Carolyn Brown

(b. 1927)

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(b Fitchburg, Mass., 26 Sept. 1927)

US dancer and choreographer. She studied with her mother, Marion Rice, herself a student of the Denishawn school, and graduated in philosophy from Wheaton College in 1950. After attending a masterclass with Cunningham in Denver in 1951, she switched to full-time dance studies at the Juilliard School, and after further studies with Cunningham became one of the founding members of his company in 1953. During the next twenty years she was Cunningham's most important female dancer, the purity and articulation of her technique making her his ideal interpreter. She danced in 40 of his works, often collaborating with him and Cage in the creative process. She created a role in Cage's Theatre Piece (1960) and on pointe in Robert Rauschenberg's first dance work Pelican (1963). Her own choreography includes Car Lot (1968), As I Remember It, a solo in homage to Shawn (Jacob's Pillow, 1972), Bunkered for a Bogey (1973), House Party (1974), Circles (1975), and Balloon II (Ballet-Théâtre Contemporain, 1976). She retired from the stage in 1973 but continued to choreograph and teach and as artistic advisor to the Cunningham company was actively involved in re-staging his early works, not only for the company but for New York City Ballet, White Oak, and others. She has directed several films including Dune Dance and her autobiography Chance and Circumstance: 20 years with Cage and Cunningham was published in 2007.

Subjects: Dance.

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