Paternoster Square

The video installation Paternoster Square, 2008, presents Paternoster Square as a stage set for a performance. The stage is comprised of three architectural objects designed by Bronstein and Berlin based architect Etienne Descloux. Simultaneously filmed from four angles, ballet dancers are observed responding to live direction by Bronstein, off camera, but audible, dictating when a pose must be held, changed or improved. The dancers create compositions with poses taken from classical ballet, George Balanchine and baroque ‘Sprezzatura’ iconography – the art of elegant bearing, in solo and group configurations derived from early court ballets. The dancers attempt to be idealized, ornamental citizens within the square, which is model of ‘public’ space in which we perform citizenship.

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Paternoster Square, St Paul’s, EC4M Retail and Offices Architect: William Whitfield, Eric Parry + Others Built: 1996 – 2003 The redevelopment of a 1960’s office complex adjacent to St Paul’s Cathedral was the most bitterly fought – over commission in the capital, with several high-profile walkouts, including a scheme championed by the Prince of Wales. Replacing concrete-slab offices are Tuscan colonnades, sweeping Portland stone arcades, heritage brickwork, cafes, traditional streets, and myriad architectural styles simulating organic growth of the area. A 17th century triumphal arch, brought out of storage and placed as the as a entrance to the complex, is so well integrated that it’s as if the square itself were blending into the past. At the centre of the piazza towers a Corinthian column crowned by a golden urn aflame with the spirit of regeneration. Excerpt from Post-modern Architecture in London, 2008, first published by Walther Koenig - Postmodern Architecture In London by Pablo Bronstein is available at Donlon Books.


Film Credits: Directed by Pablo Bronstein Produced by Michael Smythe Choreography by Pablo Bronstein in collaboration with the dancers Set and props designed by Pablo Bronstein and Etienne Descloux Cinematography, Camera and Editing by Deborah May Dancers: Ruan Crighton Rachel Diprose Melissa Hetherington Patricia Hines Adam Linder Josef Perou Chelsea Portelli Danny Smith Set Build: Ed West Production Assistants: Shahana Begum Ruarie Dunn Andrew Judd Adam Sutherland Thanks to: Maria Benjamin Central School of Ballet (Dancers) Siobhan Davies Dance Studios Dance Umbrella A Grizedale Arts project commissioned by A Foundation

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