Dancing Through Architecture
Although he died in 1988, Pritzker Prize winning architect Luis Barragán’s work continues to influence contemporary architecture internationally today. Barragán designed over a dozen private homes in the Colonia Americana area near downtown Guadalajara, a place I spent a year living in as a child when my father took a sabbatical from teaching at UCLA to paint. I remember the light that always seemed robust with matte color – orange, brown, red, green, yet somehow never either dull nor shiny, and I remember the starkness of the “barrancas,” the brown hills behind my house where we would go to ride horses and dig up bones and treasures.
At least one of Barragán’s homes is the site for this stunning short film Dancing Through the Architecture of Luis Barragán which first appeared on NOWNESS this past April. The stark beauty of his architecture is brought to life by the presence of both still and moving bodies, intuitively and beautifully choreographed by Diego Mur (co-director of Nohbords contemporary dance project) in direct response to the light moving within the house and the lines, scale, and space within the building’s interiors and exteriors. The colors of Guadalajara resonate in the costume design, the art, the design of the rooms and landscaping of exterior spaces, and the overall direction by Andres Arochi is spot on.
Dancing Through the Architecture of Luis Barragán is a cornucopia of movement, architecture, color, and light, and is masterfully shot by Arochi himself, and also beautifully edited by him along with Sergio Beltran Garcia to an amazing score and sound design by Sebastian Lechuga.
As someone who creates both live and filmed site-specific dance works in direct response to architecture and space, and as someone who has fond and magical memories of a year of childhood in Guadalajara, finding this film was like coming home.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Founder/Director of Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival, Sarah Elgart is a Los Angeles based choreographer and director working under the auspice of Sarah Elgart | Arrogant Elbow. Sarah creates original content for stage, screen, and site-specific venues. Her stage and site-works have been performed at alternative spaces including LAX Airport, The Skirball Center, Mark Taper Forum, Van Nuys Flyaway, The Bradbury Building, Jacob’s Pillow, INSITU Site-Specific Festival NY, and Loft Seven, where she created a rooftop work lit entirely by a hovering helicopter accompanied by Nels Cline (Wilco). Her work has been produced by venues including The Music Center, MASS MoCA, Dance Place, Los Angeles Theater Center, Mark Taper Forum and The International Women’s Theater Festival. In film Sarah has worked with noted directors including JJ Abrams, David Lynch, Catherine Hardwicke, and Anton Corbijn. Her own films include award-winning music videos, dance shorts, and an Emmy nominated PSA, and continue to be accepted into festivals internationally. In addition to teaching dance and film, Sarah writes a regular column, ScreenDance Diaries that focuses on the intersections of both genres internationally for online magazine Cultural Weekly. Sarah’s work has received support from organizations that include the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, California Arts Council and more. She is an alumna of the Sundance Institute’s Dance Film Lab, a Fellow of AFI’s Directing Women’s Workshop, and a director member of the DGA.