Trisha Brown Dance Company has presented the work of its



Trisha Brown Dance Company has presented the work of its
Trisha Brown Dance Company has presented the work of its legendary artistic director for over 37
years. Founded in 1970 when Trisha Brown branched out from the experimental Judson Dance
Theater to work with her own group of dancers, TBDC offered its first performances at alternative sites
in Manhattan’s Soho. Today, the Company is regularly seen in the landmark opera houses of New
York, Paris, London, and many other theaters around the world. The repertory has grown from solos
and small group pieces to include major evening-length works and collaborations between Ms. Brown
and renowned visual artists.
In 1998, TBDC co-produced Ms. Brown’s first opera, Montiverdi’s Orfeo, in partnership with Belgium’s
national opera house, La Monnaie. The opera toured to several major European sites, received its
New York premiere in 1999, and was revived at La Monnaie in May 2002 and again in July 2007 at
Festival d’Aix. The Company also participated in a production of Luci Mie Traditrici, composed by
Salvatore Sciarrino, seen at La Monnaie and the Lincoln Center Festival 2001. TBDC joined forces
with Lincoln Center again in December 2002 to present Winterreise, featuring Company dancers and
Simon Keenlyside singing the Franz Schubert song-cycle. In 2006, Ms. Brown revisited the music of
Salvatore Sciarrino, directing Da Gelo a Gelo for the Schwetzingen Festival.
In addition to the fields of dance and opera, Trisha Brown is a prolific visual artist. Her drawings have
been featured in both domestic and international exhibitions, including White Cube in London and
Documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany. In 2007-2008, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis presented The
Year of Trisha, seamlessly melding her visual artwork with dance. The year of events featured Ms.
Brown’s works on paper in an exhibit titled, Trisha Brown: So That the Audience Does Not Know
Whether I have Stopped Dancing. The year included performances of Set and Reset Reset, a
restaging project with University of Minnesota dance students, followed by TBDC repertory
performances and lectures, culminating in an afternoon of Early Works outdoor performances in the
Walker’s sculpture garden that were originally performed in Minneapolis’ Loring Park in the early
1970’s. The Early Works program then traveled to Paris at the Louvre’s Tuileries Gardens. Through
these unique experiences, Ms. Brown continues to permeate artistic barriers, proving that she is truly a
poly-disciplinary artist.
The Company of nine dancers performs in New York and tours worldwide each year, offering unique
and inspiring performances each season. Every theater offers the chance to introduce Trisha Brown’s
work to local audiences in tailored packages that can include master classes, lectures, and informal
demonstrations that enhance the Company performances, and outreach programs that help performing
arts centers form links with community groups. Classes for elementary and secondary school students
offer a hands-on experience of Ms. Brown’s process, de-mystifying the world of postmodern art.
TBDC also maintains an outstanding Education and Outreach Program, providing aspiring dancers and
young professionals with training in postmodern dance. The Education program offers classes in
technique, repertory, and improvisation, as well as workshops with world-renowned guest artists, while
the Outreach program fosters the preservation of TBDC’s repertory through restaging projects with
Lyon Opera Ballet and Paris Opera Ballet along with universities including Belgium’s professional
training program P.A.R.T.S., London Contemporary Dance School, Mills College, and New York
Trisha Brown, the most widely acclaimed choreographer to emerge from the postmodern era, first came
to public notice when she began showing her work with the Judson Dance Theater in the 1960s. Along
with like-minded artists including Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton, and Simone Forte, she pushed the
limits of what could be considered appropriate movement for choreography thereby changing modern
dance forever. This “hot-bed of dance revolution,” was imbued with a maverick spirit and blessed with
total disrespect for assumption, qualities that Ms. Brown still exhibits even as she brings her work to the
great opera houses of the world today.
Founding her own company in 1970, Ms. Brown explored the terrain of her adoptive Soho, creating her
early dances for alternative spaces including roof tops and walls, and flirting with gravity alternately
using it and defying it. Her Man Walking Down the Side of a Building foreshadowed not only her own
innovative use of flying in her 1998 production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo, but also much of the work of
choreographers and theatrical directors who still seek unusual and startling contexts for the human
body. In 1983 she added the Robert Rauschenberg/Laurie Anderson collaboration, Set and Reset to
her first fully developed cycle of work, Unstable Molecular Structures, establishing the fluid yet
unpredictably geometric style that remains a hallmark of her work. Her relentlessly athletic Valiant
Series followed, epitomized by the powerful Newark in which she pushed her dancers to their physical
limits and began exploring gender-specific movement. Next came the elegant and mysterious Back to
Zero cycle, which includes For M.G.: The Movie, in which Ms. Brown pulled back from external
virtuosity to investigate unconscious movement.
Inspired by her experience working in opera when Lina Wertmüller invited her to choreograph Carmen,
Ms. Brown turned her attention to classical music and opera production. Her M.O., choreographed to
J.S. Bach’s monumental Musical Offering, was hailed as a “masterpiece” by Anna Kisselgoff of the New
York Times, who stated that Brown’s piece made “a great deal of other choreography to Bach’s music
look like child’s play.” In 1998 her production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo premiered in Brussels and later
played to sold-out houses in London, Paris, Aix-en-Provence, and New York. In L’Orfeo, Brown
achieved the total integration of music, text, and movement, creating what a reviewer from London’s
Daily Telegraph called “as close to the perfect dance opera as I have ever seen.”
Ms. Brown joined with two new collaborators, visual artist Terry Winters and composer Dave Douglas,
to create a trilogy danced to the sounds and structures of today’s new jazz music. Working with
celebrated lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, the team produced an evening-long choreography full of
sensuousness and marked by an unmistakable modernity. Completed in 2000, El Trilogy was clearly
heralding a new direction for a new century. Ms. Brown continues to transform modern dance through
collaborations and interactive technological advancements. Most recently, she teamed up with
Japanese artist, Kenjiro Okazaki to create the witty and sophisticated I love my robots in 2007.
In 2001, Ms. Brown returned to the opera stage to create a new production of Salvatore Sciarrino’s Luci
Mie Traditrici. Based on the story of Count Carlo Gesualdo, an early 17th century composer, the opera
is an account of love, betrayal and murder. Bernard Holland called the Lincoln Center American
premiere a work of “visceral power,” and “very effective theater.” Ms. Brown has staged version of
Franz Schubert’s Winterreise for a baritone and three dancers. She is currently directing Jean-Philippe
Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie for the Festival d’Aix to premiere in 2010.
Trisha Brown is the first woman choreographer to receive the coveted MacArthur Foundation
Fellowship and has been awarded many other honors including five fellowships from the National
Endowment for the Arts and two John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships. In 1988 she was named
chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the government of France. In January 2000, she was
promoted to officier and in 2004, she was again elevated; this time to the level of commandeur. She
was a 1994 recipient of the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award and, at the invitation of
President Bill Clinton, served on the National Council on the Arts from 1994 to 1997. In 1999 Brown
received the New York State Governor’s Arts Award. Most recently, Ms. Brown was honored with the
2003 National Medal of Arts. She has received numerous honorary doctorates and is an Honorary
Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Mills College Distinguished Achievement Award
University of South Florida- Honorary Degree in Visual and Performing Art
Bank of Scotland Herald Angels Winner
Dickinson College- Dickinson Arts Award
University of South Florida- Distinguished Master Artist
Nijinsky Award
Benois de la Danse Prize for Lifetime Achievement
Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative- Mentor
Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres- French Government
Age Critics Award (Winterreise), Best Show of Melbourne Festival
National Medal of Arts
Wilson College- Honorary Degree
officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres - French Government
New York State Governor’s Arts Award
Grand Prix (L’Orfeo), Syndicat professionnel de la critique dramatique et musicale
Prix de la Danse de la Societe des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques
Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award
MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award
chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres - French Government
Sir Laurence Olivier Award
Dance Magazine Award
New York Dance Performance Awards "Bessie"
New York Dance Performance Awards "Bessie"
National Endowment For The Arts - Fellowship in Choreography
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation - Fellowship in Choreography
National Endowment For The Arts - Fellowship in Choreography
Oberlin College - Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts
National Endowment For The Arts - Fellowship in Choreography
Brandeis University - Creative Arts Medal in Dance
National Endowment for The Arts - Fellowship in Choreography
Creative Artists Public Service Grant
National Endowment For The Arts - Fellowship in Choreography
Weatherwax High School, Aberdeen, WA - Distinguished Alumnus Award
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation - Fellowship in Choreography
Creative Artists Public Service Grant
Artist in India Award - Indian Government
IRÉNE HULTMAN (Rehearsal Director), a native of Sweden, is a New York-based choreographer. From 1983-1988, Hultman
was a member of Trisha Brown Company. In 1988 she created Iréne Hultman Dance and received national and international
recognition for work spanning fifteen years of performance throughout the world. She has choreographed for seven opera
productions and numerous commissions including Gothenburg Opera Ballet and Royal Opera House of Sweden. Iréne
Hultman is the co-founder of Järna-Brooklyn, a Swedish-American cultural entity that encourages artistic experimentation and
is also a founding member of the multi-media collective "Fire Work" in Stockholm. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim
Fellowship in Choreography and a Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts Award among others. Ms. Hultman serves
on Danspace Project’s Artist Advisory Board and on The Bessie Committee (New York City Dance and Performance Award).
