Vault is an interdisciplinary and collaborative space-making project that transforms John C. Clark Elementary, a shuttered public school in the North End of Hartford, into an outdoor exhibition space through dance, performance, and monumental public art.

Vault erects a new performance space out of the ruins of another. The performance space is a hybrid space that is neither a place of transit, nor one of gatherings. It takes audiences through the literal landscape of abandoned and poisonous elementary schools in New England cities and across the U.S. that will feel familiar to some, and foreign to others. Vault is interpellation through dance. In Vault, performance is metaphorically an alchemical tool for the transmutation of a space from one of loss into one of recreation and re-creative. Vault convenes voices and stories from parents, community members, and students affected by the contaminated school, creating a soundtrack to move by. Vault is a generative and an open structure that valorizes a collective incompleteness. Vault proposes a space for dance as a reparative act.

Marisa Williamson, Kevin Hernández Rosa, and Arien Wilkerson (TNMOT AZTRO) and Nicholas Sarrambana lead the team in designing and installing proscenia around buildings, borrowing from the classical and colloquial. We will exploit the existing structure to create ‘places of viewing’; amphitheaters, stages, skene, overlooks, panopticons, stoops, sidewalk shrines, promenades, and colonnades. We intend to use dance to express value and to interrogate an existing value system represented by the site; specifically the relationship between value and how we remember and forget something presented, something to be watched covertly or overtly in a time-based signature.