Lucinda Childs

(b. 1940)

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(b New York, 26 Jun. 1940)

US dancer and choreographer. She graduated as a dance major from Sarah Lawrence College in 1962 (where her teachers included Bessie Schönberg) and then studied at the Cunningham studio, becoming a member of the Judson collective in 1963. In 1973 she formed the Lucinda Childs Dance Company, from which she became established as one of America's leading modern dance choreographers. Her early works were conceptual pieces like Carnation (1964), a solo which she danced with props such as hair rollers and a blue plastic bag, or Street Dance (1964) during which she offered her audience, seated in the windows of a loft, an architectural tour of a New York block. She became best known, however, as a choreographer of minimalist works, deploying a rigorously spare movement vocabulary to create complex patterns and perspectives. From the late 1970s Childs began to work in a more theatrically expansive style. Dance (1979) was not only her first full-length work, it was also the first time she choreographed to music (Philip Glass). This was followed in 1983 by Available Light (mus. John Adams) a work performed on a split level stage and created in collaboration with architect Frank Gehry. Childs also began to work in theatre and opera, most notably with Robert Wilson and Philip Glass in the mixed-media Einstein on the Beach (1976), in which she also performed. She subsequently choreographed the Dance of the Seven Veils for Luc Bondy's Salzburg staging of R. Strauss's Salome (1992 ) and went on to choreograph for many more operas including Bondy's production of Don Carlos (1996), and Parsifal (Geneva, 2004) She made her debut as an opera director with Mozart's Zaide at the Monnaie in 1995, followed by Orpheus and Eurydice (Los Angeles, 2003). As Childs began to work with more elaborate staging, her choreographic language expanded to include a more virtuoso range of movement, both classical and modern, and she became a sought-after choreographer creating works for Paris Opera Ballet (Mad Rush, mus. Glass, 1981 and From the White Edge of Phrygia, mus. Stephen Montague, 1995), Pacific Northwest Ballet (Cascade, mus. Steve Reich, 1984), Rambert Dance Company (Four Elements, mus. Gavin Bryars, 1990), Lyon Opera Ballet (Perfect Stranger, mus. Zappa, 1990), Bavarian State Ballet (Chamber Symphony, mus. Adams, 1994 and Hammerklavier, mus. Eggert, 1996), and Baryshnikov's company (Largo, 2001 and Opus One 2003). A list of her other early to middle works includes Geranium (1965), Museum Piece (1965), Untitled Trio (1968), Particular Reel (1973), Relative Calm (mus. Jon Gibson, 1981), Field Dances (mus. Glass, 1984), Portraits in Reflection (mus. Galasso, Nyman, Shawn, Swados, 1986), and Mayday (mus. Christian Wolff, 1989). For her most recent works Childs changed direction again, choreographing her first narrative ballets, Daphnis and Chloe (2003) for Geneva Opera Ballet; The Miraculous Mandarin (2004) for Ballet du Rhin; and Firebird (2006) for MaggioDanza.

http://www.lucindachilds.com Website for the Lucinda Childs foundation

Subjects: Dance.

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