CAROLYN LUCAS (Choreographic Assistant) has been a member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company since 1984, during
which she originated roles in Newark, Astral Convertible, and Foray Forêt. In 1993 she was appointed Choreographic
Assistant, and has been intricately involved with the creation of several of Ms. Brown’s works, including her solo If you couldn’t
see me and the duet version with Mikhail Baryshnikov entitled You can see us. Carolyn has also reconstructed Opal Loop for
TBDC and Glacial Decoy for TBDC and White Oak Dance Project. She teaches at the Trisha Brown Studio in New York and
at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels. She received a BFA from SUNY Purchase in 1984 and a high school diploma from North Carolina
School of the Arts.
DIANE MADDEN (Special Projects) joined the Trisha Brown Dance Company in 1980. As a dancer she continues to be
challenged by the choreography’s balance of structure and freedom. Rehearsal Director from 1984-2000, Diane enjoys
keeping a rich range of choreography alive with a group of very talented dancers. Her major influences are Trisha, Susan Klein
and Barbara Mahler, and her collaborators in improvisation, most notably the members of Channel Z. Diane has received two
Princess Grace Awards and a Bessie.
HYUN JIN JUNG is from Pusan, South Korea where he earned a degree in choreography from the Korean National University
of Arts, School of Dance. He performed throughout Europe before moving to New York in 2003. He joined Trisha Brown
Dance Company in October 2004.
TODD MCQUADE began dancing in his home town of San Luis Obispo, California. He received a degree in Art History from
the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Todd has had the privilege to work with Lucinda Childs, the Mark Morris
Dance Group, Hubbard Street II, Aszure Barton's ASzURe & Artists and Mikhail Baryshnikov's Hell's Kitchen Dance. He is
honored to be dancing with Trisha Brown Dance Company.
LEAH MORRISON is originally from St. Louis, Missouri where she began her training with Lee Nolting at the Center of
Contemporary Arts. She graduated from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College in 2003 and joined Trisha Brown
Dance Company in July 2005. Leah has had the privilege of studying with Neil Greenberg and Sigal Bergman.
MELINDA MYERS grew up in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She graduated from NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts with a BFA in
Dance in 2005. Melinda joined Trisha Brown Dance Company in April 2006.
TONY ORRICO began his dance training at Illinois State University under the direction of Laurie Merriman. He later received
his MFA as a fellowship recipient at the University of Iowa. From 2003 to 2005 he danced in Shen Wei Dance Arts. During
this time, he studied the fundamentals of Chinese Opera and participated in the creation of many of Shen Wei's ground
breaking works. Orrico joined Trisha Brown Dance Company in 2006 and is delighted to be learning from the legendary
achievements of this company and the imagination of Ms. Brown herself.
TAMARA RIEWE moved to NYC from Seattle, where she began her dance training as a liberal arts major at the University of
Washington. She transferred to Salt Lake City and in 2001 earned a BFA in modern dance from the University of Utah. She
has worked with Daniel Charon, Keith Johnson (LA), as a member of Bill Young/Colleen Thomas and Dancers, and with Doug
Varone at the Metropolitan Opera. Tamara continues to study, work with, and draw inspiration from the panoply of artists
found in NYC. Tamara joined Trisha Brown Dance Company in 2006.
JUDITH SANCHEZ RUIZ is a native of Havana, Cuba, where she graduated from the National School of Arts (ENA). She
worked with Danza Abierta Company, Cuba (1991-1996) and Mal Pelo Dance Company, Spain, (1997-1999). Since moving
to the US in 1999, she has danced in the works of David Zambrano, Jeremy Nelson, Luis Lara, Osmany Tellez and DD
Dorvillier. Her choreography has been presented at various venues in NYC, including Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church.
Judith has collaborated with jazz musicians/composers Steve Coleman, Henry Threadgill, and and long-time partner, Cuban
drummer/composer Dafnis Prieto. Judith has been a member of Trisha Brown Dance Company since 2006.
TODD LAWRENCE STONE has danced with Irene Hultman Dance Company and Wil Swanson. He has also worked with
Pearl Lang Dance Company, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and Neta Pulvermacher and Dancers. Todd
graduated from SUNY Purchase in 1995 with a B.F.A. in Dance. He currently studies with June Ekman. Todd joined Trisha
Brown Dance Company in 1998.
LAUREL TENTINDO has danced with Sara Rudner, Vicky Shick, Liz Lerman, and recently performed in Harry Partch’s opera,
Delusion of the Fury. She has collaboratively made pieces with actors, puppeteers and musicians. Laurel is a graduate of
Sarah Lawrence College and is a certified Skinner Releasing teacher.
2008-09 SEASON
Walker Arts Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Athens Festival
Athens, Greece
Festival quartier d’été
Paris, France
Hebbel Theater
Berlin, Germany
Fall for Dance Festival
Costa Mesa, California
Columbia College
Chicago, Illinois
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Brooklyn, New York
Les Gémeaux Scène Nationale
Sceaux, France
PRESENT TENSE combines Brown's
abstract aesthetic with her interest in
emotional narrative. This aerial
choreography results in raucous,
cantilevering partnering where dancers
ride and tumble suspended across the
space. The earth-bound phrase work
is distinctly Brown, but unexpected in
its logic, employing motifs that hint at a
poetic emotional narrative.
“… a good example of Brown’s divine fluidity- the aspect of her choreography that streams
directly from her own body, her unique physical temperament.”
-Tobi Tobias,
Choreography: Trisha Brown
Music: John Cage
Visual presentation and costumes: Elizabeth Murray
Lighting design: Jennifer Tipton
Length: 20 minutes
Performers: 7 dancers
You can see us (1996)
You can see us is the duet version of If
you couldn’t see me, originally danced
by Trisha Brown and Mikhail
Baryshnikov. Creating incredible
visual impact, Brown has adapted the
original spatial composition by
interplaying mirror images.
“The two dancers never touch or look at each other and yet the tension between them is hot,
anything but cool.”
-Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times
Choreography: Trisha Brown
Music, Costume, and Visual Presentation: Robert Rauschenberg
Length: 10 minutes
Performers: 1 woman and 1 man
If you couldn’t see me (1994)
If you couldn’t see me is Ms. Brown’s
solo collaboration with Robert
Rauschenberg, whose design
contributes to the piece’s seductive
beauty. The soloist dances with her
back to the audience and, restricted
from showing her face, must rely on
the suppleness of her torso and limbs
for personal expression.
“See me [sic] has the feel of a solitary quest, with Brown facing a deep upstage void and
relying on her own fine-tuned dancing wits.”
