Leaving a Legacy Behind

Mar 06, 2014

"Works by Brown don't just challenge our perceptions; they expand our minds and untether our spirits."
- Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice, 2010

How do we address the end of a legacy and bid farewell to a vital force in modern dance? The dance community has recently said goodbye to the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and now we must prepare for the closing chapter of the Trisha Brown Dance Company. Trisha Brown Dance Company: Proscenium Works 1979-2011 will be at Walker Art Center next week, and is your chance to experience Brown's legacy.

A pioneer of the post-modernist dance experimentalists of the 1960s and ‘70s, Trisha Brown has challenged and changed the way we define dance performance. Brown has made dance worth arguing about for more than 50 years and her philosophies laid the foundations for a new dance era. To this day, her vision continues to thrive as the impetus to many dance history discourses and discussions. At any given dance conservatory or university, analyzing the work of Brown, such as viewing and reviewing her highly celebrated pieces Spanish Dance (1976) and Accumulation (1971), continues to be an integral part of any emerging dancer’s archive.

For decades before becoming a choreographer, Brown was an exceptional dancer herself – an unapologetically witty artist with ease of movement and an innate sense of coordination. In 1962, she became a founding member of the avant-garde Judson Dance Theatre group, which paved the way for movement-inventiveness and for dance makers to challenge the boundaries of the spectrum of dance. She then went on in 1970 to become one of the founders of another experimental collective, Grand Union, and also founded the Trisha Brown Dance Company that same year. Now, after 40 years of sharing their artistry and Brown’s dynamic choreography with the world, the company is in the last stages of their farewell tour.

Although the company will no longer be performing Brown’s work after the tour, her legacy and vision will live on in site-specific recreations of the repertoire, online media libraries, and in the rigor of her innovations that are embedded in the postmodern foundations of dance studies. However, the farewell tour has not yet ended and you still have the opportunity to see the Trisha Brown Dance Company live in performance one last time next weekend at the Walker Art Center. For anyone who loves modern dance, this is an opportunity that should not be missed.

Trisha Brown Dance Company: Proscenium Works 1979-2011
Wed-Sat, Mar 12-15 at 8:00 pm
Get your tickets at the Walker Art Center box office now or online here.

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