No. 180 . 04 February 2004 
ArchitectureWeek
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Dances with Building

by Michael J. Crosbie

Three years ago, when a father and his daughter were looking at colleges and evaluating dance programs, they visited the University of Arizona in Tucson. There they discovered the one of the country's best dance programs with one of the worst facilities. The man offered to donate funds for a new dance theater if the university and its College of Fine Arts would each match his gift. The result: the new Stevie Eller Dance Theatre.

This story sounds like something out of an old Fred Astaire movie, and why not? Just looking at the Eller Theatre, designed by Gould Evans Associates in Phoenix, makes you want to tap your feet. The finely proportioned rectangular glass volume that hosts the dance studios seems to pirouette above a lush green lawn.

Meanwhile its rust-encrusted, woven-wire scrim cha-chas along, inviting you to join the conga line that winds its way along the building. Underneath the glass volume, columns help support the studios above, dancing while they work. It is a vibrant building, moving with ease, self-assured and light on its feet.   >>>

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