-Lisa Kraus, Dance Magazine
Choreography: Trisha Brown
Music, Costume, and Visual Presentation: Robert Rauschenberg
Length: 10 minutes
Performers: 1 woman
Foray Forêt (1990)
Ms. Brown’s last collaboration with
Robert Rauschenberg remains one of
the more requested works in the
repertory. Foray Forêt features gold
costumes and an open stage. Most
notably, it is accompanied by a
marching band engaged locally at
each performance venue, playing John
Philip Sousa music outside the walls of
the theater.
“She keeps pulling something clean and coherent out of the off-center, out of kilter,
unexpected movements we keep expecting will fall into chaos but never do.”
-Mike Steele, Star Tribune
Choreography: Trisha Brown
Set and Costumes: Robert Rauschenberg
Lighting: Spencer Brown with Robert Rauschenberg
Music: Local marching band
Length: 28 minutes
Performers: 9 dancers
Set and Reset (1983)
The seductively fluid quality of the
movement in this Trisha Brown
masterpiece, juxtaposed with the
unpredictable geometric style has
become the hallmark of Ms. Brown’s
work. Performed to a driving score by
Laurie Anderson, the exploration of
visibility and invisibility is reflected in
the translucent costumes and set by
Robert Rauschenberg.
“Set and Reset is unmistakably Miss Brown at her most tantalizing. Her virtuosic dancers
exhibit a quality of movement that is distinctly hers- dartingly quick but so fluid that the body
seems a conduit for flowing energy.”
-Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times
Choreography: Trisha Brown
Music: Laurie Anderson
Visual presentation and costumes: Robert Rauschenberg
Lighting design: Beverly Emmons
Length: 24 minutes
Performers: 7 dancers
Glacial Decoy (1979)
In Glacial Decoy, her first work for the
proscenium stage, Brown plays with
theatrical convention, having a row of
equidistantly-spaced dancers slip off
and onstage as the dance moves far
left or right, implying an endless line of
dancers beyond the wings.
“Brown’s mercurial, no-holds-barred movement made Glacial Decoy a favorite piece for
many of her dancers.”
-Lisa Krauss, Dance Magazine
Choreography: Trisha Brown
Sound: Silence
Set and Costumes: Robert Rauschenberg
Lighting design: Beverly Emmons w/ Robert Rauschenberg
Length: 18 minutes
Performers: 5 women
“…master of simplicity with a dose of humor. The idea of a line, and the endless possibilities of
how it could be assembled and dissolved, was a theme in [Trisha Brown’s early] work.”
-Wendy Perron, The New York Times
Spiral (1974)
Choreography: Trisha Brown
Length: 10 minutes
Performers: 1-5 dancers
Three to four dancers climb ladders in order to strap themselves to ropes which spiral down from three
pillars. Then, slowly, they walk around the pillars – bodies hanging out in space, parallel to the floor.
Each winds down a pillar until his/her head nearly touches the floor. The lower they get, the heavier
they seem.
Figure Eight (1974)
Choreography: Trisha Brown
Length: 5-7 minutes
Performers: 9 dancers
Spatial arrangement: a row, like stewardesses demonstrating safety measures on an airplane.
Eyes closed. Right arm arcs from the side of the body to the top of the head and back again,
marking, enlarging time patterns, while the left arm arcs from the side of the body to the top of the
head in diminishing time patterns.
Sticks (1973)
Choreography: Trisha Brown
Length: 3-10 minutes
Performers: 1-5 dancers
A 10-foot-long, ¾” x ¾” stick is placed with one end against the base of the wall and the other end
on the dancer’s head. The dancer facing the wall moves forward maintaining the original angle of
the stick until the head is wedged in between the stick and the floor. Performed by four dancers
placed at equal distances along one wall or in partners – stick against stick – in the center of the
Spanish Dance (1973)
Choreography: Trisha Brown
Music: "Early Morning Rain",
written by Gordon Lightfoot and
performed by Bob Dylan
Length: 4 minutes
Performers: 5 women
A dancer slowly raises arms like a magnificent Spanish dancer and travels forward in time to Bob
Dylan's 'In the Early Morning Rain.’ When dancer A touches up against the back of dancer B,
dancer B slowly raises her arms like a magnificent Spanish dancer and the two travel forward,
touching up against the back of dancer C, and so on until they all reach the wall.
Accumulation (1971)
Choreography: Trisha Brown
Music: “Uncle John’s Band,”
The Grateful Dead
Length: 3-4 minutes
Performers: 1 woman- full company
This witty and now-legendary solo is based on the simple device of adding one gesture to another,
one at a time, and repeating the growing phrase with each new movement. Although it is not the
performer’s intention to portray anyone or anything else, the dance is full of personal expression as
the dancers respond to the physical action of the piece and to the audience.
Floor of the Forest (1970)
Choreography: Trisha Brown
Length: 15-20 minutes
Performers: 2 men
This is performed in a twelve-foot by fourteen-foot pipe frame across which are tied ropes densely
threaded with clothes - sleeves are woven beneath pant legs forming a solid rectangular surface.
The audience is free to move around in the periphery of the grid as the performers dress and
undress their way through this structure. A normally vertical activity performed horizontally and
reshaped by the vertical pull of gravity.
Group Primary Accumulation (1970)
Choreography: Trisha Brown
Length: 15 minutes
Performers: 4 women
Four dancers placed supine and equidistant from each other in line from downstage to upstage
perform the piece in unison. The performers generate a series of accumulating gestures. The
figures rotate 45 degrees each on the last 2 moves, making a 90-degree turn with the completion of
the phrase. The phrase is repeated until, in the last two minutes of the dance, a 360-degree turn is
achieved and all sides of the dance/dancers revealed.
