About the Grant

$25,000 to support Noémi LaFrance's Agora (MAP 2004), a site-specific choreography performed by 40 dancers, staged inside the 50,000-square-foot outdoor empty pool at McCarran’s Park, Brooklyn.

About the Project

Agora is a site-specific dance installation by Noémie Lafrance performed by a cast of forty dancers inside the gigantic, abandoned, outdoor pool in McCarren Park, Williamsburg/Greenpoint (Brooklyn). Staged in this vast pool vestige, the choreography is inspired by the phenomenon of agoraphobia and explores the mind’s conceptions and perceptions of infinity, void and spatial contradictions as a physical reaction to urban architecture.

Agoraphobia is described as a form of vertigo produced by the lateral vision of the eyes resulting in a fear of entering large public spaces providing no immediate exits. In Agora, 1,000 audience members are seated around the ledge of a 50,000 sq. ft. rectangular pool, dangling their feet into it. The large surface below offers everyone an enormous amount of visible space at once in which the forty dancers evolve but from which they never exit except to sit on the ledge with the audience to rest. The choreography originates from the energetic quality of movement traveling through space and time as oppose to its physical lines on a single plane. The dancers contained by the pool hole are like an embodiment of the absent water.

McCarren Park’s pool is one of ten pools built by the City of New York in 1936 as an effort to provide recreation and divert people's minds from the economy. The pool was closed in 1984 and today, many in the neighborhood have a story to tell about this unique public space and a dream to revive it. Agora is inspired by these memories, all of which once gave life to this spectacular site.

Related Websites

Sens Production
From NoƩmie Lafrance's <EM>Descent</EM> (2003)
From NoƩmie Lafrance's Descent (2003)

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