Trisha Brown: In Plain Site
Set and Reset: Trisha Brown’s Postmodern Masterpiece
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“The Trisha Brown Company is back, in witty, delicate glory” (Dec 2017)
Brian Seibert, The New York Times
“Ms. Brown’s poetic use of natural physical impulses was integral to her charm as both dancer and choreographer.”
Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times
full article (PDF)
“When I began to write dance reviews for the Village Voice in the rebellious Sixties, she — one of the founding members of the boldly iconoclastic Judson Dance Theater and among the smart-as-a-whip improvisers in the Grand Union during the Seventies — taught me that if an artist said he or she was making a dance, I’d better consider it as such….”
Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice
full article (PDF)
Trisha Brown: In Plain Site pairs indoor and outdoor sites with select pieces from Brown’s repertory. Each work is restaged in a dynamic relationship to the setting, amplifying Brown’s effortless affinity for naturalizing movement to the physical environment.
Ever a resourceful and dexterous innovator, Brown “…said she felt sorry for spaces that weren’t center stage—the ceiling, walls, corners, and wing space. Not to mention trees, lakes, and firehouses,” Wendy Perron recently wrote in Dance Magazine. “She caused a revolution by… turning to the spaces that other dance-makers don’t.” In parks, museums, and public squares, among other sites, audiences revel in the intimate, up-close experience of Brown’s Early Works, Equipment Pieces, and specially chosen excerpts from the repertory.
The Company reconstructed three pivotal works that accentuate Brown’s profound connection to music. In Groove and Countermove (2000), whether engaged in bold unison phrases or catapulting each other through the air, the dancers create an intriguing environment, at once easy-going and vitally expressive, to the progressive jazz sounds by Dave Douglas. For Geometry of Quiet (2002), Brown matched the poignancy and delicacy of the haunting flute of Salvatore Sciarrino with choreography that implies a personal, emotional intimacy. A beautiful collage of pre-classic dance forms inspired by Jean-Philippe Rameau’s baroque opera, L’Amour au theater (2009), feature intricate and intensely athletic partnering that mirrors the airy flight of the music.
Trisha Brown Dance Company (TBDC) is a post-modern dance company dedicated to the performance, and preservation of the work of Founding Artistic Director and Choreographer, Trisha Brown. Established in 1970, TBDC has toured throughout the world presenting the work, teaching and building relationships with audiences and artists alike.
Brown engaged collaborators who are themselves leaders in music, theater, and the visual arts, including visual artists Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Judd, and Elizabeth Murray, and musicians Laurie Anderson, John Cage, and Alvin Curran, to name a few. With these partners, Brown has created an exceptionally varied body of work, with premieres and performances for NYC audiences and international counterparts.
“…One of the most acclaimed and influential choreographers and dancers of her time, Trisha Brown’s groundbreaking work forever changed the landscape of art. From her roots in rural Aberdeen, Washington, her birthplace, Brown arrived in New York in 1961. A student of Ann Halprin, Brown participated in the choreographic composition workshops taught by Robert Dunn – from which Judson Dance Theater was born – greatly contributing to the fervent of interdisciplinary creativity that defined 1960s New York. Expanding the physical behaviors that qualified as dance, she discovered the extraordinary in the everyday, and brought tasks, rulegames, natural movement and improvisation into the making of choreography.
With the founding of the Trisha Brown Dance Company in 1970, Brown set off on her own distinctive path of artistic investigation and ceaseless experimentation, which extended for forty years. The creator of over 100 choreographies, six operas, and a graphic artist, whose drawings have earned recognition in numerous museum exhibitions and collections, Brown’s earliest works took impetus from the cityscape of downtown SoHo, where she was a pioneering settler. In the 1970s, as Brown strove to invent an original abstract movement language – one of her singular achievements – it was art galleries, museums and international exhibitions that provided her work its most important presentation context. Indeed contemporary projects to introduce choreography to the museum setting are unthinkable apart from the exemplary model that Brown established.
Brown’s movement vocabulary, and the new methods that she and her dancers adopted to train their bodies, remain one of her most pervasively impactful legacies within international dance practice…Brown became a master orchestrator of collaboration; she used her own body, language and images to elicit and catalyze her dancers’ improvisations, which she edited and structured as choreographies. A major turning point in Brown’s career occurred in 1979, when she transitioned from working in non-traditional and art world settings to assume the role of a choreographer working within the institutional framework associated with dancing – the proscenium stage.
…Today the Trisha Brown Dance Company continues to perpetuate Brown’s legacy through its “Trisha Brown: In Plain Site” initiative. Through it, the company draws on Brown’s model for reinvigorating her choreography through its re-siting in relation to new contexts that include outdoor sites, and museum settings and collections. The company is also involved in an ongoing process of reconstructing and remounting major works that Brown created for the proscenium stage between 1979 and 2011. In addition, the company continues its work to consolidate Trisha Brown’s artistic legacy through their management of her vast archives of notebooks; correspondence; critical reviews; and an unprecedented moving image catalogue raisonné, which records her meticulous creative process over many decades…” Susan Rosenberg