A public, open space urban station inviting the community to engage in socially distanced dance
Dance Station is an open space for safe, socially distanced community dance, completely accessible to the public, inviting everyone to engage in movement and experience an opportunity for connection and exchange. It is an opportunity to reimagine the public space as one that is open – for discussion, for cultural exchange, for education and enjoyment, for genuine connection. Dance and movement are a basic need of the human body, and a traditional method of humans to express themselves and connect with their communities. Enabling a safe space for this embodied experience and exercise is crucial in rebuilding our communities after the pandemic.
Dance Station is inspired by my interactive dance installation So Close, which has been performed on a weekly basis in Tel Aviv since January 2021, and now has a sister project in London.
5 dancers enter 5 squares made of red gaffer tape. Each square is 1*1 meters, and the distance between the squares is larger than 2 meters. They dance freestyle, only within the squares. One square is left vacant – an invitation for someone to join. The first vacant square was soon filled. From week to week, as the audience interest grew, I created more squares, which have become a socially distanced dancefloor.
What has begun as a protest of the continuous closure of the arts, became an engaging cultural event for the community. What is special about So Close is that it’s based on an open invitation and is completely inclusive. The elderly, children, parents, disabled people – all feel welcome and take part. Those people might not usually engage in dance, and we offer them the opportunity to enjoy it safely. I’d like to offer this energetic and healing experience to communities by making it a permanent site open to Tel Aviv residents.
In Dance Station, colourful circles will be marked on the pavement, dividing the space to designated dance zones – for individuals and couples/small groups. Those will be comfortably spaced, allowing social distancing measures in covid times to be kept, but also for people to simply dance freely.
The station will have a sound system with speakers hung up on two poles. The system can connect to laptops or phones through Bluetooth.
In collaboration with local DJs we’ll create short dance sets and offer them as part of the station, accessed via the site’s sound system or a special app.The audio system cannot be operated after 22:00 or before 11:00, and there will be a maximum recommended number of users