Le Corum- Montpellier, France
Le Musee Fabre- Montpellier, France
Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam - Amsterdam, Holland
Theatre de l’Archeveche- Aix en Provence, France
Lincoln Center Out of Doors- New York, NY
Edinburgh International Festival- Edinburgh, Scotland
Trafo House of Contemporary Arts- Budapest,
Tanzquartier Wein- Vienna, Austria
La Piscine, Musee d’Art et d’Industrie de RoubaixRoubaix, France
Papier Fabrik- Zurich, Switzerland
City Center- New York, NY
SESC Avenida Paulista- Sao Paulo, Brazil
Joyce Theater- New York, NY
De Singel- Antwerp, Belgium
La Halle Aux Grains Scene Nationale- Blois, France
Northrop Auditorium- Minneapolis, MN
Grand Theatre de Limoges- Limoges, France
Opera de Rennes- Rennes, France
Teatro Antico Greco - Taormina, Italy
Teatro Cimberle Ferrari - Bassano, Italy
Contemporary Arts Museum - Houston, TX
John Jay College Theater - New York, NY
Luzern Concert Hall - Luzern, Switzerland
Barbican Theatre - London, England
Opera National de Lyon - Lyon, France
Royale Theatre - Newcastle, England
Sadler’s Wells - London, England
New Museum - New York, NY
Scene National de Sete - Sete, France
Le Palais du Festival - Cannes, France
Henry Art Gallery - Seattle, WA
Espace des Arts/Scene Nationale - Chalon sur
Saone, France
La Monnaie - Brussels, Belgium
University of Washington Meany Hall - Seattle, WA
Le Corum- Montpellier, France
State Theater of Kassel- Kassel, Germany
Olympic Theatre- Rome, Italy
University of South Florida- Tampa, FL
Zellerbach Hall- Berkeley, CA
The Alexander Kasser Theater- Montclair, NJ
Theatre Gimaldi- Monaco, Monte Carlo
La Passerrelle- St. Brieuc, France
Staatstheater- Munich, Germany
Haus der Kunst- Munich, Germany
Le Manege de Reims- Reims, France
Damrosch Park - New York, NY
Battery Park - New York, NY
Tang Theater - Andover, MA
Schnitzer Hall - Portland, OR
Dance Center of Columbia College - Chicago, IL
Choreographisches Zentrum NRW- Essen, Germany
City Center- New York, NY
Evening Stars- New York, NY
Teatro Greco – Barcelona, Spain
Central Park Summerstage – New York, NY
Evening Stars/Battery Park – New York, NY
Rutgers University – New Brunswick, NJ
Randolph-Macon Women’s College – Lynchburg, VA
Palais Garnier – Paris, France
Theatre a l’Italienne Grand Theatre d’Angers –
Angers, France
Theatre de Caen – Caen, France
L’Arsenal – Metz, France
Lorrach, Germany
Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Scene National de Poitiers – Poitiers, France
Opera de Lille – Lille, France
Huy, Belgium
Saitama Arts Theatre – Saitama, Japan
The Playhouse – Liverpool, England
Nuovo Teatro Comunale Bolzano - Bolzano, Italy
Teatro Amikare Ponchielli Cremona - Cremona, Italy
Teatro Aperto Giuseppe Verdi - Acqui di Terme, Italy
Teatro Massimo -Palermo, Italy
Kastle Amphitheatre - Kalamata, Greece
Musik Teatret Albertslund - Copenhagen, Denmark
City Center - New York, NY
Seoul Performing Arts Festival - Seoul, South Korea
Melbourne Festival - Melbourne, Australia
Palais Garnier - Paris, France
Mello Center for the Performing Arts - Santa Cruz, CA
Zellerbach Auditorium - Berkeley, CA
Pitman Theatre - Milwaukee, WI
Arizona State University - Tempe, AZ
Rose Theater at Lincoln Center - New York, NY
deSingel International Arts Centre - Antwerp, Belgium
Brighton Festival - Brighton, England
Sadler’s Wells - London, England
Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts - Davis, CA
La Maison des Arts - Creteil, France
Le Volcan - Le Havre, France
Le Cratere/Le Theâtre D’Ales - Ales, France
John Jay College Theatre - New York, NY
Wesleyan University-Middletown, CT
L’Hippodrome-Douai, France
L’Apostrophe - Cergy Pontoise, France
Maison de la Culture de Bourges - Bourges, France
Equinoxe - Chateauroux, France
Centre Culturel de St. Medard St. Medard en Jalles, France
Le Parvis - Tarbes, France
Le Theatre - Narbonne, France
Bureau des Affaires Culturelles - Perpignan, France
Theatre des Salins - Martigues, France
Théâtre de Caen - Caen, France
Fort Wayne Performing Arts Center - Forth Wayne,
2001– 02
LaGuardia Drama Theater – New York, NY
Playhouse Square, Ohio Theatre – Cleveland, OH
Théâtre Maissoneuve – Montreal, Canada
Flynn Theater – Burlington, VT
Moore Theater, Dartmouth College – Hanover, NH
Le Manège de Reims – Reims, France
La Maison de la Danse – Lyon, France
Le Bel Image – Valence, France
Le Rampe – Grenoble, France
Bonlieu – Annecy, France
Espace Malraux – Chambery, France
Teatro Jovellanos – Gijón, Spain
Palacio de laÓpera – La Coruña, Spain
Centro Cultural Caixa Vigo – Vigo, Spain
Auditorio de Galicia – Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Royce Hall, UCLA – Los Angeles, CA
University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN
Modlin Center – Richmond, VA
La Monnaie Opera House – Brussels, Belgium
Grand Théâtre de Genéva – Geneva, Switzerland
Corum Théâtre – Montpellier, France
Théâtre du Hangar – Montpellier, France
Page Auditorium – Raleigh–Durham, NC
2000 – 01
Kennedy Center – Washington, DC
Zellerbach Auditorium – Berkeley, CA
Belem Center – Lisbon, Portugal
Rivioli Theatre – Porto, Portugal
Harbourfront Centre – Toronto, Canada
Power Center – Ann Arbor, MI
Joyce Theater – New York, NY
Page Auditorium – Raleigh–Durham, NC
Parrish Art Museum – Southampton, NY
Castle Theater – Kalamata, Greece
Sophiansaale – Vienna, Austria
World Trade Center Plaza – New York, NY
White Bird Lincoln Performance Hall – Portland, OR
Luzernertheater – Luzern, Switzerland
Stanislavski Theater – Moscow, Russia
Rostov Music Theater – Rostov–on–Don, Russia
Théâtre Rive Gauche – Rouen, France
Les Gemeaux – Sceaux, France
Teatro Communaie – Ferrara, Italy
Arena del Sol – Bologna, Italy
Teatro Vali - Reggio Emelia, Italy
Queen Elizabeth Hall – London, England
Regent Theater – Stoke–on–Trent, England
Grand Theater – Blackpool, England
Corn Exchange – Blackpool, England
Theater Royal – Bath, England
Théâtre des Champs Elysées – Paris, France
Théâtre des Bergeries – Noisy-le-sec, France
Theatre Wielki National Opera House – Warsaw,
L’Arsenal – Metz, France
La Filature – Mulhouse, France
Hebbel Theater – Berlin, Germany
Theater in Pfalzbau – Ludwigshafen, Germany
Deutsches National Theater – Weimar, Germany
Forum Leverkusen – Leverkusen, Germany
Stadttheater Fürth – Fürth, Germany
Kingsbury Hall, University of Utah – Salt Lake City,
De Singel – Antwerp, Belgium
Memorial Auditorium, Stanford University –
Stanford, CA
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival – Lee, MA
Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors – New York, NY
Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires – Buenos Aires,
Cornell University – Ithaca, NY
Calvin Theater – Northampton, MA
Le Volcan – Le Havre, France
Centre Jean Renoir – Dieppe, France
Hanger 23 – Rouen, France
Dansens Hus – Stockholm, Sweden
De Singel – Antwerp, Belgium
Luzerner Theater – Lucerne, Switzerland
Forum Meyrin – Geneva, Switzerland
Scene Nationale – Clermont Ferrand, France
Théâtre Debussy – Cannes, France
Kennedy Center – Washington, DC
Zellerbach Auditorium – Berkeley, CA
Belem Center – Lisbon, Portugal
Rivioli Threatre – Porto, Portugal
Harbourfront Centre – Toronto, Canada
University Musical Society – Ann Arbor, MI
Joyce Theater – New York, NY
American Dance Festival – Raleigh-Durham, NC
Palais de l’Ancien Archeveche – Aix, France
Theatre du Gymnase – Marseille, France
Hebbel Theater – Berlin, Germany
Wexner Center – Columbus, OH
Lafayette College – Easton, PA
Benedum Center – Pittsburgh, PA
Waterfront Hall – Belfast, Northern Ireland
Olimpico Theater – Rome, Italy
University of Southern Illinois – Carbondale, IL
Edison Theater – St. Louis, MO
The Egg – Albany, NY
The Flynn – Burlington, VT
Théâtre de Valencienne – Valenciennes, France
Les Gemeaux –Secaux, France
Le Muselet – Chalon en Champagne, France
Théâtre de l’Olivier – Istres, France
Théâtre des Champs Elysées – Paris, France
Stadsschouwburg –Utrecht, Netherlands
BAM Opera House – New York, NY
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival – Lee, MA
February 05, 2008
Dance Review by Deborah Jowitt
Complex Simple: Seductive lessons in perusing a fleeting world
Trisha Brown's solo, If You Couldn't See Me, arrived in 1994,
bearing questions. Of course we could see her, just not her face.
And we knew her by the mobile spine revealed by Robert
Rauschenberg's costume and by her fluid precision. Now,
watching Leah Morrison perform the solo very beautifully, with
Rauschenberg's softly chiming music falling around her and
Jennifer Tipton's lighting modeling her tall body, I imagine this
woman performing for an invisible audience upstage of her.
Those spectators see her face. Maybe we can compare notes
after the show.
