If Buildings Could Speak

Philadelphia based choreographer Tori Lawrence finds inspiration in the architectural and environmental treasures hiding within her city, most recently in Founder’s Hall at Girard College, a Greek revival masterpiece built in the mid 19th century.  The time-worn building is the source of inspiration for her newest site-specific dance installation, Awakened Ruins which she will perform with her company at the Philly Fringe Festival in September.

Lawrence speaks poetically of her fascination with decay:

“Paint chipping from the walls, age-weathered windows, rusted flourishes, lumber fastenings, fallen pillars and painted domes that once were.  Historic relics of the past mystify and inspire me with their raw beauty—providing rich arenas for exploration.  Enthralled by the process of how architecture and sculpted spaces mature/age over time, I attempt to create a world that embodies such a process. If the aged crack in the cold marble floor could come alive, how would it move?  How can I embody the beauty of this decaying landmark? I envision the dancers being the floors, columns, arches and walls themselves.

Each place is like a human being.
Innards exposed,
dignity stripped.
Traces of life remain within these “fallen” buildings.
They once stood in glory,
but are now faded, overlooked, withdrawn.
If buildings could speak…

Lawrence is joined by Emily Herchenroether, Ashley Lippolis, and Pamela Vail  (members of the Lawrence-Herchenroether Dance Company,)  to perform excerpts from the new work on Friday, August 19 as part of Cultivate.

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