One
minor exception to the definition, as it applies to this project is that not every element of
dance will be used in the process. Elements that seem to have promising results in
corresponding to architectural results will only be used.




"Dancing, to the first Americans, was a necessity. It
was not a sin, as it was to certain of the first white
settlers, nor was it merely a pleasant diversion, as it
is to the majority of contemporary Americans. It
was more than universally popular, more than
culturally important. It was an essential ingredient
of life itself." (Walter, 1971, p.3 )

This study was developed in order to gain a better understanding of dance. The study
looked at dance on a universal level: how it began, why, and how it has developed
throughout history. The next part of the study describes the three dances of Ballet,
Modem, and Jazz. Starting the study by analyzing dance on a universal level allowed for a
better understanding of the other three dances.
The following information was taken from the study and presented here to serve as a
conceptual background for the design of the scheme.


Dance, today, can be described as an expression in rhythmic movement of an intensified
sense of life, arising from an inner perception that stimulates both the mind and the body.
People who dance affirm their delight in existence by expressing that perception through
physical manifestations. When these simple emotional expressions develop into a design,
that is, a planned organization of a pattern of movement in rhythm, in space, time, and on
the ground, with its set of steps, gestures, and dynamics, it becomes a specific dance. As
these specific dances become grouped and stylized in a common design, it becomes a
dance form. These dance forms take centuries to develop and reflect the customs of the
society in which they have evolved. Dance, therefore, is not only a group or individual
experience, but a cultural mirror, where the philosophies, customs, character and artistry
of its time are reflected.

To a few Americans, the art of dance is a necessity; to an increasing number, it is as
important as music, drama, literature, and paintings; and to many other millions it is
perceived as a spectacle, a new and exciting form of entertainment. So what is dance?
Where does the most accurate explanation lie in the scope of "necessity" and
entertainment"? A question that evocative and open ended is most likely the reason why
dance is considered an art form.

At its most popular level, it serves as a form of social recreation: men and women in a
highly modified version of nuptial or courtship dances, dancing together in pairs to the
popular sounds of the day. "With bodies held close and hands touching, they enjoyed a
rhythmic union socially acceptable to all but a few anti-dance individuals." (Walter, 1971,
p.4). In folk-dance forms, the couples dancing give way to promote group participation.
Contacts with neighbors and friends of the community are arranged through formal
designs executed in prescribed rhythms.

Other forms of dance are those used for education, movements, enhanced coordination,
created balance. Used therapeutically, dance exercises and rhythms can aid in restoring
people who are injured or have mental problems. When we talk about the dance in the
theater, the individual, unless performing, becomes a watcher. He or she becomes a
participant in the artistic experience, not the physical one.

On its simplest level, theatrical dancing is chiefly concerned with entertainment. As the
ballerina, or tap dancer begins to perform, the onlooker begins to forget his or her
problems, worries, and own boredom; the watcher is transported to another realm, where
everything is light, airy, and perfect. Sometimes members of the audience may even place
themselves in the dancers' shoes- or slippers, and imagine the feeling of perfect balance,
and physical dexterity as if it were theirs. "In leaps, in precarious balances, in flips in air,
in dizzying turns, in split-timed tricks with partners, the dancer dares gravity to do its
worst, and as we watch, leaning forward in our seats, we share in the excitement of peril
without wagering our own safety." (Walter, 1971, p 19) Clearly dance offers something to
the dancer and the viewer that will always live in their memory.


"The art of dancing, to many Americans, seems like
a novelty, something of recent invention."
(Walter, 1971)

Dance is relatively new to the American scene in a large scale, at least. Since dancing
came before any form of art, (Walter, 1971) it is ironic that writers of art appreciation do
not mention it, yet they write about music, poetry, and drama. Many dancers will engage
in heated discussions about dance being the oldest of all the arts.
Movement is the foremost manifestation of life itself, it is also the prime element in all
dances. Dance has been present even before humankind was created, for animals
performed their own dances in courtship, and territoriality establishment. These patterns
can be easily recognizable as patterns used in formal dances. Before civilized people
related dances to astral forces, early humans danced by instinct. Men would dance to
release energy, to demonstrate their prowness. They danced to celebrate a kill, they also
danced because their sexual desires would lead them toward courtship dances, they
danced to communicate an event or an idea. "He danced in order to make a magic strong
enough to control or propitiate those mysterious and seemingly ungovernable forces of
nature which surrounded him" (Walter, 71, p.13) This search for magical mastery over
nature through the loss of self is the distinctive characteristic of primitive dance. The
ecstatic state was reached by the repetition of monotonous movements in powerful
rhythm, prolonged beyond endurance. Although the pattern of each dance differed from
one tribe to another, a common thread was evident in all the primitive dances: a rhythmic
beat to every movement, usually accompanied by drums, the hard stamping of feet upon
the ground, with bent knees, and the continuous, prolonged repetition of the basic

In the leap dance of Africa, the whirling dances of the primitive Asian tribes, or in the
convulsive dancing of the shaman cultures, the purpose of dancing was the same: to reach
a mystical condition in which the individual could communicate directly with the
supernatural, and to have the powers of the supernatural work through the dancing


Communal Dance

In the primitive, early tribal cultures dance was essentially a way of life, a magic
methodology for survival. The primitive humans were surrounded by an environment that
could not be rationally controlled nor evaded. Members of tribes invented dances
unconsciously as strategies to deal with this environment. In their dances, they sought to
transcend the consciousness of self by achieving an ecstatic state, in which they would
arrive at a mastery over evil spirits. (Navaretta, 1993) An example of how they would
manifest this mastery is by association. The individuals would incorporate the cunning of
a snake and the ferocity of a tiger into their own cunning and ferocity; individuals became
totally identified with their tribal peers so that each individual's power was thus multiplied.

Ritual Dance

Of all the dances previously discussed, the term "ritual" dance will represent the type of
dance that is created consciously, for a specific task. Therefore ritual dance represents a
much later societal development, at a level where civilization used dance to celebrate
mythology, rather than magic. In this stage of dance history, I will limit the discussion to
the two most studied and popular civilizations: ancient Egypt, and ancient Greece.

By the year 3000 BC., Egypt had already achieved a highly developed and complex dance
culture, much like their religion, and architecture. Festivals were held yearly in Abydos,
where priests and laity gathered to enact, in dance, the death and resurrection of Osiris.
Egyptian dance was characterized by the austere angularity and severe linear form. It was
at times associated with drama and song to create the first known example of mythological
ritual as pageant, religious mystery plays, and as the earliest view of dance as spectacle.
In Greece, ritual dance was evolved as a way to worship the gods. The dances were
similar to the primitive dances in their abandon of self. In the rites of Dionysus, cult
festivals featured wild dances for the worship of the god of earth and vegetation.

While the rites of Dionysus had their own character of dance, from the Hellenic societies,
Greek ritual dance was more characterized by gentler forms of choral dances that featured
people in groups of rounds, chains, and flowing processional dances with women dressed
in white and garlanded in flowers moved in fluctuating circles around the altars honoring
their gods. Ritual dance was considered a joyous experience and a form of expression, in
rhythmic movement, reflecting the Greek aesthetic emphasis on harmony and on the
idolization of the human body.

