Choreographer Jaimie Henthorn sent us photos of the Lafayette Park-specific performance staged last week.
Henthorn created and directed this one-hour dance by Phaedra Eason and Corissa Leveille at the Detroit-based urban settlement. For thoughtful context for this piece, she sent us the following text.
Above: Paedra Eason and Corissa Leveille perform in Lafayette Park, Detroit, on July 24, 2012
“The way we think about architecture is organized by the way we think about the relationships between inside and outside, private and public. With modernity there is a shift in these relationships, a displacement of the traditional sense of an inside, an enclosed space, established in clear opposition to an outside." (Colomina, Beatriz, 1996. Privacy and Publicity. MIT Press, Massachusetts, London, pp 12)
The fenestration of the residential spaces at Lafayette Park is truly one of its most fitting examples of the notion described here by the architectural critic and historian Beatriz Colomina. The performance is informed in equal parts by this idea and also the function of the horizontality of the Modernist window as cinematic framing device. Though there is the potential for contradiction as the former points to an integration of the architecture’s occupant with the outside and the latter to a role as voyeur of what occurs of the other side of the glass, the seduction of the moving cinematographic image may, in fact, facilitate rather than discourage an occupant’s engagement. A pair of dancers take repeated passes through the space just outside of a ground-floor townhouse with a viewership watching from the inside through a wall composed entirely of windows. Calling on the movement vocabulary of contact improvisation, the duo tumble through the frame, as would leaves in the wind or a pair of birds in flight.
Again, to quote Colomina, “To be “inside” the space is to see. To be “outside” is the be in the images, to be seen, whether in the press photograph, a magazine, a movie, on television, or at your window…But, of course, the fact that (for the most part) this audience is indeed at home is not without consequence. The private is, in this sense, now more public than the public.” (Colomina, pp 7-8)
From Jaimie Henthorn, director and choreographer
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