M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentYael Dagan
SubjectCreator (Expert) and Creation (Experience) Relations,
A Dance-Architecture Point of View: A Reading
in Bruno Taut's and Rudolf Laban's
Theories, 1920s-1940s
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisors Dr. Pliouchtch Marina
Full Professors Aravot Iris
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


This study joins a growing body of knowledge combining research of dance and architecture, and examines the connection between the notions of creator and creation in both dance and architecture. Looking at the theories of German architect and planner Bruno Taut (1880-1938) and of Hungarian dancer and choreographer Rudolf Laban (1879-1958), this narrative study examines dance-related ideas in architecture. Through original texts and the act of architectural interpretation, it strives to contribute to knowledge about architectural creation in light of the knowledge of dance.   

Taut and Laban were two creators and theoreticians whose independent careers flourished in post-WWI Germany. They both belonged to schools of thought that were avant-garde, Nietzschean and utopian - particularly their expressionism. They were both interested in the landscape, in crystal and in the Orient, and aspired to social renewal and an intellectual revolution through a redefinition of their art. This study proposes looking at Taut and Laban as 'complementary parallels' in terms of how they relate to the merging of creator and creation through the body-space-time connection. On the basis of The City Crown (Taut, 1919) and Choreography (Laban, 1926), this study attempts to shed new light on the understanding Taut's architectural theory through Laban's movement theory.

The theories of Taut and Laban both dealt with the notions of creator (architect/dancer-choreographer) and creation (user/ dancer-choreographer). Taut referred the architect of the 'total artistic creation' on the one hand, and on the other, he believed that the architectural creation must reflect its contents. Consequently, "the architect must carry within himself an awareness and knowledge of all the deep feelings and sentiments for which he wants to build" (Taut, The City Crown, 75). This aspiration of a creative reality which is characterized by a merging of creator and creation underlies 'expressionist dance'. Laban saw space and the body in motion as reflecting each other. He sought a vocabulary of movement that would express the dancer himself, on the assumption that movement generates and expresses a person's mental and emotional facets. In architecture, unlike dance, the architect has to mediate the creator-creation gap. Hence, Taut's texts relate to the bond between the architect as the creator and the user as the creation, but its essence is unclear. Consequently, on the basis of matching dancer-choreographer with architect (creator) and dancer-choreographer with user (creation), this study examines the reciprocity between the notions of creator and creation in Taut's theory on the basis of Laban's. The study thereby combines three bodies of knowledge: research combining dance and architecture in the 20th and 21st centuries, texts of Laban, and texts of Taut from the 1920s to the1940s, accompanied by visual content.