The emphasis on harmony in dance was reflected in the architecture. The Greek temples
were purely formal objects, abodes of the gods; in the same way the ritual dances began in
service of religion, so did the architecture. The dances took place here in worship and
honor, the task of the architecture was to contain the dance in beauty and pure form. The
Greeks regarded beauty as an attribute of the gods, and consciously pursued it as a
religious exercise. (Kostof. 1985, p. 120)

Folk Dance

Folk dance developed from the racial or regional memories of older motifs in communal
dance. It reflected the social and recreational expression of the peasantry in feudal
society. The chain dance, the processional, the whirling dance, and the circling dance can
all be traced back to European folk dance. During the period of the Middle Ages to the
13th century, these dances reflected an underlying, unconscious paganism in the
celebration of the harvest, the events of ordinary life, good fortune, and other events. In
early civilized schools, dance was taught in the forms of folk dances, and teachers in the
recreational departments had to possess some knowledge in folk dancing.
Ethnic dancing, in addition to folk dances share their origins in the peasant cultures of
both East and West. It should be noted though, that the dances formed two different
tributaries to the mainstream of dance history. Ethnic dancing deals with the preservation
of dance heritage. It develops distinctively characteristic styles, often difficult techniques,
and an accompanying terminology with schools of training.

Another difference between ethnic and folk dancing is that ethnic was more selective, and
artistically conscious than folk dance. Because of this it seems more appropriate to say
that ethnic dances can be brought into the realm of the theater. Folk dance is basically
repetitive and limited in scope; it actually achieved its own line of development when it
was transformed into social dance during the Renaissance period.

Social Dance

Coupled dance evolved in the Europe of the 15th century as a dance form in a variety of
styles, all adaptations and refinements of folk dances. These new dances were considered
gay and lively, a social diversion among the aristocracy of France and Italy. They later
spread to every royal court on the continent and ended up becoming, in the later centuries,
part of the social life of the new emerging middle class.

Social dance developed in Europe in three distinct phases, each phase was characterized
by different designs in rhythm, space, and floor patterns. The nature of these different
phases reflected the related elements of the respective time periods such as the elaborate
and bulky fashion of the clothes, the spacious floor areas of the courts and palaces, and the
elegance (aesthetically speaking) of the successive periods. The three dance periods are:

* The age of the Galliard
* The age of the Minuet
. The age of the Waltz

The age of the Galliard
During the years 1500 and 1650 the dances of this age were characterized by bold and
dashing expanded movements. It consisted entirely of leg thrusts and leaps, and
demanded the utmost vigor of the dancers.

The age of the Minuet
Up through the years of 1750 forms from the Galliard age began to emerge. The
energetic, leaping and expanding movements were now being transformed to close
movements with formal, and measured small steps. The Minuet was primarily known for
its "manners", it was the final flourish of aristocratic elegance before national and then
industrial revolutions returned social dance to the masses.

The age of the Waltz
This period lasted to the early 1900s and it marked the height of the social dance. The
waltz became a common dance at middle and upper class balls and parties. The
embracing, close hold of the waltz successfully defied the polite convention of the period.
With its gliding turns and regal attitudes, the dance brought new joy and intimacy to social
dance and enraptured all of Europe.

During these times architecture, like the dances, went through an abrupt change both in
nature and style. There was the introduction of new materials and techniques, and a
demand for new types of buildings to meet new social needs such as the social balls. The
adventurous new styles of the Industrial Revolution with elaborate and high structure were
mirrored in the dances just mentioned. (Random House. 1975, p. 202)

The popular dances possessed a sense of nobility and grace much like the buildings, with
facades and embellishments applied by architects, much like dressware worn at balls by the
new middle class aristocrats, in the fashionable current style. Some buildings had classical
frontpieces, others were featured with Georgian pediments intended to add grace and
charm to an otherwise dull building. Equally significant were the changes in the types of
clients architects served. In the past fashions had been set by the aristocratic classes. In
the early 19th century the middle classes had increased power and numbers as a result of
the growth of commerce. This new patronage popularized the new dances and set forth a
new way architecture would be used, many being the Neo-Roman and Venetian Gothic,

Flemish, Byzantine, and Neo-Baroque. These styles were considered new even though
they conformed to historical precedents because the styles were used in new and in
different contexts. Basically, richness of form and picturesqueness of effect were the
principal aims. (Random House. 1975, p. 203)

By the end of the 19th century, these social dances became too repetitious and no longer
reflected the quickened pace of the emerging contemporary world. Within this vacuum a
social dance explosion occurred: the American introduction of the two-step in 1891. As a
product of the 20th century, social dance belonged to the United States. The two step
was followed by the Cakewalk in 1893 followed by Ragtime music. Next we had the
Tango, from an Argentinean folk dance, the Brazilian maxixe, the Castle walk and the
Fox-trot. Jazz dance was made popular by the Afro-American artists with the Shimmy,
and the Charleston.. After World War II in the early 50's, the Merengue and the Cha-cha
became popular, until the emergence of rock and roll music which utterly changed popular
music. This age ended with people jitterbugging to rock and roll, but in the 60's came the
Bossa Nova and dancing in discotheque clubs. The twist and other free moving dancing
became popular and controversial. Choreographed moves and couple dancing came back
in the 70's with disco.

Break dancing in the 80's was characterized by combining acrobatic and martial arts
movements, and was often referred to as street dancing. Here was witnessed how dance
was sometimes used as a device to replace gang fights. Each person would have the floor
and do their dance, and whoever implemented the best "moves" won the fight. The
Lambada became the craze in 1990, and we are presently seeing many forms of social
dances coming and going, where most people just dance in place doing what feels right to
them, and not necessarily needing a partner.

At the present time, social dance is an international phenomenon and reflects the
democratization of dance more clearly than any other contemporary dance form.



To understand the development of ballet as a dance form over a period from the 15th to
the middle 19th century, it is necessary to comprehend its basic technical aspects. Ballet is
a dance system based on a set of classic, fundamental principles of movement and training
that govern every aspect of its form. The principles of this system did not appear at the
same time when ballet emerged in the courts of Italy and France during the 15th and 16th
centuries; rather they were developed piece by piece over a period of time. For example,
early ballet was not en pointe (on toe), this came out in the 19th century the same is true
with the grand jete (the leaping jump), which came out in the middle 18th century. The
history of ballet therefore, is a history of dance technique, as well as of its evolution as a
cultural institution.
". it was dance as a secular activity, propagated
by the folk and polished by the nobility, which led to
that great classic art of the Western world which we
now call "ballet"." (Walter 71, p. 17)

The earliest ballet had all the main ingredients such as dancing, music, decor, and a
storyline. Eating was a big ingredient too, as the ballets were performed in conjunction
with grand banquets and feasts.

The beginnings of ballet were being developed in the Italian courts of the 15th century,
however it was in the court of King Henry II and Queen Catherine de Medicis of France
that the first official ballet took place. It was called the Ballet Comique de la Reine, and it
was produced in the same genre as that of the earlier Italian dinner and fete ballets,
primarily a lavish dance spectacle in which kings and courtiers participated as dancers, and
included many non-ballet interludes. Ballet at this stage was rudimentary in technique and
lacking in thematic continuity.

The significance of the Ballet Comique lay in three aspects:
* It was the first production to combine dancing, music, and acting around a central
* It was created by the first noted choreographer and producer of France, Balthazar de
* It stimulated the dedication of the French kings to ballet.

