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Trisha Brown

(b. 1936)


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(b Aberdeen, Wash., 25 Nov. 1936)

US dancer, choreographer, and company director. One of the pioneering figures in post-modern American dance. She received a BA in Dance from Mills College in Oakland, California, and trained with Louis Horst, Anna Halprin, and Robert Dunn at the American Dance Festival. She was a founder member of Judson Dance Theatre in 1962 and also of the improvisational company, Grand Union, in 1970, before forming her own company in 1970. During the first years of her career, Brown stripped dance to a language of essentials, choreographing with a pared‐down vocabulary of movement and frequently eschewing costumes, lighting, and music. Falling Duet (1968) consisted of two dancers taking turns falling and catching one another; while for the improvisational piece Yellowbelly (1969) Brown encouraged the audience to heckle the dancers. Fascinated by the process of making dance, she experimented with different performance sites. Roof Piece (1971) was danced on rooftops over twelve blocks in lower Manhattan, while Walking on the Wall (1971) featured dancers supported by ropes, pulleys, and mountain-climbing gear as they literally did as the title implied. In 1979 Brown began to collaborate with other artists, including Robert Rauschenberg; their Glacial Decoy (1979) marked a shift in her career towards more theatrical staging and more elaborate choreography. She continued to work extensively in mixed-media presentations, but remained resolutely purist in her movement style, rejecting the glamour and artifice of classical ballet and the spectacle and storytelling of the Martha Graham school of modern dance. Late in her career she began choreographing to jazz and classical music, for example M.O. (1995), set to Bach's Musical Offering, and also to stage classical music productions. In 1998 she choreographed and directed Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at La Monnaie, in 2002 she staged Winterreise, with British singer Simon Keenleyside, and in 2006 she directed and choreographed a new chamber opera Da Gelo a Gelo to a score by Laurie Anderson. In 2004 she created her first work for classical dancers, O zlozony O (mus. L. Anderson, Paris Opera). A list of her other works includes Trillium (1962), Lightfall (1963), Improvisation on a Chicken Coop Roof (1963), Rulegame 5 (1964), Planes (1968), Man Walking Down the Side of the Building (1970), Accumulation (1971), Group Primary Accumulation (1973), Discs (1973), Drift (1974), Locus (1975), Water Motor (1978), Opal Loop (1980), Son of Gone Fishin' (1981), Set and Reset (1983), Lateral Pass (1985), Newark (1987), Astral Convertible (1989), Foray Forêt (1990), For M.G.: The Movie (1991), Twelve Ton Rose (mus. Webern, 1996), If You Couldn't See Me (1994), a solo for Brown, You Can See Us (1995), a duet for herself and Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Canto/Pianto (mus. Monteverdi, 1997). Her work is in the repertory of several other companies including Scottish Ballet. Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1988).

http://www.trishabrowncompany.org Website for the Trisha Brown company

Subjects: Dance.


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