Montclair State University/Mike Peters
Now-you-see-it-now-you-don't has been an element of Brown's
style since the mid-'70s. In Foray Forêt, reconstructed from its
1990 identity, the dancers flash on and off the stage, and
Rauschenberg's gleaming gold and silver costumes and Tipton's
lighting enhance the image of sunlight tampered with by
windblown trees. The nine performers are amazing—deerlike in
their alertness, speed, and sensitivity, yet always serene. Our
eyes have to move to capture their fleet transactions. For a while,
Judith Sanchez Ruiz holds down an area of space with calm,
deliberate moves. Suddenly Melinda Myers races on with two
men, the three snag on one another, the men dash away, and
Myers drops into perfect synch with Ruiz. When Myers exits,
Tony Orrico replaces her. Several times, Brown presents us with
sudden partnerships and seemingly unplanned unity.
Helping hands launch performers onto the stage and yank
them off it. People lean out from the wings as if over an
alluring but intimidating pond. The accompaniment—a
marching band doing its stuff—flirts with our ears in a
different way; the musicians begin maybe a block away,
invade the lobby, then fade into the distance. When Diane
Madden enters to render with magnificent thoughtfulness
the final solo that Brown made for herself, her colleagues
lurk in the wings, slipping now a hand, now some other
body part into sight. Madden no longer dances regularly
with the company, and these fleeting images seem like
memories that linger temptingly at the edges of her
Brown thinks of Foray Forêt as initiating what she calls
her "Back to Zero" series—a pulling away from the
complexity of her earlier "Unstable Molecular Structures"
and the muscular pieces in her "Valiant" cycle into
simplicity and delicacy. Although she planted some easyto-read, two-part counterpoint in her 2007 I Love My
Robots, her simple is most people's complex. In the grave
opening solo that Todd Lawrence Stone performs so
wonderfully, his movements collapse in smooth
increments, die away, and spurt through new pathways in
his body, even though he takes time to observe his hand
against the floor, to hoist his knee by biting the pant leg
of Elizabeth Cannon's soft-edged costume. Buoyed by the
honeyed voices, fluttering cello, and lightly pattering
percussion that bubble up in Laurie Anderson's score, he
dances into close contact with Myers, inaugurating a
spate of brilliant, peaceable tangling by these two and
Hyun-Jin Jung.
The robots take the audience by surprise. Kenjiro
Okazaki's two tall cardboard tubes on small, wheeled
platforms look more like perambulating hat racks.
Functioning as moving scenery, they glide here and there,
framing and re-framing the action. After a while I begin
to think of them as paying attention or tactfully standing
aside and watching. Sometimes they make high
anthropomorphism and her title by entering at the end for
a bit of improvised play with them. Finally, she says, "I
hear my mother calling me to come home and take a nap.
See you tomorrow." A whimsical, curiously touching
envoy to a quite serious adventure.
Trisha Brown on Paper: Tribute to Dancer, Artist Continues
Courtesy Trisha Brown Dance Company /Trisha Brown in her "It's a Draw/Live Feed."
Since New York choreographer Trisha Brown first started experimenting with time, space, gravity and
the movement potential of the human body in the 1960s, she has never stopped astounding audiences
with her intelligent, insouciant style.
Even when she was a member of the Grand Union and a mover with the Judson Dance Theater —
whose practitioners boldly brought everyday movement, gesture and happenstance into the realm of
concert dance — Brown was independently exploring the marriage of almost mathematically based
choreographic structures with the languid, liquid movement style for which she has become iconic.
One of her signature processes, known as the "Accumulation" series (a process that spiraled into all
kinds of iterations performed in all sorts of places), famously premiered in 1974 in Minneapolis' Loring
Park. The work was "Group Primary Accumulation on Rafts," which was pretty much like it sounds:
Brown's phrases of movement piled and intertwined with one another, and performed by a group of
people lying on rafts in the pond. In July, that work will be restaged as part of The Year of Trisha, a
celebration created by the Walker Art Center, Northrop Dance and the University of Minnesota Dance
Program. The celebration actually began last fall, when Wil Swanson and Katrina Thompson Warren,
former dancers with the Trisha Brown Dance Company, taught Brown's 1983 "Set and Reset" to U
dance students. The process involved teaching Brown's original phrase work, then guiding students
through a structured improvisational form Brown used to choreograph the original dance piece. Because
the students were allowed to incorporate their own choices and interactions, the final project was
actually called "Set and Reset/Reset." In February, the students formally performed the work at the
annual Dance Revolutions concert at the U.
The Year of Trisha continues this week with the opening of "So That the Audience Does Not Know
Whether I Have Stopped Dancing," an exhibition of art works by Brown at the Walker. And on
Thursday evening, Brown will appear in the gallery to make one of her body drawings: large-scale
works she creates using her whole body to draw with charcoal, pens or oil sticks. If you can't make the
free performance, which audiences will watch via a live feed in the Cinema, go to this link that evening.
Waking and drawing "The drawing has a lot to do with my sleep patterns," Brown said. "It comes from
waking up in the night as a child and finding my father in the den tying flies. I got a lot of free time with
papa. There is still a period of time in the night when I might wake up. So for a long time I've been
waking up and thinking and drawing. Then I get tired and go to bed. The drawings go in a box and you
forget about them. But they accrue over time." She also began drawing schematics for her dances on
grid paper. She doesn't consider them notation, but rather "useful to show my dancers the infrastructure
of my ideas, to speed things along." Then she sent some drawings to a Venice Biennial to which she was
invited, "and word came back that everyone was talking about them, which I didn't believe for one half
of a second. I just said that's nice. I love my dancing and choreography and I was involved in that.
Decades went by."
Collection Trisha Brown/Trisha Brown, Untitled, 2007, charcoal, pastel on paper
One day, however, she recalled, "I thought it might be interesting to put a large piece of paper on the
floor and treat it like a stage surface, and to get some charcoals and pens or whatever, put them around
the edges of the paper, and I found the adrenaline rose just like it does right before I go on stage.
Drawing this way became experiential for me, a state of discovery." Brown also discovered a new
semblance of self and outlet for her creativity in these solo body drawings. "It's an intimate practice,"
she said. "There aren't a bunch of dancers standing around snapping their leotards and plie'-ing to get
warmed up. It's my time and my way." What excites her most about the exhibition is that the show will
span a range of work, from her completed Thursday-night drawing to "Planes," initially created in 1968.
In the multimedia work, three dancers clad in black and white slowly move across a giant pegboard
against a projected film (also in black and white), conveying the impression of floating in the air. Every
Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the hour and half past,
professional dancers will be paired with students from the U's dance program in performances of the
The juxtaposition, Brown said, "conflates the differences between the two. One enables human beings to
be the objects in the drawing. The details of the film and the actions of the dancers are the subject. The
other is the result of a body drawing on flat surface. It's summary for me. And it bridges the schism
between 'Are you a dancer, or are you a visual artist?' People have been tangling themselves up in that
question for a very long time. This exhibition says it's all one brain, part of one creative process." And it
belongs to Trisha Brown.
-Camille LeFevre
October 3, 1996
Doing a Mirror Dance, Backs to the Glass
The Trisha Brown Dance Company danced through an artificial cloud onstage in a stunning
revival called ''Opal Loop,'' and Mikhail Baryshnikov made a spectacular local debut with the
Yes, there are times when superlatives are in order. So much so that one is inclined to forgive
the dubious label for Ms. Brown's current season, which opened on Tuesday night in the Next
Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. As a title, ''Trisha Brown at 25: Post-Modern
and Beyond,'' tells us little but that Ms. Brown's company is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Like Moliere's bourgeois gentilhomme, who was surprised to find out he spoke prose, Ms.
Brown, it turns out, was post-modern before the term was invented.
In truth, she is an uncompromising formalist, a survivor of the 1960's dance avant-garde, and
her basic principles have remained the same. Her work is conceptual, concerned specifically
with structures and quality of movement.
As dry as this sounds on paper, it all comes to life through her combination of braininess and
puckishness. Ms. Brown, in spite of her seriousness, is a great entertainer.