This dedication and fascination intensified during successive reigns of Louis XIII and
Louis XIV, when court ballet came into being and quickly dominated all European royal
and ducal courts. (Druesdow, 1986, p. 16)
By 1750 the ballet technique included elevation, and during the period from 1750 to 1800,
the age of the great choreographer and theorist Jean Georges Noverre who introduced
the ballet d' action, which sought narrative coherence in ballet. (Grolier Pub. 1993)

In the last half of the 18th century, ballet had begun to establish itself as an independent
performing art. One significant event at this time was a publication by Noverre called
"Lettres sur la Danse et sur les Ballets" (Letters on Dancing and Ballets) which critiqued
ballet of that time and contained arguments for the reformation of ballet of the future. It
had a powerful influence upon the ensuing history of ballet and remains a valuable primary
source. (Grolier Pub. 1993)

In 1830 the "Romantic Ballet" was introduced, and was appreciated by a whole new
middle class that came into prominence in France, thus making ballet appealing to a larger
audience. Ballet now became the essence of grace; the ballerinas now floated with fully
developed technique, and en pointe (on the tip of their feet). The romantic ballet as a
genre, reflected the emotional aspiration of the time and the yearning for life itself to be
more romantic. By the end of the 19th century, this period of French classical ballet had
become sterile, it waned as a new rival appeared in the east...Russian ballet.



To understand the development of ballet as a dance form over a period from the 15th to
the middle 19th century, it is necessary to comprehend its basic technical aspects. Ballet is
a dance system based on a set of classic, fundamental principles of movement and training
that govern every aspect of its form. The principles of this system did not appear at the
same time when ballet emerged in the courts of Italy and France during the 15th and 16th
centuries; rather they were developed piece by piece over a period of time. For example,
early ballet was not en pointe (on toe), this came out in the 19th century the same is true
with the grand jete (the leaping jump), which came out in the middle 18th century. The
history of ballet therefore, is a history of dance technique, as well as of its evolution as a
cultural institution.
". it was dance as a secular activity, propagated
by the folk and polished by the nobility, which led to
that great classic art of the Western world which we
now call "ballet"." (Walter 71, p. 17)

The earliest ballet had all the main ingredients such as dancing, music, decor, and a
storyline. Eating was a big ingredient too, as the ballets were performed in conjunction
with grand banquets and feasts.

The beginnings of ballet were being developed in the Italian courts of the 15th century,
however it was in the court of King Henry II and Queen Catherine de Medicis of France
that the first official ballet took place. It was called the Ballet Comique de la Reine, and it
was produced in the same genre as that of the earlier Italian dinner and fete ballets,
primarily a lavish dance spectacle in which kings and courtiers participated as dancers, and
included many non-ballet interludes. Ballet at this stage was rudimentary in technique and
lacking in thematic continuity.

During their ensuing period in the 1860's the Russians had developed, technically, the
finest ballet companies of the 19th century. It is at this time when Tchaikovsky created
the ballets: Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty.

Eventually the United States developed its own ballet companies around the 1930's. Ballet
started to get a little more creative by extending and experimenting with different kinds of
music, creating contemporary narrative ballet pieces, and abstract ballets.

Modern dance

It would be difficult to describe modem dance as having any particular style or technical
method of movement. It is more of an attitude, a point of view toward dance as an art.
Modem dance is theatrical dancing for serious artistic purposes that developed largely
independent of and in opposition to the forms of ballet, jazz, and other popular forms of
dance. It stresses individuality of expression over uniformity of method. The recognized
language the dance uses became developed by a small group of dancers in the United
States in the 1920s and 1930s. Within a few decades it had achieved institutional and
popular acceptance and had become and still is a very exciting expression of theater art.

Modem dance did not spring from a void. It all started in the early 1900s where a
number of dancers were dissatisfied with the mechanical sterility of ballet and the
decorative triviality of conventional theater dances. Loie Fuller discovered illusionistic
effects that could be created by colored light and swirling draperies, illustrating the vivid
theatrical impact movement can have. Isadora Duncan devised a free style of dance that
conveyed great intensity of feeling. Ruth ST. Denis impersonated Oriental goddesses with
an air of spirituality and mysticism that audiences found uplifting. A school was
established in 1915 by Denis and her husband Ted Shawn appropriately called the
DENISHAWN school of modem dance. The school became the foundation from which
founders of modem dance emerged.

The three paramount founders of modem dance as we know it now are Martha Graham,
Doris Humphrey, and Charles Weidman. It was these three that set in motion a new and
different style that quickly became popular with new dance companies. The creative surge
was not limited in America, but in central Europe a parallel trend was taking place too. It
all ended, however with World War II and it was not until the 1960s when American
choreographers began working overseas that modem dance became an international
phenomenon again.

The belief of modem dance was that the dance had to embody the sense of a machine age,
the personality of the particular artist, and the moral concerns of the time. Commercialism
and prettiness that sacrificed artistic integrity for the sake of audience appeal had to be
abandoned. The rigid torso, turned out feet, effortless flights, and elegant lines of a ballet
established centuries ago were out of the picture.

The early modern dances in bare feet, stayed close to the ground, emphasized body
weight, eschewed elaborate costumes and sets, worked with simple musical arrangements,
and moved with deliberate force, angularity, asymmetry, and distortion. The dance
created was specific to the dancer's body type, ability, and the subject to be
communicated. Anna Sokolow concentrated on mood rather than plot in the modern
dance reflecting the tension and alienation of the 1950s. Alvin Alley combined ballet with
modern dance, as both arts were starting to get along, and mixed them with black themes.
Others developed innovations such as making the dance a multimedia event involving
sound, shapes, movement and light. Merce Cunningham abandoned plot, characterization,
logical sequence, and preconceived emotional coloration, letting his dance movement
speak for itself simply as movement occupying space and time. Cunningham greatly
influenced the dancers of the 1960s, many of whom followed his exploration of
movement-as-movement and questioned even further what qualified as dance movement.
(Ricco. 93)

Today, some modem pieces have dances without music or a beat being heard. Others
have pieces where a subject matter is communicated as the dancer does his or her moves.
One can see the relationship between the message and the corresponding move.

In the early 1900s, America had the most exciting architecture of the world. Modern
dance was becoming popular and accepted by developing new ways to communicate
emotions, ideas and messages through movement. Buildings also started to change the
way they communicate too. "Moder" buildings by Louis Kahn and Roche/ Dinkeloo
communicated each major function by expressing it differently in form and materials. This
started to yield toward buildings with unsymmetrical forms since certain parts of the
building responded to different forces acting upon it. These ideas can be seen in Moder
and Jazz dancing because these dances created new gestures within the movement, each
with a function boldly expressed. Also at the same time the new dance forms start to
break away from symmetry as each side of the stage becomes an opportunity to
communicate different emotions through movement.

During this time buildings were also built according to the "International style" where
buildings had simple forms. The buildings were still considered significant and innovative
because of how they were built, and how it represented the ideals of architects around the
world as they tried to bring together, through architecture, a world that was at war at the
time. The skyscraper was to the American city, as modern and jazz was to the dance
world. Both characters incorporated new materials, and their use, new modes of
movement- the elevator for moving up and down large numbers of floors. Also, a new
framework for construction for the buildings could be paralleled with the new movement
patterns dance was incorporating.
The aspiration toward new, universal ideas were pretty much the goals in architecture and
in dance at this time. If we look at ballet and the architecture of the time it became
popular, we can see symmetrical forms and layouts because it was considered "normal"
and it reflected harmony and elegance (at that time).

Now we start seeing new ways of achieving elegance both in the architectural realm as
well as in modem and jazz dance. In modem and jazz dance the ways of achieving this
new elegance is achieved by tracing the movements back to basic ballet moves. The moves
become stretched and transformed to new movements, and gestures giving way to new
messages. Architectural elegance is achieved in this time through honesty of materials,
expression of functions, and response to site and context.

