DPJ’s Urban Form series looks at the interplay between movement and surroundings through the lens of dancers and architecture in downtown Phoenix.


Dancer Juan Rodriguez. Photo: Ashley Baker.

From national meetings to Comicon to political rallies and more, the events at the Phoenix Convention Center bring together visitors and locals, making it an exciting area of downtown. The building’s clean architecture and sleek glass exterior inspire beauty and invite people to gather around it. And its grand walls and curving lines of mesquite and cacti nestled among rocks serve as a reminder that even as one walks this concrete kingdom, we are still surrounded by the desert.

In the crisp air of fall, the Center’s cool cement and quiet streets were the setting for Juan Rodriguez to explore the possibilities of movement and space. With an attention to shape, Juan’s movement captivates the viewer while also giving a nod to the small rectangles peppered on the glass behind him, which itself is rich in shape and texture.