New York, NY- Dia Art Foundation is pleased to announce the third and final performances by Trisha Brown Dance Company (TBDC) at Dia:Beacon. Part of a year-long residency, these programs present Trisha Brown’s groundbreaking choreography to the public, and highlight innovative work produced throughout her 40-year career. Performances will be accompanied by a presentation from TBDC’s archive and an education program for college dance students. Performances will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 1pm and 3pm.
In May, audiences will be invited to follow dancers through different galleries as they perform a selection of repertoire works that span Brown’s career. Pieces will include La Chanteuse (1963), a solo which will be performed for the first time since its premiere in 1963, and which illustrates Brown’s innovative use of humor and language in her choreography. Opal Loop/Cloud Installation #72503 (1980), a collaboration between Brown and artist Fujiko Nakaya will also be staged. In this work, TBDC dancers perform within an ever-changing landscape of fog designed by Nakaya and generated by over a hundred nozzles and a small selection of fans and heaters. The cloud is manipulated throughout the performance to both engulf and reveal the dancers who each wear a distinct costume which reference different approaches to dance as symbolized by various choreographers: Trisha Brown, Isadora Duncan, Jose Limon and Merce Cunningham. TBDC last performed Opal Loop in 1996, and will additionally perform the piece at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City April 7-11, 2010 as part of the Company’s 40th anniversary celebration which takes place this year.
TBDC’s Dia:Beacon residency provides an opportunity to consider the affinities and parallel interests between Brown’s choreography and artworks from the late 1960s to the present. It also continues Dia’s commitment to commissioning significant new performances and restaging seminal historic works for Dia:Beacon. Previous presentations include Merce Cunningham Dance Company Beacon Events from 2007 to 2009; Joan Jonas’s The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things (2005) in 2005 and 2006; and Robert Whitman’s Prune Flat (1965) and Light Touch (1976) in 2003.
Throughout the month of May, an exhibition of ephemera from TBDC’s extensive archive including posters, invitations, performance programs, and photographs, will be on view in the Dia:Beacon bookshop.
Dia and TBDC will present an education program for dance students at nearby colleges that will offer unique exposure to the Company and the museum. In advance of each performance weekend, students will be invited to attend TBDC rehearsals and tour the galleries with a Dia educator. Following these visits, a Company dancer and a Dia educator will return to each college for a workshop that introduces students to concepts and movements featured during the works they saw rehearsed.
DIA DANCE HISTORY
The Dia-TBDC collaboration reflects Dia’s longstanding support for innovative choreographers. From 1985 to 1996, Dia hosted a dance program in its former Soho building that focused on providing free and low-cost rehearsal and performance space for dance companies and individuals. The program included “The Salon Project,” an annual event at which twelve choreographers working in the building were selected to present their work publicly. Dia also commissioned performances at its former Chelsea building, including several projects with Yves Musard, one of which, La Promenade (1992), was performed within Dan Graham’s Rooftop Urban Park Project (1981–91). Additionally, the current residency reunites Dia and TBDC, which first supported Brown’s work in a performance she gave at the Public Theater in New York City in 1978.
This program is supported in part by Dia’s Board of Trustees, President’s Council, and Art Council; Dominique Lévy and Dorothy Berwin; Sikkema Jenkins & Co.; The New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency; and an anonymous donor.
Trisha Brown was born in Aberdeen, Washington. She studied dance at Mills College and the American Dance Festival at Connecticut College, and improvisation with Anna Halprin in Marin County, California. In 1961, at the urging of fellow choreographers Simone Forti and Yvonne Rainer, she moved to New York to study composition with Robert Dunn who taught a class at Merce Cunningham’s studio based on John Cage’s theories of chance. The assignments in Dunn’s class eventually became programs that were presented at Judson Church in 1962, where Brown met and worked with choreographers including Steve Paxton, Deborah Hay, and Lucinda Childs.
In the late 1960s Brown created works which attempted to defy gravity by using equipment such as ropes and harnesses which allowed dancers to walk on walls and to experiment with the dynamics of stability. These “equipment pieces” comprised a distinct series, and established Brown’s working method of choreographing “cycles” of dances. In 1970 she founded the Trisha Brown Dance Company and accepted an invitation to join the experimental group Grand Union which included choreographers Barbara Dilley, Douglas Dunn, and David Gordon, as well as Rainer and Paxton. Throughout the 1970s Brown continued to develop and expand her choreography for alternative spaces and venues, and in 1979, she began to create works for the proscenium stage.
Throughout her 40-year career, Brown has regularly collaborated with visual artists including Walter De Maria, Nancy Graves, Donald Judd, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Whitman, Terry Winters, and La Monte Young, as well as composers and musicians such as Laurie Anderson, Dave Douglas, and Peter Zummo. More recently, Brown has directed and choreographed several operas including Bizet’s Carmen, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, and Salvatore Sciarrino’s Luci mie traditrici and Da Gelo a Gelo, as well as the Schubert song cycle Winterreise.
Dia Art Foundation celebrates the seventh anniversary of Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries in May 2010. Dia:Beacon presents Dia Art Foundation’s distinguished collection of art from the 1960s to the present, including Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Michael Heizer, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Imi Knoebel, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Blinky Palermo, Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner.
Situated on the banks of the Hudson River in Beacon, New York, and easily accessible by train or car, the museum occupies a former Nabisco box-printing facility which was renovated by Dia with artist Robert Irwin and architect OpenOffice. Dia:Beacon’s expansive galleries comprise 240,000 square feet of exhibition space illuminated by natural light. The museum houses works by a focused group of some of the most significant artists of the last half century. The museum also presents temporary exhibitions, as well as diverse public programs designed to complement the collection and exhibitions.
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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org or 212 293 5518