Jazz Dance

As defined by Marshall and Jean Steams, jazz dance is "...an American dance that is
performed to and with the rhythms of jazz--that is, dancing that swings. .. makes jazz
rhythms visible" (Steams, M. & J., 1968, p. xiv) Its key characteristics are noted by the
dancers fluid spine, the spirit of improvisation and spontaneity, contrasting dynamics,
intrinsic rhythmic propulsion and direct manner of communication.

The development of jazz dance can be traced back to when the first Africans were brought
to America as slaves. "For when the Negro was brought to America ... he brought with
him the marvelous traditions of his native Africa." (Jackson, H., 1977. p 36) How ironic
and sad to have captured a new style of art so appreciated under such cruel circumstances
in an inhumane manner! For the Africans, dance was part of the whole voyage to the new
world. Dance was used to entice the natives to come aboard the ships, which would
secretly leave the land. There was a ceremony called "dancing the slaves" which occurred
after the morning meal (Emery, 1970, chap. 1) They were brought out of the crowded
hold and onto the deck and forced to dance. This was done for two reasons: the first for
health, and the second for keeping the slaves physically fit, which made for a better deal
for trade later. Accompaniment was provided by various broken or make shift drums and
sometimes a banjo or fiddle if available. (Emery, 1970, p.7) Other accounts mention
tambourines and African war songs and ring dances (Emery, 1970, p.10) in which the feet
scarcely moved while the arms and torsos twisted energetically. The slave danced "not
for love nor joy nor religious celebration nor even to pass the time, he and she danced in

answer to the whip, for survival. .. the beat of the drum followed the captives across the
Atlantic to their home in the new world." (Emery, 1970, p. 12). As time passed the
African dance changed, but it is not known exactly how. It is speculated that some of the
changes were due to European influences.

Whereas ballet remained pretty much the same for about 350 years, jazz dance has
undergone many changes in the 75 years of its entertainment history. Jazz dance as we
now see it started with tap dance, it then traveled the social circle with dances like the
Charleston, Big Apple and the Jitterbug. It was not until innovators like Jack Cole,
Jerome Robbins and even George Balanchine came along and made jazz dance a
formalized technique.(Giordano, 1978, p. v)

Even at this time, the 1920's, jazz dance was not considered a basic dance technique. It
needed to incorporate and transform ideas from ballet, and modem dance in order to bring
out jazz dance's fullest potential. It seems as if the basic theme in all jazz dance is the
emphasis placed on the torso, "If it comes from the stomach it's jazz even if it's en pointe."
(Giordano, 1978, p. v) Most people during this time used the term "jazz dance" to
describe the newly emerging rhythmic social dances like the Black Bottom and the Big
Apple. At the same time, show dance was also called "jazz dance". It was known for its
vivacious choreography, snappy routines, and sharp timing. Show dance was an early
influence on jazz, especially with tap and the emphasis on footwork and showmanship.
(Giordano, 1978, p. 111)

Jazz dance was placed in the last part of this section because it is the only dance that is a
hybrid of all the others mentioned. Any description of jazz dance must have some
reference to the other dances on how each one of these dance forms contribute to the still
evolving concert vehicle of dance. It is ironic to discover that a dance so diverse and
complex including influences from modem and ballet, used to be sandwiched in a dance
program with the other dances almost as a light, happy, tappy interlude rather than a
serious piece. This was in the 70s.

Now jazz dance has earned its place in the list of highly regarded dance arts. Modem
dance tends to accept jazz more readily than ballet, but in some schools and companies it
still dismisses it as an amusing and minor vehicle, consigning it to a remote corer of the
modern dance world.

To conclude this overview of jazz dance a quote by Matt Mattox taken from the periodical
Focus on Dance, April 1969 will demonstrate what seems to be the essence of this dance

"Perhaps the term 'jazz dance" is not really the true
designationfor what I consider to be jazz dancing. I have
always disliked the word 'jazz" in connection with the style
of movement with which people seem to associate me. I
prefer to think of this particular style of movement as being
free style movement. The word "free" is used because one
is left to choose any kind of move he wishes to make,
whether it is a tilt of the head, a flick of the wrist, a
rotation of the pelvis... a contraction of the body, the
stance of the bullfighter, or a modern fall to a completely
prone position. The word "style" is used because one is left
to choose whatever style of movement he wants: East
Indian, folk dancing, ethnic, or a mixture of these. All in
all, free style is the best term to be used in reference to this
kind of movement. Therefore, it seems logical that one is
left to one's own imagination in creating movement that
can be, and is, calledjazz."
He also reminds dancers to look at the space used for jazz dance in three dimensions. To
use those dimensions by implementing three different patterns at once, or use many
dancers to make a particular passage stronger. To always fill the stage to the best possible
degree. One group of dancers can perform an action on one side, while on the other side
another group performs a reaction.

Jazz dance, like the music, is perhaps the soul of the American movement, from the
shuffling black men of another era to the rolled down stockings of the twenties straight
through the Golden Era of Jazz Dance of the fifties and on into the seventies and the
highly stylized and personal jazz movements of today, it reflects as always the temper of
the time. The dance styles change each decade as new trends and ideologies emerge in
our world. The dances almost leave behind historic reflections imbedded in movement.





After gaining a better understanding of what dance is, the question arose again. How can
dance become a source of inspiration toward a design? In the design of a dance facility, a
question like this can yield many answers and arguments, after all, dance is movement, and
architecture is static. There may be endless ways to achieve an architectural expression of
dance, and any of them may yield a desirable environment for living and working. For the
purpose of this project, dance as a metaphor for architectural design will be implemented
in two principal ways. The first is in a holistic manner; this part will depend upon personal
intuition, or "gut" reactions flowing from the research gathered, and from observations
done while working closely among dancers and in stage production. The second way
dance can be used as a metaphor is by referring to key elements that make up dance, and
reflecting them in the architecture. These elements are:

Movement in space

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss in further detail how these elements are perceived
in dance, and specifically, their manifestations in Modem, Jazz, and Ballet. Finally, design
recommendations will be discussed in how the key elements may be used as form
generators in the design of the facility.
In the book Movement and Metaphor, Gombrich writes about metaphor by "...finding
equivalencies in the most disparate phenomena, and substituting one for another..." He
points out that without the ability for the human mind to achieve this "substitution",
language, art or even civilized life as we know it would not be possible. There is a sense
of comfort when one can explain a situation or a concept by relating it to another, totally
different situation that is familiar to us.
In Awaken the Giant Within, Anthony Robbins says "Whenever we explain or
communicate a concept by likening it to something else, we are using a metaphor. The
two things may bear little actual resemblance to eachother, but our familiarity with one
allows us to gain an understanding of the other."
In the case of this project the premise is not to gain a better understanding of dance or
architecture, but to create an architecture that "speaks" or "acts" like dance. The building
becoming an extension of the activity happening inside, is the basis of this project.
As a final note, it is important to consider that the dance metaphor not only be
transformed successfully in the building as a form, but that it lends to a successful
environment toward the learning and experiencing of dance.

itQ i "
I.; -'

t~L; a1


In general, when all points in the dancer's
body achieve an inner relationship a sense of
balance is established. This relationship
occurs when it can be held in the dancer's
awareness. It is always worked on whether
moving or standing, or holding a position. In
this state the whole body can be sensed and
it feel in harmony with itself. Achieving
balance does not necessarily mean that
symmetry must follow. Certain parts of the
body may be in different locations, but there
is always a play in counterbalancing which
reconciles any imbalance. For example a
dancer may stand on one leg while leaning
forward, have one leg swung back, and both
arms extended outward. The leg swung
back counter balances the chest and head
leaning forward. Just because one has these
ingredients achieved does not mean that
balance is guaranteed though. Concentration,
and strength are also vital in maintaining this

Significance in Jazz Dance
Balance in Jazz dance may occur in
balancing out movements, with different
body parts. A movement done with the
hands may be balanced out with the feet. Or
a high kick may be counterbalanced with an
arm pointing in the other direction.

