Studio MDA

Forstyhe Dance Studio


Dance Studio, Concord, 2004

Vermont | 2004

As discovered during our Design Studies for Wil¬liam Forsythe’s Studios in St. Johnsbury, VT, the demands for today’s studios and a performance space have started to blur the boundaries between a Dance, Recording, Film and a Painter’s studio. studioMDA created a design that provides adequate flexibility to change lighting conditions, acoustical conditions, and manipulate the shell within the shell.

Dance is very demanding in terms of technical virtuosity and audience expectation. Performances of the highest standards cannot be conceived in spaces that do not meet the requirements of the dancers. Dancers spend many hours in rehearsal spaces and studios, in the Forsythe Studios the design provides appropriate en¬vironmental conditions (temperature control and good ventilation), floors will be properly sprung and resilient. Corridors which are often used for stretching, warm-up, etc. will be treated with similar care. Natural light and views must be available in all spaces, as should suitable control over artificial lighting levels. The proper heat¬ing of spaces is of fundamental concern to all dancers. Warmth and lack of draughts are essential. Temperature will be constant throughout all spaces in order help to avoid injury from muscle strain.

Conceptually, the Forsythe dance studio was an inter¬pretation of the dance styles employed by the Forsythe Company. StudioMDA created a series of sketches abstracting the William Forsythe’s dance concepts in to two-dimensional geometric studies, endeavoring to relate the temporal artistic qualities of ballet. The Geometries were then over-laid creating a palimpsest of layered genres. The resulting palimpsest was used to create a gestural sweep of the landscape indicative of the potential inherent in the language of classical dance. The sinuous landscape pulls from the earth, reveal¬ing the superimposed geometry, which then in turn, creates the fenestrations for supplying sunlight and Vermont landscape views to the spaces.