CalArts Dance’s Mobile Floor
“It’s a dance studio, theater, gallery, screening room, political forum, music video set, and a moving site-specific production. In short, it’s Los Angeles, where we innovate and pioneer the merging of artistic mediums,” said CalArts School of Dance Dean Dimitri Chamblas.
In the fall 2018, the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) launches SoCal’s newest arts venue – a nomadic outdoor dance floor and studio. Created to embed dance into the urban fabric of Los Angeles, the multi-purpose dance floor is designed to travel to sites in LA and beyond.
The floor embodies the mission of CalArts Dance to bring performance out of the studio and into the life of the city. After a workshop with the renowned choreography duo Gerard & Kelly on campus, the floor traveled to West Hollywood’s MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House in February 2019. The students performed repertory of work from iconic choreographers including Trisha Brown and Merce Cunningham.
“Inspired by the versatility of the dancer’s life in Los Angeles, our mobile dance floor is a prototype for a new artistic venue, one so simple it can be constructed or travel anywhere, showcase any number of disciplines, and serve as both a place of experimentation and performance,” said CalArts Dance Dean Dimitri Chamblas.
Built by student dancers working with CalArts Dance Technical Director Sevim Abaza, the floor measures 32’ by 32’ of square steel deck flooring, elevated and leveled with wood blocks and schedule 40 pipe. Its surface is covered by a white Mylar layer specific for dance and its front face features a mirrored surface intended to reflect its current environment, which will change as the floor is toured to different contexts.
With the goal of training dancers to be versatile professionals working across the arts and entertainment sectors, the mobile floor’s launch caps off a year of performance for CalArts Dance. It will relocate to various locations in Los Angeles and abroad with CalArts Dance and host venues will create performances and events using the floor.
From the Paris Opera to a performance piece with Solange, from art galleries to the L.A. streets and back to campus, CalArts dancers have participated in an astounding number of collaborations and recruited an impressive roster of faculty since Chamblas took over as dean in summer 2017.
Conception and design