Significance in Modem
Since modem dance is characterized by
asymmetry, distortion, and angularity it is
difficult at times to readily see any balance as
we know it. It is quite like jazz dance,
except movements are more dynamic and
emphasis is placed upon the body as a whole.
The hand may become a foot, and replace a
foot that is swinging in the air, achieving an
odd sense of balance. There is usually no
symmetry, but one part of the body will
usually counterbalance the other in order to
achieve a sense of balance.

Significance in Ballet
Ballet main theme is a symmetrical play in
movements. Balance can be obviously seen
as symmetrical. One arm out will usually
cause the other to go out too at the same
angle and direction. An arabesque may be
seen as an asymmetrical move in ballet as
seen in the figure. This symmetry stems
from its premise being grounded in
Renaissance concepts of proportion and

Architectural opportunities

Balance may serve as very interesting form
generators with promising results. There are
different departments ranging from the
turbulence of the studio environment, and
the more serious and business like nature of
the administration. Achieving a sense of
balance with these two disparate functions
within the same site will be the challenge.
Other opportunities will arise as the project
continued, and will be covered at the jury.
The key is to create a sense of balance not
only on the building as a whole, but in its
individual parts, in section, and in the details.
The users will sense this and know it just
feels right, just like they are when in balance
while dancing.

4 -

* .tt.

- ~


A dancer possesses an identifiable central
point in his or her body from which
movement comes from. This key element is
most likely considered to be the most
paramount in order to achieve perfect
movement. Dancers can develop beautiful
looking arms and legs, but will never move
well without achieving a physical center.
The dancer must know how to "get" to this
imaginary, yet very real place without
needing to think about it. In essence the
dancer's physical body center is like our own
home, it is our sense of place, we know
directions from it, like lines radiating from a
point. We remember it, without trying to.
When dancers can recall this "territory"
within their bodies, they have mastered
For the purpose of this project only the
physical aspect within a dancer will be used
as metaphor to inform the building form and

Significance in Modem Dance

Modem or Free-style dancing has a vast
vocabulary of movements which are
constantly changing and reinventing
themselves. The sense of centering may
occur at many levels. While standing,
jumping, or even while lying flat on the
ground doing a series of rolls.

Significance in Jazz Dance
A fluid spine is one key characteristic of jazz
dancing. Centering is always present,
however, the spine may seem curving and
twisting, but if you put a line from the pelvis
to the head, a straight line can be seen.

Significance in Ballet
In ballet, emphasis is strong on the torso,
usually stiff and with a regal posture.
Centering occurs in the vertical, and if
jumping, the body's vertical axis will go
diagonal. It is the dancer's responsibility to
keep that sense of centering while in the air,
especially if spinning, or suffer the
consequences upon landing.

Architectural opportunities
Centering can be used in many ways within the
project. The key is to use the above information
in a way that is beneficial toward the dance
academy, not for the sake of using it.
"Centering" must be echoed in the building to
serve the users, like it serves them in dance.
One way is to use centering as a strategy
toward the overall layout of the building. An
idea may be to have a central zone within the
building where visitors and dancers can get their
bearings and then decide on where to go. From
here, different destinations may connect: the
theater, the studios, the library, or the
administration. And perhaps within the zones
introduce some "subcenters" where one can
center oneself, maybe pause, and then decide on
where to go.
The premise is to recreate that sense of
knowing where one is, and repeat that feeling
within the other subcenters, so that sense of
place is maintained throughout the whole
building experience. This may be achieved by
using forms that are conducive to centering.
These may be geometric solids such as a cone, /
cube, pyramid, or a cylinder. George
Balanchine's favorite centering object was the
sphere or circle since it has no end or beginning,
and it has infinite tangent points.

i l



Form gives the dance that three dimensional
feel. Arms, body, and legs all play a role in
giving dance form. This form is a structure
set apart from color, or material. Form may
refer to the dancer's form as a physical
object in space, or the form the dancer is
defining using his or her body components.
Form is one of the strongest visual elements
in dance. It is present in every moment of
every emotion, and it is one of the things that
the viewer's eye retains longest after the
piece ends. The body, by virtue of having a
number of long, straight bones, is naturally
facile at making shapes with straight lines
and angles.
"The body in motion can carve a shaped
volume of space out of the surrounding
area"(Cheney, 1989. p. 51)
Volume is an aspect of space that is
somewhat related to form. Another way
dance achieves form is by defining the
negative space, that is the space surrounding
the dancer rather than the body of the
dancer. This type of form can exist
anywhere in the space through which a
dancer moves. The dancer defines the
boundaries, either partially or wholly by
using the body.

An example would be to consider the shape
of your arms as they form a circle in front of
your chest, parallel to the floor. They create
a partial boundary of a negative form.

Significance in Ballet
Form in ballet is mostly concentrated with
the body as a positive form because the body
is mostly kept in a vertical position.
Negative spaces are created, however, within
a multiple characters piece, where two or
more dancers can define a volume of space
between them.

Significance in Moder and Jazz dance
The role of the dancer's body in defining
form is stretched to define the negative space
as well as the positive. Forms begin to
become asymmetrical as well as symmetrical.

Architectural opportunities
Another strong relationship with dance and
architecture is the role forms take. In
architecture form may be defined in the
negative when two or more planes have a
dialog toward creating a space. In dance,
negative forms are created the same way as
columns do. This form generator lends to a
negative space that is almost transparent in
A form may be defined by a "line" that is
either broken up or clearly defined. One
aspect that seems to be of interest is the idea
of how a dancer uses the arms to define a
form of a cylinder. This seems to gesture
toward a welcoming nature. One concept
that will support the design scheme of the
dance academy is to welcome any visitor.
Conceptually this will be evident by using
line to define a form that lends itself to this

y j'


As a species, humans discovered that their
chances for survival were greater within a
social group, rather than alone. Since we did
not have specialized claws, sharp teeth or
hardlike shells for protection, humans used
gesture to communicate their ideas. With
subtle gestures and postural attitudes we
display different emotions and messages.
Dances performed around the world are
understood everywhere because they possess
a common language of gesturing. Examples
are arms being held out signifying receiving
or giving. Hands on the hips usually
communicates to another dancer "show me."
The idea of gestures within the whole
framework of dance is where the more
expressive and detailed communications are

Significance in Ballet
Ballet, in comparison to the other dance
forms discussed, is more literal. Emotions
and actions are communicated through hand
gestures. In the ballet, Giselle, Albrecht
pleads for Giselle to stay with him, but
knows she must return to the afterworld,
since she has been appearing to him only as a

He holds his arms out as if reaching for her
in vain, as he follows her toward her grave,
where she will enter the afterworld. Ballet
uses gestures like these to communicate
what is happening in the story.

Significance in Modem
Modern dance is not as literal in expressing
emotions by using hand gestures or motions.
In most modem pieces, a message is usually
communicated without a storyline, and the
gesture is the piece as a whole. There is
usually no plot in a modem piece, but a
mood will be danced out.

