In March this year, I was in Chicago and happened to be part of a group that performed in the very last performance of the original (since 1978) premises of Links Hall. It was a small space, rather dirty and (inevitably) hard to find.
It also felt a little bit like coming home. Wherever I’ve been in the world, spaces like this exist. They feel as if they are the heart and soul of dance whilst at the same time existing on the very fringes of the dance world.
It is spaces (and organisations) like Links Hall, Dancehouse in Melbourne, Chisenhale Dance Space in London, the old church in Bassano del Grappa (premises run by Centro per la Scena Contemporanea), the Nightinghale in Brighton, Kunst Stoff Arts in San Francisco, and The Garage (also in San Francisco).
I often wonder how such organisations survive – audiences are small and tickets are cheap – but the spaces invite an experience of performance that is intimate, unguarded, and informal to the point that the traditions of performance might fall away in the blink of an eye.