Dance @ The Commons


On Wednesday, October 24, 2018, the Sweet Water Foundation team delivered four hexagonal dance floors to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago for an exhibit called Groundings. Throughout the exhibit, open from November 3, 2019 - May 12, 2019, artists of various mediums will explore the relationship between seen and unseen movement. The floors were built at The Commons via a collaboration between Sweet Water Foundation apprentices and mentors, Ozuzu Dancers, and Links Hall. Read on to learn more about the fusion of dance and skilled trades at The Commons.

Dance Floors
During the summer of 2018, Ozuzu Dancers and Links Hall worked with SWF apprentices and mentors to design and build modular and mobile dance floors to be housed at The Commons for performances and events, and rented out to dancers and performers across the City of Chicago. The floors consist of two sides that, when put together, form a 8’ x 8’ hexagon. The dance floors are lightweight, mobile, and modular. They can be utilized for a variety of spatial interactions, configured in a variety of patterns, and used by one or many people. For example, a single artist could use one floor, and multiple floors could be used put together as a larger space for an entire group of artists. The lightweight design makes them easy to transport to other spaces across the city, enabling both single dancers and dance troupes the ability to perform in spaces once inaccessible.

Fractalized Floors
The concept of the dance floors builds upon the purpose and design of fractal seats - wooden stools measuring 17” x 17” x 16” that focus on the notion of claiming space and exercising the means of doing so with one’s own hands. Fractals are now fully integrated into SWF programming and can be found in each space at The Commons. Similar to the fractal seats, the dance floors are now fully integrated into SWF’s Apprenticeship and Outreach Program and the project is centralized at The Commons. Through this project, local residents and artists are engaged in the art of returning to ritual, by working together to understand the culture of performing and building. The SWF team looks forward to working with other dancers and performers to claim space in other areas across the City of Chicago and beyond.