The Baryshnikov guest appearance is the most obvious case in point. (There is to be a repeat
at the last performance on Saturday night at the academy, 30 Lafayette Avenue, at Ashland
Place, Fort Greene.) Here, without concession to Mr. Baryshnikov's ballet technique, she has
turned ''If You Could See Me,'' a witty solo she created for herself in 1994, into a duet.
More a mirror dance than a pas de deux, this new version, ''You Can See Us,'' plays on the
same idea of perception (a frequent Brown device). In the solo, Ms. Brown danced with her
back to the audience, occasionally twisting into profile but averting her face. Now she dances
the same piece with some changes in floor patterns, and Mr. Baryshnikov simultaneously
dances the same solo while facing the audience.
How to keep dancing without showing your back to the audience, how to keep dancing without
showing your face to the audience: this concept of ''task'' harks back to Ms. Brown's early
choreography, but typically the apparently simple is difficult to execute and is extended into
contextual complexity.
It is not just that two people in mirror images make the dance intensely dramatic or that they
reverse positions at the end. Ms. Brown has adapted the original spatial composition to
suggest pursuit and interplay. The two dancers never touch or look at each other and yet the
tension between them is hot, anything but cool.
Some of this effect stems from visual impact. Robert Rauschenberg has costumed a barechested Mr. Baryshnikov in white trunks with long, loose panels front and back. It is the
counterpart of his bare-backed sheath for Ms. Brown, and both dancers appear to glow under
the sculptured chiaroscuro of Spencer Brown's superb lighting.
But the real impact comes from the precision, clarity and fluency of the movement, qualities
that Mr. Baryshnikov here shares in abundance with Ms. Brown in her signature style. The
images are astounding, and here at last Mr. Baryshnikov has found his true niche in the
modern-dance world.
Other experimental choreographers have been unable to resist balleticizing their movement for
him, while in mainstream modern dance he has been compared to dancers who have had the
training he has not. But Ms. Brown's style does not depend on a codified technique; it is rather
that Mr. Baryshnikov has understood instinctively how every detail (he renders each
completely) of movement flows into another without heightened climax.
To suggest they are identical would be untrue. Mr. Baryshnikov's fleeting profiles look more
conventionally archaic than Ms. Brown's rounded outlines; he is sharper, she is more liquid but
barely. These fine dancers plunge into diagonals, zigzag into place and snap into angular
poses while Mr. Rauschenberg's sound score pings along repetitively: it is stage magic on any
terms, modern or post.
As for ''Opal Loop,'' Ms. Brown has now brought back the original ''cloud sculpture'' that the
Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya created for the premiere in 1980. Anyone who saw that first
performance in a small SoHo space will recall the unforgettable mystery of the haze that Ms.
Nakaya created with water molecules from her cloud machine.
Here again, the apparatus is behind four playful dancers moving with slippery grace: Ms.
Brown, Diane Madden, Stanford Makishi and Keith Thompson. But the huge stage of the
Brooklyn Academy Opera House creates a more spectacular theatrical event, as the haze,
programmed to rise, retreat or move forward, creates a changing environment.
Beverly Emmons's exquisite lighting brings these changes into relief. The choreography, seen
in recent years without the cloud installation, paradoxically emerges with greater sharpness;
repeatedly pairs of autonomous dancers merge into unison when least expected, and there is
a dramatic scene when Ms. Madden and Mr. Thompson dance a duet. Ms. Brown and Mr.
Makishi do the same with invisible partners: the loners flanking the putative lovers.
In this first of three retrospective programs, Ms. Brown included two early solos. In fine form,
she progressively built a string of repeated gestures in ''Accumulation'' (1971) and wonderfully
jumped into a pair of sandals while dancing with a film projector on her back in ''Homemade''
(1966). Robert Whitman's film of Ms. Brown doing the same solo was as apt to be projected on
the opera house walls as anywhere else.
This exercise in perception (seeing a dance in fragments both live and on film) extended into
the familiar 1983 ''Set and Reset.'' Kathleen Fisher, Mariah Maloney, Stephen Petronio (as
guest), Gena Rho, Wil Swanson, Abigail Yager and Ming-Lung Yang joined the rest of the
company. Sometimes the dancers were visible and sometimes not. Laurie Anderson's score
was aptly titled ''Long Time No See.''
Alex Majoli / Magnum Photos pour "Le Monde"
Trisha Brown : "Je suis une sorte de machine à danser"
LE MONDE | 27.08.05 |
Dans soho, dont les trottoirs saturés de stands sont pris d'assaut par la foule, même le dimanche, le loft new-yorkais de la chorégraphe Trisha
Brown semble taillé dans un bloc de silence. Cet îlot impeccablement rangé, épuré dans son ameublement, abritait jusqu'en octobre 2001 les
répétitions de sa compagnie. Cette dernière fête en 2005 son 35 anniversaire dans les quatre nouveaux studios qu'elle loue plus haut dans
Attablée dans sa cuisine, sur le carrelage de laquelle elle n'hésite pas à se jeter pour montrer un mouvement, la chorégraphe âgée de 68 ans,
figure essentielle de la post modern dance américaine, se pose en conteuse sur les grandes étapes d'une carrière palpitante consacrée à
l'invention chorégraphique.
Plus de 85 oeuvres minutieusement conçues émaillent la route de cette artiste dont la rigueur s'est fait le porte-drapeau d'une liberté
sophistiquée. Le regard océan de Trisha Brown observe, s'émeut, reflétant sans artifice son rapport passionnel à la danse, à l'art et au
Votre trajet tend un arc entre la performance expérimentale dans les années 1970, et le ballet classique, plus de trente-cinq ans
après, sous les auspices de l'Opéra de Paris. Comment expliquez-vous ce grand écart artistique ?
Mon développement s'accomplit en cycles. En arrivant à New York en 1961, tout était permis. J'ai commencé à expérimenter avec le Judson
Dance Theater, dans les galeries d'art, les lofts. J'ai continué après la création de ma compagnie en 1970 avec des performances comme
Man Walking Down the Side of a Building ou Primary Accumulation on Rafts, où nous étions allongés sur des radeaux sur un lac : c'est ce j'ai
appelé mes "equipments pieces".
Puis j'ai commencé à travailler sur l'écriture et l'abstraction en me confrontant à la boîte noire, avec tout ce qui contribue à l'illusion théâtrale :
les lumières, les costumes, les décors, la musique. Je ne connaissais rien, j'ai tout appris. Ça n'a pas été facile. Bref, je suis devenue au fil du
temps la locomotive de l'abstraction américaine, la reine des structures mathématiques, et je roulais de plus en plus vite.
Un soir, en juillet 1988, à Marseille, pour une représentation de l'Orfeo de Monteverdi, j'étais en train d'improviser sur l'aria "Possente Spirito",
et soudain tout a basculé. J'étais à la fois Orfeo demandant à entrer dans le royaume des Morts, les mots qu'il chantait et les arpèges
chorégraphiques que mon corps exécutait. J'étais emportée par la musique, le texte, la poésie, la littérature.
J'ai su à ce moment-là que mon apprentissage était terminé. J'ai eu alors le désir d'explorer tout un tas de choses que je ne connaissais pas
et que je ne m'étais jamais autorisées, comme la musique jazz et le ballet classique.
Une photo de votre performance Roof Piece, créée en 1971, a marqué les esprits ; vous êtes de dos, déhanchée, sur le toit d'un
immeuble new-yorkais. Vous n'êtes pas sans savoir l'influence qu'exercent aujourd'hui les performers américains des années 1970
sur les chorégraphes français. Que représente pour vous cette époque ?
Je sais que certains, comme Jérôme Bel ou Alain Buffard, s'intéressent beaucoup à ces performances et y trouvent matière à de nouvelles
propositions artistiques. Personnellement, lorsque je repense à cette période, je suis très émue. C'était passionnant, très riche d'un point de
vue artistique et humain.
