Holding the Space: Choreography, Architecture and Urban Heritage

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    This article responds to the interdisciplinary developments that choreography has undergone in the twenty-first century, in terms of a focus on relationships between dance, architecture, site and cultural heritage. It makes a claim for how choreography within the city manifests itself in the form of a public bodily act, as artistic boundary-crosser and socio-political agent. We explore this through the lens of a central case study: artist Anton Mirto’s Scaffolding (2019), a workshop-performance event for seven dancers sited within The Chapel of Many, an architectural installation by architect Sebastian Hicks and set inside the ruins of Coventry Cathedral (UK) as part of the Coventry Welcomes Festival’s Refugee Week. Grounded in an exploration of dance and architecture in terms of spatiotemporal relations following Rachel Sara’s (2015) framework of a transontology of architecture and dance and Rachel Hann’s (2019) concept of fast architecture, we argue for how the choreographic process of making Scaffolding speaks back to both the architectural space and the urban heritage site in which it is located and addresses a certain experience of temporality, history and memory. In turn, the potential political agency of such a performed conversation between architecture and choreography in the twenty-first century city is revealed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-63
    Number of pages19
    JournalDance Articulated
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Open access. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


    Funded by the European Union (EU) under the Horizon 2020 programme, grant number: 769827. Part of the project REACH (Re-designing Access to Cultural Heritage for a wider participation in preservation, (re-)use and management of European culture - https://www.reach-culture.eu/).


    • Architecture
    • Choreography
    • Coventry
    • Heriatge
    • Temporality


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