Mapping spaces with the body
The brainchild of artistic director and performer Becka McFadden, who first encountered Senate House as a student at Goldsmiths, Movement/Architecture emerged from within another great Art Deco building, the semi-derelict Hornsey Town Hall, during its recent reopening as a home to artists and creative start-ups.
In a period of research and development funded by Arts Council England, Movement/Architecture developed as a working method that produces both a dance with architectural space, and what McFadden describes as “a choreographic technology for storing and mapping spaces in flux”.
Rooms, corridors, stairs and other spaces are physically mapped and stored in the body, which then has the capacity to evoke those spaces in performance for spectators who have never seen them.
At Senate House, the performers each chose a single architectural space where improvisational work was undertaken, often observed by users of the building. You may have seen them, dressed in black, moving in corners, stairwells, lifts and lobbies, seemingly dancing with parts of the building as partner – around the ceremonial staircase, in the remote recesses of staircase no. 3, and even under the glass ceiling of Deller Hall.