Bodies and spaces "in contact" : a study on the dancing body as means of understanding body-space relationship in an architectural context
Architectural discipline has long “repressed” the human body, the necessity of speaking of “bodies” in their plural form, and the ineradicable interdependency between body and space. However, especially the second half of the twentieth century has witnessed a number of attempts in the articulation of a “bodily architecture”. In an attempt to contribute to its refiguration, this study moves the body from the periphery to the centre of analysis. The author discusses the possibilities of studying theatrical dance in arriving at an “adequate” understanding of the relationship between body and space, constructing an analogy to the Contact Improvisation technique. The notions that are developed throughout the study of eight choreographic instances, with reference to the theoretical premises of studying Contact, trace four different type of relationship categories regarding body and space while demonstrating the potential of the body as a space-generating agent. Within such a framework, bodies and spaces are conceived as both cultural and historical products bearing peculiar natural qualities that position them as both an object and subject with powers of being affected from and affecting each other. The study concludes with a brief discussion on the possible linkages that may be constructed between the progression of bodily analogy in architecture and the conception of the body in dance and Performance Studies.