J'habitais déjà Soho, qui ne ressemblait pas du tout au quartier glamour ou prétendu tel d'aujourd'hui. C'était un quartier pauvre, quasi
abandonné, assez dangereux même, mais pour moi extrêmement créatif. Il n'y avait que des usines, des petits restaurants pour les
conducteurs de camions. Je me baladais en vélo avec mon fils sur le porte-bagage. Le soir, je rentrais chez moi en saluant les policiers qui
dormaient dans leur voiture.
Pour mettre au point Roof Piece, je suis allée sonner chez les gens : je leur disais que j'étais chorégraphe, que j'avais envie de danser sur le
toit. Ils me regardaient comme une bizarrerie et acceptaient. Je vivais et travaillais dans un état d'innocence totale, sans limites d'aucune
sorte, sauf celles que je donnais à mes chorégraphies. J'étais en campagne. J'avais un appétit immense, envie de réaliser tout ce dont je
rêvais. Voler par exemple, je l'ai fait à ma façon en marchant à la verticale le long des immeubles.
A l'époque, je me considérais plus comme un sculpteur que comme une chorégraphe. Je n'avais pas de soutien financier, il n'y avait pas de
lieu spécifique pour la danse qui m'invitait à présenter mes spectacles, pas de catégorie non plus parmi les artistes. Nous avons effectué des
choses dangereuses que je ne referais pas aujourd'hui. Le jour où un harnais s'est détaché, blessant légèrement un spectateur à la main, j'ai
été choquée et j'ai arrêté de concevoir des pièces dans des lieux non prévus pour cela.
Apprendre, affronter l'inconnu, inventer, résoudre des problèmes ne sont-ils pas les traits majeurs de votre parcours ?
J'aime apprendre de façon méthodique, presque pragmatique même. Si je suis parfois effrayée à mort par ce que j'entreprends, j'adore ça.
Profondément, je me pose toujours la question de ce que je ne sais pas faire et tente donc de résoudre le problème. Ma mère était professeur
d'anglais et je crois que je tiens un peu d'elle quant à la fascination de l'écriture et du langage. Je suis aussi très vigilante à ne pas me reposer
sur mon savoir-faire, répéter des gestes qui me sont devenus confortables. Je me méfie de ce qui ressemble à du déjà-vu, à ce qui pourrait
devenir mes propres clichés. Je connais très bien ma mécanique et j'ai envie d'échapper au confort qui naît d'années de pratique. Mais
maintenant, je m'amuse un peu plus qu'avant.
Que voulez-vous dire par là ?
Je ne sais pas [rires]. Ça a quelque chose à voir avec le fait que je sois une femme chorégraphe et que c'est globalement plus difficile pour
les femmes que pour les hommes. [Elle va chercher des textes sur ce sujet.] Regardez, ce sont des statistiques à propos des chorégraphes
qui présentent leurs spectacles dans différentes régions des Etats-Unis, mais aussi des articles dans les journaux consacrés à des
chorégraphes. Le nombre d'hommes qui dirigent des compagnies est disproportionné au regard de celui des femmes. C'est mon nouveau
Comment est née, en 1971, l'une de vos premières pièces chorégraphiques, Accumulation ?
La question était compliquée pour moi. Je me demandais ce que signifiait vraiment l'abstraction en danse. Le contraire de la narration, ça
c'est sûr. A partir de là, tout restait à faire. Dans le cadre des performances, la solution était trouvée à travers la progression de la chose.
Marcher sur les murs du Whitney Museum avait un début, un milieu et puis une fin. La suite, passer au stade de l'écriture, l'affaire devenait
plus délicate. [Elle se lève et commence un geste du bras droit en tournant le poignet.] J'ai commencé en répétition à faire ce mouvement très
simple que j'ai répété, puis j'ai ajouté une variation et ainsi de suite.
Le résultat a donné Accumulation. A partir de là, la complexité a grandi d'elle-même. J'ai la chance d'avoir un corps aux articulations d'une
souplesse extraordinaire. J'étais une véritable "rubber girl" [fille caoutchouc] lorsque je faisais des acrobaties enfant. J'ai pu aller dans toutes
les directions que je voulais avec mon corps.
Quel rapport entretenez-vous avec l'émotion qui, dans vos pièces, semble toujours contenue ?
Je ne suis pas du genre à exporter mes émotions. Je suis une travailleuse, une danseuse, une sorte de machine à danser et c'est dans ce
trop-plein que l'émotion apparaît. Parallèlement, je travaille sur la pureté. Vous ne pouvez évacuer en dansant votre histoire, votre mentalité,
vos blessures.
Dans la pièce Newark, il y a ce moment où je mets mes mains sur ma tête et puis j'enchaîne avec un mouvement plus abstrait. Dans cette
danse je pleure, mais j'ai voulu garder secrète cette émotion. J'ai été entièrement dévouée à l'abstraction. C'était ma passion jusqu'à l'Orfeo,
dont la découverte m'a littéralement fait pleurer d'émotion.
Après, j'ai tenté de conserver dans une pièce chorégraphique ordinaire ce que j'avais trouvé dans cet opéra. J'avais mis au point un registre
gestuel à la fois abstrait et humain, qui pour moi était réellement émotionnel.
D'un côté, par exemple, une main supportait un visage pour marquer la douleur, de l'autre le bras montrait de façon épurée le trajet du soleil.
Je n'ai pas encore tout à fait réussi à atteindre l'équilibre que je recherche, quelque chose qui a à voir avec la générosité, la chaleur. Mais ma
danse possède de l'humour, non ?
Quels liens avez-vous avec les danseurs américains ?
Depuis que nous répétons dans les quatre studios de danse, que nous louons parfois à d'autres chorégraphes, je rencontre plus souvent de
jeunes artistes, comme Susan Marschall, Vicky Shick ou le français Pascal Rioult, avec lesquels je discute de temps en temps. Mais je me
sens toujours plus proche de mes amis de la Judson Church comme Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer ou Simone Forti. On ne se voit pas
souvent mais nous sommes toujours ensemble.
Le plasticien Robert Rauschenberg vous a soutenue dès 1973, lorsque vous avez commencé à chorégraphier pour les théâtres. Sur
quelle base reposait votre complicité ?
Robert Rauschenberg me ressemble sur un point au moins : il choisit toujours un autre chemin que celui qui s'impose naturellement. Il ne
connaît pas non plus de limites dans sa façon d'imaginer les choses. C'est un tel monument, je me sens si proche de lui, notre relation est si
profonde, que je ne sais pas vraiment en parler.
Quel commentaire général feriez-vous sur vos concitoyens américains ?
La majorité des gens de ce pays sont trop dans l'émotionnel et pas assez dans la réflexion. J'ai chorégraphié deux pièces après le 11Septembre. Nous avons vécu ce drame quasiment en direct ici : nous sommes tout près du lieu. [Très émue, Trisha Brown s'arrête de parler
quelques secondes pour retenir ses larmes.]
Quand une tragédie pareille arrive dans une vie, on évolue avec elle, on fait la paix évidemment mais on ne peut l'oublier, c'est trop
profondément inscrit en soi.
J'ai créé Geometry of Quiet en 2002 en visant le gouvernement et le président Bush. J'ai tenté de mettre en scène des formes sculpturales qui
doivent se supporter les unes les autres pour continuer à exister. J'ai voulu évoquer, plutôt que la destruction de l'autre, le soutien mutuel.
La tendresse, la paix, la négociation, sont les seuls moyens qui peuvent nous sauver. Travailler à être ensemble me paraît la seule solution.
Malheureusement, ce n'est pas la voie qui a été suivie avec la guerre en Irak.
Vous êtes très proche du Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon auquel vous avez confié, depuis cinq ans, trois pièces de votre répertoire. Pour
le Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris, vous avez signé O Zlozony / O Composite, sur une musique de Laurie Anderson. Qu'avez-vous retiré de
ces rencontre avec le style classique ?