Significance in Jazz
Just as modem dance does not rely on literal
gesturing of ideas, the same applies to jazz,
but only to a certain extent. A flick of the
wrist, or a shake of the foot might be micro
gestures that can communicate an attitude,
or even have a charming message like the
way a female dancer may move her hips to
attract the male counterpart. Gestures were
highly used through dance in Jerome
Robbins' West Side Story. "...used to
express contemporary urban themes."
It seems that jazz dance is a cross between
modem dance and ballet in terms of how
gesture is used.

Architectural oooortunities

In dance gesturing is a means of
communicating ideas, feeling, and emotions.
In the design of the dance academy this
ideology can be applied to express certain
functions. Some obvious ones that already
exist in other buildings are how a building
may gesture to a courtyard by introducing a
colonnade toward it saying "you may filter
through..." Or pronouncing an entrance with
a different shape or height. Gesture can also
mean "indication", "acknowledgment",
"sign", and can be used as form givers by
keeping in mind that this project is about
expression, and giving the proper attention,
in form, to the various functions happening
within it. Perhaps hints of the theater can be
seen from the street to alert people that
dance is celebrated in this building. Or to
give people a sense of what is circulation and
what is function, a language can be used for




4e';**. a e 5

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.-X. .



Line is briefly discussed here because it
applies to how a dancer moves through
space. Line may have many manifestations
in dance. When asked what line quality a
certain piece has, words such as staggered,
smooth and straight, or smooth and curvy
are commented. A line can be set and then
end and do something different, and be
picked up to continue again.
It also applies to the dancer's overall
physical state while moving in relation to his
or her body axis. Depending on what dance
type, and mood the dancer's body line can
communicate many emotions. The same
adjectives are used as mentioned earlier for
the dancer's body.

Significance in Ballet
Line in Ballet is generally either straight or in
a circular pattern. Emphasis, again, is placed
on simple geometric patterns that stemmed
from the classical period in the Renaissance.
Body line is vertical and straight. Most of the
movement occurs with the arms and legs.

Significance in Modem
Sweeping, curving, free flowing..... are
among many words associated with the line
quality accompanying modem dance pieces.
However, in a modem piece many forms of
line may exist within one piece. Hints of
strict verticality may appear to give a piece a
sense of order.

Significance in Jazz
Jazz dance yields lines in distortion and
turbulence. Angularity, and curved lines are
also extra elements that make up jazz dance.
A sense of stretching of the line is apparent
in certain movements which seems to start to
define spaces outside the dancer's sphere.

Architectural opportunities
Line quality in architecture has many
languages as dance. A line may be vertical,
horizontal, curved, jagged, it may disappear
and then be picked up again. The scheme
will try to take the role of line a step further

by applying rules of how line is used in
dance. One way of doing this is to use line
in conjunction with the function of the


'' .21


t. -



The intensified senses of a dancer come from
their inner perceptions that stimulates the
mind and is manifested in the body through
movement. It is here where dance is
expressed. Our bodies were made to move
in the space around them, both near and far.
For dancers, space is not just empty air, but a
tangible element that can be moved through.
Just as water is a tangible element to a fish as
it determines its pattern of movement, the
same goes for a dancer piercing his or her
Movement has infinite manifestations in
dance. It can occur in circles, straight lines,
on a dancer's body axis. It can be smooth,
jagged, jerky, graceful or clumsy. It can
occur horizontally or vertically. Within any
movement, there may exist submovements
within them The movement is an extension
of the emotion being experienced by the

Significance in Ballet
Ballet's movement is obviously seen as
graceful. Even when Albrecht, in the ballet
Giselle, is being "danced to death" he
expresses his exhaustion very gracefully in
his jumping and moving. The main idea
behind movement in ballet is discipline.
There is a sense of strict following of the
music's rhythm. The movements are
relatively restricted to outward rotation of
legs, and five basic positions of the feet. In
other words, limited.

Significance in Modem
Modem dance is also appropriately named
free-style. It is this spirit that has governed
the quality of movement associated in
modem pieces. It is ironic to see a piece like
Bach's Brandenberg Concerto #4 being
danced in a free style piece choreographed
by Doris Humphrey! However it is how she
manipulated movement around such a
mathematically based piece of music that
enriches the dancer's and viewer's
experience of the whole.

Significance in Jazz
In jazz dance, the body becomes just like
another instrument within the whole
ensemble. Beats are hit with a hip
movement, a quick leg beat, or a shoulder
move. Just like in gesture, jazz dance and
how it uses movement, can be a median
between ballet and modem. It has a strict
order in that it respects the music's beat and
rhythm, and it has an established set of
moves documented. In addition, jazz dance
seems to do "its own thing", using dance
moves from Indian dance, folk, ethnic, or a
mixture of these.

Architectural opportunities
The most challenging task in this study is to
establish a method of expressing movement
within the architectural scheme. The
building should possess a quality of
movement to it if the dance is to inform it;
after all dance is movement. This quality
should at least become somewhat evident in
the part where dance takes place: the
studios. This may happen in plan by placing
spaces in a radial or "pinwheel" arrangement
giving clue to movement.

Movement may be manifested in the
architecture in other ways that are not so
"obvious". This may take place in how the
building moves people to the different
spaces, and from. Another way, currently
being considered, is setting up a "dance"
within the whole scheme by marking the
pauses between the movements with platonic
solids. These spaces are where users center
themselves and proceed to move to another
part of the building, or end up at another
pause point. From here the user can select
another mode of movement in the form of
direction and speed. This can be seen in
chapter X of this report.








A good sense of rhythm is fundamental to all
dancers. Once dance sequences are learned,
dancers find that it is the rhythm and beat of
the dance that form the "threads". It is these
threads that allow the dancer to memorize
the structure of the dance. A rhythm may
not be so obviously apparent (like a drum
beat) in any dance, especially a modern
piece. The rhythm may lie somewhere in the
dancer's mind who has developed an
"absent" beat. The opposite may happen
too. A dance may seem to ignore the
apparent beat heard by a normal audience,
and go off on a rhythm of its own.

Significance in Ballet
Rhythm in ballet is again, easy to spot.
Music, and body movements are in synch,
and a sense of discipline in apparent. The
legs and feet are the most apparent
communicators of rhythm in the dance, the
rest of the body just follows.

Significance in Modern
Modern dance can do anything with rhythm.
A piece may start out with a clear
distinguishable rhythm, and then the music
might stop, and the dance continues as if it
still hears he rhythm. Or a piece may start
out in synch with the rhythm, and then
depart from it. The dance takes on a life of
its own. Then later in the piece music and
dance become unified again. It is this
freedom of keeping and straying away from
the "thread" that makes modern dance so
different from ballet or jazz.

Significance in Jazz
Although it has been labeled "free-form",
jazz dance has a strict set of rules which
govern the movements. Rhythm also applies
to these rules. A beat might be hit with a hip
movement or head movement. "Some
movements are so fast and intricate, that they
seem to pick up and reflect the multiple
rhythms of jazz music in much the same way
as the facets of a cut stone reflect light."

