Staging a Dance in a Frank Lloyd Wright Masterpiece | Chicago News

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Marc Vitali: There is a choreography in the sanctuary.

At Unity Temple, dancers rehearse in an active church that is also a National Historic Landmark.

Winifred Haun, Winifred Haun & Dancers: I think what happens when people go into space is that they really react to the nod to nature and the light that Frank Lloyd Wright put in the space. space, then also in the sense of order. This space is very orderly, designed, thoughtful, linear, and it’s just very inspiring.

It’s a nice way to see dance framed by space, but it’s also nice to see space with the human form inside.

Vitali: This is a site-specific dance, unique to the setting, with live music written by composer Renée Baker.

Company performance Winifred Haun and the dancers is titled “The Light Returns”.

haun: It’s a reference to Frank Lloyd Wright’s unique and beautiful use of light and how he achieved it within Unity Temple, and it’s also about the light slowly coming back into our lives after two years of global pandemic.

We collaborate with space, but we also collaborate with the humans who work here.

Heidi Rühle, Unity Temple Restoration Foundation: The mission of the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation is to restore and preserve Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple. Part of our mission is to educate the public about architecture and the arts.

Vitali: The structure was completed in 1908.

Its main material is reinforced concrete, a revolutionary idea at the beginning of the 20th century.

Rühle: It is an important building. It’s a National Historic Landmark and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so we have a responsibility to make sure the building is safe and that anything programmatically happening in the building respects the space and the keep safe.

Vitali: The show presents an opportunity for a former dancer turned guest choreographer.

Elysia Banks, Choreographer: It’s very nice to be able to create art in a space that isn’t made for art. To bring art to places where it is not usually presented.

I have fun. I’m doing new things here in this space that I haven’t done before and I’m doing them because the space inspired me to do these things, and the setting of the show inspired me, inspired me forced to do things that I don’t normally do.

haun: We also like to perform in traditional theaters, and we have toured the country in traditional theaters. But I like the opportunity, and we take it as often as possible, to play in a different space. It’s almost like creating a new form of art, because it’s not about dance, or architecture, or music. It is the combination of these.

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Winifred Haun & Dancers will perform “The Light Returns” twice on Saturday, February 26 at Unity Temple in Oak Park.


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