Dance in Small Spaces

Assignment Guidelines

We are living and studying under extraordinary circumstances due to the challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19. This new reality asks that we limit our moving around and social interactions in ways we have not experienced before. For dance artists like ourselves, this brings up important questions about how we engage with dance and movement in the midst of these extreme limitations and uncertain times.

One way we can explore is using those limitations as guidelines for our dance making practices. For this assignment, let’s think about how we can create dances in small places:

  1. Identify a location in your home to create a site-specific dance. Be creative, these will be spaces you may have never thought about as possible dance stages, ie: the bathroom, a closet, the stairs, under the kitchen table, etc…
  2. Explore the characteristics of that space ie: what is its architecture, what textures do you touch around you, what sounds do you hear, how is the space usually used, are there people around or are you alone, what kinds of movement does the space facilitate, how can you surprise yourself, etc…?
  3. Consider what meaning, commentary, or metaphors moving and dancing in these small spaces will evoke during a time of global pandemic and quarantine? Although you are not obligated to work specifically on this issue, it is likely impossible to create and/or view a work like this at this time and not be impacted by our immediate reality. 
  4. Create a short site-specific dance (30 seconds to 1 minute) designed specifically for this space. In other words, the movement must be in response to the space you are inhabiting and the particular conditions of the space where you are moving and creating. You may set your movement, or you may design a structured improvisation, or you may do a combination of both of these dance making methodologies. You may dance in silence, sound, or recorded music.
  5. Film your dance. You can film it yourself, or you can ask someone else to film you if that seems appropriate. You may keep the dance as it was originally  filmed or you may edit it however you wish before you upload it.
  6. DUE MONDAY 5 PM–Upload your dance to our google drive folder under Dances in Small Places
  7. Include your name in the name of your file.
  8. View everyone else’s dance videos before class on Tuesday. Jot down impressions of each work in your movement research notebook.  
    1. Your work: Why did you choose that specific location? How did you go about creating the movement/piece? How did the specificity of the space inform your work? How and why did you choose silence, sound, or music? What was most interesting to you about the process? What surprised you? How would you further develop the piece?
    2. About your peers’ work: What was most interesting to you? What did you notice about the relationship between the location and the movement? What is a moment that you saw them moving in a way that you found unexpected? How did you experience their site while not physically in their site.What meaning did the piece evoke for you? Articulate one, “What if…” question for each work.

Be prepared to discuss your work and comments on your peers’ work



You can take a look at the following videos as examples of dance artists creating site-specific work and/or dances for for a small spaces: 

Willi Dorner: Bodies in Urban Spaces

Dances for Small Spaces – Ame

Stephan Koplowitz: TaskForce UK Chapter 6 (site-specific dance)

San Turce #2: Trastalleres

Site-Specific Choreography: When Dances Goes To Unexpected Places

Zaccho Dance Theatre