glo heads to Florence Biennale, plans move to Rhodes Theatre

Atlanta-based dance company glo will head to the XIIth Florence Biennale next month, and the group plans a move into the historic Rhodes Theatre back in Atlanta

by Andrew Alexander
September 25, 2019

Featured image: Atlanta dance company glo will head to Florence this October to participate in the Florence Biennale. The group hopes to move into Rhodes Theatre afterwards. (Image courtesy the artists/High Museum)

Atlanta-based dance company glo, formerly gloATL, will head to Florence, Italy, to participate in the XIIth Florence Biennale next month, from October 18 to 27.

Throughout the run of the biennial, seven women performers of glo under the direction of founding artist Lauri Stallings will offer “ongoing actions of migration, live sculpture, and dynamic posturing” in the pavilion, courtyard, and pedestrian entrances of the historic Fortezza da Basso, a 14th century fort set in the walls of Florence, now a popular event space for the city where the biennial is set. 

An entrance to the Fortezza da Basso in Florence. (Image courtesy Firenze Fiera)

Founded in the late 1990s, the biennial of contemporary art in Florence aims to “showcase contemporary art, as well create a space for dialogue between the artists themselves and a wide audience.” The theme of the event this year is Ars et Ingenium: Toward Leonardo da Vinci’s Legacy of Similitude and Invention.

glo will offer a preview of the work for Florence in Atlanta on Tuesday October 8, at 5 p.m. in the Corner Studio at the Goat Farm Arts Center.

Strangely enough, the group will find itself without a permanent home shortly after returning from Florence. Beginning in November, the Goat Farm Arts Center in West Midtown, where glo has been based since 2012, will undergo a major renovation and transformation. The planned $250 million changes include the building of a new Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia designed by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, a 125-room “independent arts-based” hotel, two restaurant spaces, and three buildings featuring ground-level artist studios and a mix of around 175 apartments and live-work spaces.

The historic Rhodes Theatre as it looks today (Image courtesy glo)

The company is currently eyeing the historic Rhodes Theatre on Peachtree Street as a temporary base and a possible permanent home. “Historic Rhodes Theatre is an underutilized cultural asset we hope to both drive historic renovation and preservation while inviting the community to see Rhodes as a creative tank for avant garde, experimental arts and culture,” says Stallings. The group is currently raising funds to make the building more habitable and accessible, with desired updates including power, restrooms, HVAC, and new doors. glo has used the raw space for its performances before, beginning first in 2013.

Historic Rhodes Theatre {Image courtesy of Georgia State University.}

Rhodes Theatre was built in 1937 by noted Georgia architects Ivey and Crook as part of Rhodes Center, Atlanta’s first strip shopping center, which once surrounded Rhodes Hall on three sides. Only the South building, which was home to the historic Rhodes Theatre, remains.

Andrew Alexander is an Atlanta-based writer and founder of The Alexander Report.

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