Elaine Zmuda

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August - December 2017 with Devin Gora

A dancer's retreat at the Ragdale artists community in Lake Forest, IL, this project aims to create the equivalent of a blank canvas for a dancer.  It questions what space is actually perfect for dance - if not the perfect 30'x50' box, then what? We propose a circular plan that disorients the dancer and breaks them out of the standard mindset, allowing them to create brilliant new works.


At the scale of the site, the dance studio is located in the prairie, a short distance from the main Ragdale campus.  The dancer must walk down a gently sloping path, the equivalent of the darkening of the lights in a theater, preparing them to enter a new space.  The building is actually pushed underground to allow the prairie to remain  empty and remove all exterior references.

The plan shows the circular studio, which creates an endless surface which that dancer can project onto with 12 projectors mapped for the slightly curved walls.  The details of the glass wall allow for lights to come from any direction and for cameras, specific lights, and bars to be added wherever the dancer desires.