»Swinging Structures & Constructed Choreographies –

On the built and dancing body and its resonance with space. An architectural theory of e-motion.«

Ph.D. Thomas Alsheimer, since October 2020

Architecture is considered to be the epitome of solidity, perseverance and rest, and this character gives rise to the idea that it exists offsite from the concept of «movement». This endeavour to compare the art of architecture with the art of dance – probably the most original and immediate of the arts – aims to present an architectural theory of movement (resp. e-motion).

After surveying the relationship between dance and architecture in mythical, philosophical and poetic considerations, the important question of space arises. In his movements and gestures, the dancer is an intimate connection with space and embedded in atmospheres; the relief of his limb play leads to a sublimity and resonance that is commonly referred to as «vividness».

In the same way, architecture is not to be misjudged as the art of functional containers nor exciting sculptures; it also resonates with space, it is human demeanour and gesture in permanent form: it encloses, delimits, points, turns towards, links etc. In its constructive plasticity, it tunes into the space and enters into a dialogue with the world. It creates not only a static but also a moved entities that are the origin of symbols and atmospheres.

Accordingly, this consideration is less concerned with revealing art-historical connections or making an anecdotal comparison of two formal arts that is supposed to justify frantic gestures of building structures, just as it is not concerned with the dance movement within architectural space; – both are frequently found in architectural discussion. Rather, it is about the appearance of the building structure itself: how it likewise enters into such a resonant relationship with the space and achieves a lively and reliefed attitude. Accordingly, the investigations in theory and built examples culminate in the presentation of an «architectural language of relief», which above all is intended to be useful for building design and justifies the intellectual piece of work architecturally.

Contactt: thomas.alsheimer[at]uni-weimar.de