The need for a dance facility was under discussion starting in 1966. With the introduction at CSULB of the first dance major in the (then) 18 campus California State University system, space concerns became critical. Serious planning began in 1980 when BFA and MFA degrees in dance were projected. The rapidly increasing size of the dance program, the high quality of the program, and the need for highly specialized facilities in order to offer an appropriate curriculum all were instrumental in promoting the new dance facility. The department took possession of the completed center in January, 1994.The architects were father and son Don and Kurt Gibbs of Hugh Gibbs and Donald Gibbs Architects, Long Beach.
Planning started with a lengthy (many hours) meeting where Department of Dance faculty compiled a list of everything we would ever want in a dance facility. We "blue skyed," knowing that we would be asked to prioritize at a later time. But we never did prioritize as everything we asked for was included in the Dance Center. The architects met with department faculty, frequently talked with the department chair, and also met a few times with a group of dance majors to discuss their ideas for the building. Among other requests, the students asked for a sundeck and for a courtyard area where dancers could gather. Both were provided.
The exceptionally functional design is the result of the close working relationship between architects and department. The architects take credit for the unusually shaped building which is a "festival of colors" with green, orange, red, and eggplant outer walls.
For more information, watch the short documentary about the building of the Dance Center: The House That Joan Built.
This frameset document contains:
Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater
- Large stage perfect for dance
- Medium size house of 200+ seats
- Green Room for performers
- Large dressing rooms for men and women
- Two star dressing rooms
- Clean and expansive lobby
- State of the art video projection and sound
- Resident Technical Director for maintaining the theater: Stephanie Losleben
Dance Studios and Teaching Spaces
- Five Marley flooring dance studios
- Two hardwood floor dance studios
- One traditional smart classroom
- One half smart classroom/half smart dance studio
- A robust Pilates Lab/classroom space
- Dance Clinic
- Student Only Lounge
- 15 27" iMac workstations w/ headphones
- Lecture station to TVs
- Photo and Video editing software
- Midi Keyboard for music and sound scoring
- Resident staff Filmmaker/Photographer on site for creative assistance: Gregory R.R. Crosby
The Costume Shop in the Dance Department is a professional workspace dedicated solely to the design and creation of dance costumes. This space is not shared with any other artistic department at CSULB. The shop also houses a beautiful Costume Stock of over twenty years of built dance costumes. Students have the opportunity to take a Costume Design for Dance class to learn design, collaboration and hand and machine sewing skills. There is also the opportunity to work under the Shop Manager and Designer to help create the shows for stage while learning valuable sewing and design skills. The Costume Shop elevates the level of production here at CSULB. This shop not only serves as a way to bring ideas to life on stage, but also as a laboratory for students to learn what it is like to work with a professional designer and costume shop.
For any inquiries, please contact Kelsey Vidic:
A fully functioning recording studio support student and faculty creative endevers. Operated by our resident staff music director: Don Nichols.