Architectural opportunities
Rhythm is probably the most apparent
element seen in architecture paralleling very
close to dance. Columns, window patterns,
surface treatments all play a role in giving the
building a sense of rhythm. So the question
to ask is "How can rhythm in dance inform
the rhythm in architecture?"
One example is that in dance there is a
relationship between the rhythm and the
emotion linked with it. The faster the
rhythm the more urgent and climactic the
emotion or mood. Maybe the floor patterns,
or column spacing may echo and reflect the
mood of the function they are in or around.
Or there can be one overriding rhythm
established in the scheme, but at certain
parts, variations of the rhythm occur, or it
becomes distorted in some spaces to respond
to a function. These "moves" must be sure as
not to interrupt the functions of the spaces.

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This chapter is devoted to the investigation of two published dance school. The first is the
Ballet School at Nanterre, Paris; the second facility is the National Academy of Dance at
Marseilles, France.

The first one was chosen because of the architect's intent of creating a monastic-like
atmosphere in the scheme. Through this study it was concluded that although dance is an
art expressing freedom of the mind, heart and soul, it is also a discipline. To be a dancer
requires hard work, and intense dedication. Therefore, the architect's intentions for this
scheme were appropriate.

The second scheme, seems to be more of a formal expression of dance, much like the
design developed for this project. Verticality is expressed, dance studios are clearly
perceived, and there is a playful gesturing in the fenestration. It was the apparent
differences in each example of the schools that qualified them to be included in this study.
The investigation of these cases will also lead to a better understanding of the spatial
needs of a contemporary dance facility.

Each school will be first discussed in general, followed by a pros and cons evaluation.
Next, illustrations showing selected plans and photos will give the reader a more detailed
review of the school. The secondary aim of the project being developed from this study is
to create a dance school that both captures the spirit of freedom and creativeness, as well
as creating a sense of discipline and solemnity.

Christian de Portzamparc, architect

The Ballet School at Nanterre, Paris is a prime example of a dance facility that
successfully incorporates many functional demands. In addition, this case study informed
this project in terms of how to express the significant spaces of each department within the
facility as an independent yet attached entity with a character of its own. The school
contains 10 rehearsal rooms, 12 lecture rooms, an administration department and an
accommodation department with 50 bedrooms each sleeping 3 pupils. The most major
architectural characteristic of the school is its great glass hall which forms the basis for the
layout of all the elements of the project, and it also makes it possible to look through the
school to see the park beyond. The hall covers an area of great proportions; it is
positioned practically on the axis of the entire composition, which continues the line of the
road that gives access to the school, and it is in relation to this axis that the general
balance of the north entry facade is defined.

The facility is split into three main sections which are distiguishable. This "fragmentation"
is the result of precise analysis of the project making it possible to describe the three parts
formally. The article did not discuss why the architect chose to express each department
differently. The Dance Academy for Tallahassee project will have three dance studios that
will each express, formally, the dance taught within it. This expression may happen in
plan, section, or even in elevation. Caution must be observed as not to blindly design a
non functional space just because it reinforces the metaphorical interpretation of the dance
being expressed. A balance must be achieved in that the dance being expressed in the
space must be aesthetically appropriate and must also support a function.

A multitude of contrasts between empty core and solid sculptural shape lie hidden within
the dance school. If closely observed the architecture comes out of a kind of "scaling
down" from the whole to its parts. For example the great glass hall is to the whole
project, as the spiral staircase is to the rehearsal rooms surrounding it. The topological
relationships are similar. "The more often they are repeated, the easier they are to read,
making the dance school into a world where relationships of spaces and shapes are
interwoven, superimposed or contrasted." (Lucan, 89)
The architect's quest for achieving "fragmentation" is also reflected within a duality of
"contraction and expansion". Contraction is witnessed within the great glass hall and the
spiral staircase. They gather and stabilize the solid spaces and constructed volumes.
Expansion can be noted within each of the constructed volumes because they take on a
centrifugal aspect which gives them license to be independent.

Spaces are expressed independently allowing for....
Better natural light to enter spaces
Freedom of formal expression
Analogies of dance used
Living units for pupils
Large rehearsal rooms
Music rooms
Clear unobstructed dance floors
Clear layout of departments
Different studio configurations and orientations
Facade treatment


Exterior seems inactive suggesting a very introverted activity
No distinguishable performance hall
Numerous stairs
Sense of separation from the administration
Connection of living units wing to the dance building
Lack of visual warmth, sense of sterility

These aspects will be considered, and taken as lessons in the project being implemented
here. The most striking feature that seems to be desirable in designing a Dance Academy
for Tallahassee is formally expressing the various functions. A facility of this type would
benefit from this concept due to the activities occurring within: dancing. If these spaces
could be celebrated in form, while consolidating the services within a central location, it
would lend more space for the studios and related spaces. The payback would be
manifested in the form of better rehearsals, performance, work, and overall morale for the

Plans and illustrations

pound floor plan


;; .
--~-:-- -----~-------~r---

dance studio

dance studio

- dance studio

__ _/........

__ V

y .

Roland Simounet, architect

"... Simounet has created an unpretentious and serenely introspective environment, a kind
of monastery devoted to the worship of dance." (Shortt, 93)

This inspiring statement is the driving force behind the design of another successful dance
facility in Marseilles, France. It is the headquarters of the Roland Petit Dance Company
and a school that trains very talented young dancers. The facility departments are made of
an Administration, Dance Studio, Dressing, and a Grand Studio, which in conjunction
with an adjacent reception room may be used as a performance hall. The communal
quality of the Academy can be observed in plan with the program wrapping around a
square and central courtyard. This organization reinforces the dancer's sense of being part
of a second family, and a collaborative effort. The program is appropriately layered with
the dance studios being on the outer edge and occupying two storeys of the building thus
being accessible to unlimited sunlight. Within that layer are the auxiliary spaces: dressing
rooms, restrooms, lockers, etc. The second level outer layer contains the studios' upper
portion; circulation and the administrative offices are within this layer and overlook the
central courtyard. On the third level more offices occupy the inner layer of the square
doughnut plan; they look down into the central courtyard as well. The most noticeable
contribution in the facility is how natural light is manipulated. The architect used fractured
poured in place concrete facades, height variations, reveals, and overhangs to create
playful images of shadows on volumes. Dances of light and shadows are reflected within
the building by puncturing the walls with geometric patterned openings, or breaking them
with setbacks and niches. This treatment can be seen in churches with their large stained
glass openings, referring to the above quote again. Natural light enters the studios
through highly placed windows shaped like a T; the intention for the T shape was not
explained. Overhangs reflect any direct sunlight into the studios.


Sense of fellowship
Number of studios
Studio spaces promote work with little or no distractions
Flexibility of grand studio
Use of natural light
Layering of functions
Spaciousness of studios
Sculptural quality of building form
Quick access to dressing rooms and lockers
Multiple access into building
Presence of mini-music studios

Sterile quality of overall building (color)
Small number of openings for natural light
Physical adjacencies of studios leading to...
Higher cost of wall construction to avoid sound transmission
Segregation of administration and studios
Lack of visual warmth

Plans and illustrations



1 Entrance
2 Grand Studio
3 Dressing rooms
4 Dance studio
5 Music studio
6 Reception room
7 Courtyard
8 Cafeteria
9 Administration
10 Conference room


j S*


t~ 550

a. I

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The following chapters in this study are concerned with key issues surrounding the design
of the dance facility. In this section the reader will get a brief overview of all key materials
included in the program. This will ensure the reader with a proper background so as the
remaining chapters are read, they will be understood within the context of a general
understanding of the whole. Chapters VI through VIII will discuss in more detail what is
now outlined in this chapter.

