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David Gordon

(b. 1936)


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(b New York, 14 Jul. 1936)

US dancer and choreographer. He began dancing with James Waring while studying art at Brooklyn College, and had further dance studies with Cunningham, Louis Horst, and Robert Dunn. He was at the centre of the post-modern movement in New York, performing with Judson Dance Theater during the 1960s, also with Yvonne Rainier (1966–70), and with Grand Union from 1970. He also collaborated with Douglas Dunn and frequently worked with his wife, the dancer Velda Setterfield. In 1971 he formed his own company, the Pick Up Performance Company for which he created many works. A highly analytical choreographer, his productions also had a strong theatrical quality, incorporating speech and making frequent reference to film and popular music. A list of his work for his own company includes Random Breakfast (1963), Walks and Digressions (1966), One Part of the Matter (1972), What Happened (1978), T.V. Reel (1982), Trying Times (1982), Framework (1983), and United States (1989). He also choreographed for several other companies including American Ballet Theatre (Field, Chair and Mountain, 1985 and Murder, 1986); Dance Theatre of Harlem (Piano Movers, 1984); Paris Opera (Punch and Judy, 1992), and the White Oak Dance Project. He choreographed Philip Glass and Robert Coe's opera The Photographer (1983). Gordon has also had a distinguished career in the theatre, writing and directing plays such as The Mysteries and What's So Funny? (1991), The Family Business (1994), and Aristophanes in Birdonia (2006). In 1994 he directed Schlemiel the First, a klezmer musical based on stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer and in 1995 he directed Max Frisch's The Firebugs for the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. He has collaborated with his playwright son Ain on several works including Silent Movie (1997). Although his choreographic activity has waned, his recent works include Dancing Henry Five (2004) incorporating music and text from Olivier's film of the Shakespeare play.

Subjects: Dance.


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