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However, the response of the Dance Theatre ┬╗the surrounding urban harshness is not just to reflect it. The giant fresco of dancers by i Vadelon Vriesendorp that adorns the wall rising above the rest of the building is a vibrant afirmation of sensuality, as if to negate the abysmal surroundings. The same is the case *th the dominating visual effects in the rterior of the building, especially the polychromatic explosion in the foyer in canary yellow, cardinal red. copper and gold.

As in an Alexander Calder mobile, in this setting for the celebration of the body in motion nothing is a strict geometrical form and everything seems somehow slightly out of joint, as if poised on the brink of imbalance. The concave snape of the coffee bar and the curve of the talcony of the first floor are not paraboles. just as the platform of the second-floor balcony, the sky bar. is not an ellipse but an ovoid. Seen from below, the two balconies above the foyer seem to float, or to rather dance. The sky bar literally does bob and dip in response to shifting movements of visitors, precariously balanced as it is on a single beam. In the theatre proper, painted black, the tension resulting from the buoyant, fluid effect is similar. The undulated ceiling, which is simply the underside of the roof, with insulation held between the two layers of corrugated steel, is swung up over a light truss spine, swaying rhythmically with the rippling corrugated metallic walls below.

The one indulgence of the extremely economical theatre is concealed: a suspended swimming pool, an element that became almost an emblem in Koolhaas's early paper designs, which is reserved for the dancers. In the imaginative provision of this amenity, as well as in several other small functional details, OMA, Koolhaas's Office of Metropolitan Architecture. demonstrates that it is one of the very few architectural firms today which continue to dare to think seriously and inventively about programme and programmatic innovation rather than just compositional newness. It is troubling that outside the refuge of the Dance Theatre, the dirty realities go on. a fact intentionally brought to mind as one slips back out through the 'side door' entrance.

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