Each of the following issues will be briefly outlined:

* Type of building
* Location\ site attributes
* Occupancy

* Major departments
* Net and gross areas
* Key issues


The design of a dance academy for Tallahassee is the focus of this study. This facility will
serve as a dance school with a performance auditorium. The building's focus will be on
how all the major departments work as a whole instead of separate and independent
departments. The dance theatre is where all the hard work, and classes will be celebrated
for audiences to view. Hypothetically speaking, the school will be privately funded,
owned, and will be geared toward the more talented dance students.


The location of the dance facility project will be in Tallahassee, Florida. Due to the
private nature of the school it has been placed in the outskirts of the city. The site flanks
off of Riggins Road, just south of East Tennessee street. A residential neighborhood
exists about 300 feet south of the southern border of the site. The facility is about a seven
minute drive from FSU's Dance department and the Tallahassee Ballet Company. This
time is acceptable since students and teachers from those facilities would be using the
proposed Dance Academy.

The advantages of proposing this site location are:

It sets up a relatively secluded, monastic like atmosphere that dancers appreciate.
It completes a triangle with the other two significant dance facilities: FSU and
the Tallahassee Ballet Company.
Although secluded, the site is easily reached via Tennessee street.
Traffic, or other noises do not threaten the site.
The contours of the site work with the special needs of the dance theatre.

The site is covered with tall pine trees, and oaks. Some shrubs appear, especially on the
the edges of the road. A sensitive design approach will preserve the nature of the image
the trees give. The removal of trees will be spread out evenly, instead of removing a large
concentrated area and causing empty pockets of empty air.


The Dance Academy will be used by the following users:

Dance students taking classes there
The teachers
The administrators and directors
Visiting artists and teachers
Visitors, parents to view the dance concerts


The Dance Academy will incorporate four distinct departments:

Teaching Department
Ancillary Department
Theater Department
Administrative Department

Each department will be discussed in the Departmental requirements chapter. Major
spaces, within each department, and their special requirements will also be outlined in


The Dance Academy will be used by the following users:

Dance students taking classes there
The teachers
The administrators and directors
Visiting artists and teachers
Visitors, parents to view the dance concerts


The Dance Academy will incorporate four distinct departments:

Teaching Department
Ancillary Department
Theater Department
Administrative Department

Each department will be discussed in the Departmental requirements chapter. Major
spaces, within each department, and their special requirements will also be outlined in


Teaching Department:
Ancillary Department:
Theater Department:
Administrative Department:

17,000 square feet
6,900 square feet
7,580 square feet
27,480 square feet (including parking)

Total net
Total net divided by factor

58, 970 net square feet
65, 520 Gross square feet




This section discusses the general situation within which the project is being designed. It
will cover the following subjects:

Participants of the facility
Goals of the dance academy
Overview of client operations
Occupant profile
Relation to the community

This list was limited to what was considered to be the most significant issues surrounding
the design of the dance academy. Other issues can be looked at in more detail in the
appendix section of this report such as the questionnaires which look further into the
dancer's unique profiles.


The participants of Dance Academy are divided into three sections:
The staff
The students
The visitors

The staff:
This division of participants includes the following in order of hierarchy:
1. The Artistic Director
2. The Associate Artistic Director
3. Dance instructors
4. Stage production manager
5. Assistant stage production manager
6. Sound, light, video specialists (upon special request)
7. Support function staff
8. Maintenance

The students:
1. Pre-beginners: ages 3-8
2. Juniors: ages 8 through 10
3. Seniors: ages 10 through 18
4. Visiting artists from nearby schools and companies

The visitors:
1. Parents and friends of students
2. General audience for shows and studio performances


This facility is where dance is taught. This teaching is to provide recreational and artistic
opportunity for everyone within the curriculum. This opportunity should be able to take
place within a non-competitive atmosphere in which each individual achieves his or her
own success. Finally, all the hard work and training will serve in two ways: first to share
with the community the world of dance, through in-house shows, and visits to other
schools; second to use the talent toward the pursuit of professional company or a


The academy will be mostly used as a training center for dancers with promising talent.
Auditions will determine if a pupil is qualified for entry into the academy. Rehearsals, and
classes will be held every day along with special performances scheduled throughout the
year. The artistic director will be responsible for organizing special programs in
conjunction with other schools and companies.

Overview of Activities:

Dance classes
Rehearsals for specific shows
Dance concerts by resident dancers and visiting guests.
Lectures concerning dance topics (Classrooms)
Individual research (Library)
Individual training
Physical conditioning (Physical therapy)
General administration


This facility is where dance is taught. This teaching is to provide recreational and artistic
opportunity for everyone within the curriculum. This opportunity should be able to take
place within a non-competitive atmosphere in which each individual achieves his or her
own success. Finally, all the hard work and training will serve in two ways: first to share
with the community the world of dance, through in-house shows, and visits to other
schools; second to use the talent toward the pursuit of professional company or a


The academy will be mostly used as a training center for dancers with promising talent.
Auditions will determine if a pupil is qualified for entry into the academy. Rehearsals, and
classes will be held every day along with special performances scheduled throughout the
year. The artistic director will be responsible for organizing special programs in
conjunction with other schools and companies.

Overview of Activities:

Dance classes
Rehearsals for specific shows
Dance concerts by resident dancers and visiting guests.
Lectures concerning dance topics (Classrooms)
Individual research (Library)
Individual training
Physical conditioning (Physical therapy)
General administration


This section describes the attributes of the people who will use the facility. This list
reflects the profile of the most significant participants within the academy.

Artistic Director:

Experience in choreography and teaching dance
Master's degree in dance
Administrative experience in universities an other dance schools
Able to give lectures

Artistic Associate Director
Same as Artistic Director but not as experienced

Dance teachers
Degree in dance from a university
Concert experience (at least 2-4 years)

The students
High talent
Potentially talented
Must audition and pass for admittance
Tuition is paid by each pupil (parents)
Visiting dancers from other schools


The Dance Academy is strategically located within the city of Tallahassee, on Riggins
Road, 500 feet south of Tennessee Street. This location closes a square compromised of
three other dance centers. One is the Tallahassee Dance Academy in the Killear area,
the next is FSU's Dance Department, and the last is the Southern Academy of Ballet Arts.
This organization seems to enhance the presence of the dance arts in the community, and
makes it accessible to many people who are curious to learn more about the art.

The aim of this project is to introduce a cultural presence m the community, and to offer
to people of all ages an opportunity to learn and experience dance. If a facility of this
caliber could be realized, it would strive toward enhancing the cultural awareness of the
fine arts in Tallahassee. This would be manifested through dance concerts within the
academy's theater and in conjunction with other dance companies, at other nearby
facilities such as Ruby Diamond Hall, the FSU Dance Theatre, and the Florida State
Museum's auditorium.

The facility would also become a vital center for special study for select students from
other schools within the community. For example, students from the Tallahassee Ballet
Company would be able to use the dance academy's studios to rehearse and train for
special pieces for upcoming shows. Collaboration and participation with the other dance
companies is an important aspect that will further enhance the operation of this facility.

The facility is located at walking distance, north of a residential community at Riggins
road. Many of these homes are family owned which invites opportunities for children to
partake in the activities offered at the facility. Sidewalks can be extended from the facility
to link with the nearby development's pathways. The area appears to facilitate walking to
and from the facility with little or no security problems arising. Traffic is very light, and
there are no major streets to cross.



,- -



= -

-. .----





) Miami




Apalachee Blvd.




Meridian Rd.


Thomasville Blvd.

Location of project

Capital Circle

Apalachee Blvd.

Magnolia Blvd. N

"".- D

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