Dancing About Architecture: Making Space Program

Making Space


Dancing About Architecture

Where dance, performance, and architecture, in communication expand the experiences of bodies in space. 

Students Site Statements:


Art Building – 36 Edgewood Avenue

36 Edgewood houses the Yale School of Art’s sculpture department, comprising woodworking shops, metal shops, and computer labs. Designed by architect Kieran Timberlake, the building opened in September 2007, and has a total floor area of 64,118 sq ft.

Notably, 36 Edgewood became the first building in Connecticut to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating with a Platinum certification.

First, the complex excels in energy efficiency, where large studio windows provide natural lighting, and sensors further adjust artificial lighting to both natural lighting and occupancy.

Second, indoor air quality is sustainably maintained via an Aircuity monitor and exhaust system, connecting all studios to swiftly remove any airborne toxins, preventing their recirculation with minimal energy usage.

Third, the building is constructed using eco-friendly and sustainably sourced materials: 78% of building materials were harvested, 51% were assembled within 500 miles of the site, all paneling is made from recycled newspapers, and high-performance curtain walls are fabricated using the innovative, translucent material of Nanogel, which enables high natural light transmission and energy savings.

Recovered cedar wood is further featured on the gallery building’s façade, and over 88% of construction waste in the building phase was recycled.

Fourth, the building is highly water efficient, where potable water use is reduced by 65%. Water used for flushing in lavatories sources from a stormwater retention system from the roof of the main building, where rainwater is first stored in an outdoor 5,000-gallon tank, then pumped into a 400-gallon indoor tank and disinfected, before its use in dual-flush toilets.


School of Architecture –  180 York Street  – Stairs

Rudolph Hall is one of the earliest examples of brutalist architecture in America, a style known for harsh geometries and concrete. It has over thirty floor levels within its seven overall stories.

In 1969, it was damaged by a fire rumored to be set off by students and repairs changed much of the original architectural vision. In the early 2000s, Yale renovated it and restored it more closely to its original form. It is currently home to the Yale School of Architecture.


School of Architecture – 180 York Street  – Penthouse Terrace of Rudolph Hall 

Located on the corner of York and Chapel, Rudolph Hall acts as an anchor for the bustling street. The multilayered facade and corrugated concrete add depth to the towering structure. 

With originally thirty-seven distinct levels of floor height throughout the nine-story building, Paul Rudolph utilized shifting planes and hidden alcoves to alter the visitor's site lines in and around the structure.

For the average passerby, the penthouse terrace draws little attention and is rarely occupied. One of the highest points of the building I was interested in the inconspicuous yet clearly visible position of the outcropping.

My piece invites the viewer to look up at a figure partially hidden by the austere architecture. The distance between the audience and the dancer eliminates the perception of facial expression and abstracts the body into an organic form.

An elevated site grants the performer control over what can be seen, building moments into the piece to revel in the obscured movement.


School of Architecture – 180 York Street  – Hastings Hall

For the piece, lovesick, I want to focus on blending realities of the sacred and secular for viewership. Over the course of my dance journey, but especially this class, I have developed a deeper appreciation for why it is that I connect to dance at its core. It’s because it is one of the most raw forms of witnessing, boundary pushing, and knowledge.

The body is its own site of intellect and space. Blending that with another space holds special power.

This is why I’ve chosen Hastings Hall (named after Helen and Thomas Hastings, of the architectural firm of Carrère and Hastings) in the Yale School of Architecture building.

Though the charm of this 1963 building from the outside is rooted in Brutalist architecture, the inside is vibrant with carpeting by the name of “Paprika.” This entombed lecture hall felt perfect for honoring the emotions of lovesick which focus on recognizing secular (normal human emotion) as sacred (spiritual) in a space that is indeed academic with undertones of a pulpit, sanctuary. lovesick is an ode to being engulfed by limerence, baptized in a sea of your own thoughts in emotions and only you have the power to break (or drown) in the riptide.

Hastings Hall evokes a sense of being hidden as it sits in the basement with no windows, as well as a sense of submersion with the two Greek Revival Ionic capitals overlooking us. 


Dwight Chapel – 67  High Street – Yale old Campus

Dwight Chapel was built in the 1840s and was originally Yale’s library. However, once all of the volumes were moved to Sterling, the space was transformed into a chapel in honor of theologian Timothy Dwight. There are roughly 100 partner organizations that use the Dwight Hall center and its resources, ranging from social justice to education equality groups. Dwight Hall also housed a YMCA in the 1860s before becoming a hub of public service and interministry worship on campus.


Silliman College –  505 College Street – South Gate – Wall Street entrance


  • Largest residential college at Yale.
  • Silliman College opened in September 1940.
  • And was named for Benjamin Silliman, Yale Class of 1796, who is one of America’s pioneers in science. 
  • Silliman College are rivals with Timothy Dwight College, which is right next door and is the college that I live in.
  • I chose this site because I always pass through here every single day since it has multiple doorways that lead to other streets, and I think the architecture here especially the arc is pretty.
  • Another reason is because the colors in Silliman’s seal represent fire, air, water, earth, and golden acorns. I think these life elements are lively and relates with my dance where life and the self are emphasized.


Knot Garden – 46 Hillhouse Avenue – behind the School of Management (International School of Finance)

While determining my location for my performance, I experimented with moving in many different spaces and found myself to be most inspired when surrounded by nature.

For this reason, I chose the Knot Garden, with box hedges and lush grass behind the house at 46 Hillhouse Avenue.

I found this site to be uniquely interesting because while it is a beautiful sanctuary with healthy flora, it is manmade.

Where there was once primary growth, it was destroyed for human use, and then what was deemed to be pleasurable was planted by the hands of man.

In my performance, I dance while considering these cycles of growth, destruction, and regeneration. My movement is driven by the discovery and exploration of nature, my relationship with nature, and the commodification of nature.

Featured image:

Photo by L. Valentina Gomez Acosta YC'22