You Can Still See Her: The Art of Trisha Brown

“On the fortieth anniversary of the Summer of Love, the Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival celebrated the ‘spirit of the ’60s’ with a series of concerts by musicians Dave Brubeck, Arlo Guthrie, and Pauline Oliveros and performances by choreographers Trisha Brown and Paul Taylor. The Trisha Brown Dance Company’s evening ended on a poignant note with a performance of PRESENT TENSE, 2003, whose set and costumes were designed by Elizabeth Murray. Murray had died on August 12, 2007, just two days before the performance—so seeing her immediately recognizable painted forms behind dancers so vibrantly alive brought tears to the eyes. It wasn’t the only moment of sadness. … A sorrowful note had already been sounded momentarily, for me, in the program opener, Accumulation, 1971. For this hallmark work, Brown invented a wholly new lexicon of ordinary movement performed with effortless directness—twists of the wrist and torso, turns of the head, shifts of body weight, lifts of the leg, steps backward and forward, swings of the arms—and you see that lexicon with absolute clarity through Accumulation’s simple additive structure: A gesture is performed and repeated several times; a second gesture is added to it, and these are repeated; another is added; and so on. … In the intervening three and a half years, as Brown has devoted herself to restaging many of her early works, I’ve grown accustomed to seeing her former roles taken by other members of her company. At the same time, a younger generation of viewers has had the opportunity to see for themselves the relevance of Brown’s radical reinvention of dance to the current vogue for performance in art institutions, beginning with the inclusion of Floor of the Forest, 1970, and Accumulation in Documenta 12. Together with her Judson Dance Theater peers (and under the influence of Minimal and Conceptual art), Brown originated ordinary movement and talking as dance, site-situated dance, and dance structured by the following of simple rules. As these gave rise to what we now know as performance art, Brown moved unexpectedly to the supple improvisatory choreography that her company now dances with such virtuosity but that, scaled down, can also be taught to opera singers working alongside her dancers. …”
Trisha Brown Dance Company
NY Times: Pure Dance, Pure Finale
Trisha Brown: In the New Body (Video)
W – Trisha Brown
amazon: Trisha Brown: Choreography as Visual Art – Susan Rosenberg
YouTube: Leaning Duets (1970), Elizabeth Streb discusses Trisha Brown’s “Man Walking Down the Side of a Building”, Walking on the Wall at the Barbican, Pioneers Of The Downtown Scene New York 1970, Floor of the Forest, Insight: Trisha Brown Set and Reset/Reset, Roof Piece (1971) High Line Recreation (2011), “Watermotor”, by Babette Mangolte (1978), Trisha Brown’s Sololos (1976) and Watermotor (1978)
YouTube: Talking Dance: Trisha Brown (Philip Bither) 1:15:37

Performing Roof Piece, New York, 1971.

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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