Les danseurs de l'Opéra forment une très jolie famille. Ils m'ont beaucoup aidé à obtenir ce que je cherchais à travers eux. J'aime le
vocabulaire et l'écriture et je n'ai eu de cesse de bâtir une série d'alphabets en évitant au maximum les clichés.
Ce que j'apprécie particulièrement chez les danseurs classiques, c'est leur sens très développé du partenaire. Rien à voir avec la danse
contemporaine. Dans les pas de deux, ils développent un grand équilibre pour que chacun puisse danser en toute sécurité. Lorsque nous
avons mis au point des portés compliqués, quasi acrobatiques, où la confiance envers le partenaire doit être totale pour que ça marche, ils
étaient parfaits.
J'ai adoré concevoir des solos pour les étoiles, Laurent Hilaire, Nicolas Le Riche et Aurélie Dupont. Chacun met en relief les qualités des
danseurs. Pour Aurélie, j'ai chorégraphié un solo totalement inspiré par les oiseaux. J'aime profondément les oiseaux. Lorsque j'avais 14 ans,
mon père m'emmenait à la chasse et j'en ai gardé un sentiment profond de culpabilité. Je leur dois toujours quelque chose : ma danse en tout
cas tente de leur rendre.
Propos recueillis par Rosita Boisseau
Article paru dans l'édition du 28.08.05
Danse : aux origines de Trisha Brown
LE MONDE | 17.07.08 |
La chorégraphe américaine Trisha Brown est l'invitée du festival Paris quartier d'été. AFP/JACQUES DEMARTHON
Faire d'une pierre au moins deux coups. Le 17 juillet, en achetant un billet pour voir le nouvel accrochage de la collection du Musée national
d'art moderne (Centre Pompidou), on peut aussi savourer les performances intitulées Early Works de la chorégraphe américaine Trisha
Brown. Présenté autour de midi, chaque cycle de pièces (six en moyenne), interprété par neuf danseurs, dure environ une heure trente et a
lieu sur les deux niveaux du musée jusqu'à 18 heures.
Dans le cadre du festival Paris quartier d'été, Early Works ramasse des morceaux de choix conçus par Trisha Brown au début des années
1970. Le socle de l'oeuvre de l'Américaine, âgée de 72 ans. Sérieuses (par leur rigueur appliquée) et ludiques (par leur insistance presque
enfantine), ces pièces possèdent les clefs d'une sorte d'explication du texte brownien en dévoilant aussi quelques-uns de ses motifs intimes.
Le choix des musiques donne une indication "roots" sur Trisha Brown. Bob Dylan pour Spanish Dance (1973), petite chenille de filles en train
de se déhancher, pointe l'amour de la chorégraphe pour le flamenco. La chanson country Uncle John's Band du groupe The Grateful Dead
porte les trois danseurs dans Accumulation (1971). Cette pièce reprend une matrice de quatre minutes et demie autour de quelques gestes
qui s'ajoutent les uns aux autres.
Le principe de l'accumulation régit nombre de ses travaux. Dans Group Primary Accumulation (1973), quatre interprètes allongées au sol
additionnent des mouvements en boucle. Très simple - relever le genou, plier le coude, soulever le bassin... -, cette suite de trente gestes au
final décline un alphabet qui ressemble à un réglage du corps et donne vie à tout un vocabulaire. Le rythme tranquille et toujours identique
avec lequel les danseuses exercent leur mémoire physique est représentatif de l'obstination avec laquelle Trisha Brown a remis les pendules
de la danse à zéro.
Au début des années 1970, Trisha Brown, passée par le classique, puis l'abstraction du maître Merce Cunningham, rencontre ces
championnes de l'improvisation et du geste quotidien que sont Simone Forti (née en 1935) et Anna Halprin (née en 1920). Elle creuse le filon
à sa façon. Sticks (1973) en est l'illustration. Jouant avec de longs bâtons en bois blanc, les danseurs combinent l'utile et le beau dans chacun
des mouvements : faire glisser un bout de bois le long de son crâne exige une grande précision.
La décision d'ouvrir Beaubourg à Trisha Brown est judicieuse. La partenaire d'élection de l'artiste Robert Rauschenberg (sa première scène
artistique marquante fut une exposition de Rauschenberg au Jewish Museum de New-York, en 1963) est traversée par le même inflexible
désir de relancer son art jour après jour.
Les Early Works se savourent aussi comme des installations plastiques. Dès l'entrée du musée, Floor of The Forest (1969 et 1971) met en
scène une structure en métal tendue de cordes autour desquelles sont accrochés des vêtements multicolores. Deux danseurs s'y glissent et
se suspendent comme des paresseux à leur branche. Dans l'esprit de l'oeuvre de la chorégraphe qui travailla longtemps dans les jardins newyorkais, Early Works sera présenté dans le Parc de Chamarande (Essonne), le 20 juillet. Ces pièces des années 1970 seront enfin données,
le 28 juillet, sur des radeaux glissant, sur les deux bassins du Jardin des Tuileries à Paris. Un écho subtil à la présentation de la pièce, en
1974, sur le Loring Lagoon à Minneapolis.
Early Works de Trisha Brown. Centre Pompidou, Paris-4e. Tél. : 01-44-94-98-00. Le 17 juillet, de 12 heures à 18 heures. De 9 € à 12 €. Parc de Chamarande, 38, rue du Commandanter
Arnoux, Chamarande (Essonne). Le 20 juillet, de 15 h 30 à 17 h 30. Entrée libre. Jardin des Tuileries, Paris-1 . Le 28 juillet, de 13 heures à 15 heures et de 19 heures à 21 heures. Entrée
Rosita Boisseau
August 8, 1999
Misha and Trisha, Talking Dance
THE dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and the dancer-choreographer Trisha Brown have a lifetime of dance
in common, though his has been in classical and only lately in modern, while hers has been wholly in
modern. They performed together in Ms. Brown's 1996 duet, ''You Can See Us.'' Since then, among
many projects, Ms. Brown, 62, has directed an opera, Monteverdi's ''Orfeo,'' produced a book of
drawings and presented the premiere of her latest piece, ''Five Part Weather Invention,'' a collaboration
with the composer-trumpeter Dave Douglas and the artist Terry Winters, at Jacob's Pillow. She will
perform in her own work at Lincoln Center Out of Doors on Friday.
Mr. Baryshnikov, 51 (known to all as Misha), performed in a solo program at City Center last year and
has been touring with his company, White Oak Dance Project, which he founded in 1990. White Oak,
currently comprising Mr. Baryshnikov and five women, will present a two-week season starting
Tuesday at the New Victory Theater in Manhattan and will perform works by Neil Greenberg, Amy
O'Brien, Lucy Guerin, Mark Morris, Tamasaburo Bando and Karole Armitage.
Ms. Brown and Mr. Baryshnikov met recently at her studio near Lincoln Center when he was in town
rehearsing a duet, ''Occasion Piece'' by Merce Cunningham, that he and Mr. Cunningham performed at
Lincoln Center Festival '99. The following is excerpted from a tape-recorded dialogue between Misha
and Trisha about dance, life, photography and golf.
TRISHA. -- When we danced together in ''You Can See Us,'' I marveled at how you learned the piece.
You sort of diagrammed the air with your hand, writing numbers on it sometimes. I had never seen
anyone do that. How did you work out what came first, what came next, what came third?
MISHA. -- Your dancers hang out for years, sort of like children. They learn a language and suddenly
they start to speak. You cannot teach this. It's like reaching into water for something and it goes phfffft
between your fingers. I didn't have the luxury of living four or five months with this piece; I had to
simply learn it. So I looked for a phrase that was familiar and asked, How I can chain this? What comes
next? It's frustrating, because sometimes you miss one element, and you [strikes the table, bam!] hit the
wall, you're stuck.
TRISHA. -- What about narrative, emotion, character, depiction in phrasing, which comes from your
ballet background? On this entry into abstraction, what kind of a song do you create, or do you?
MISHA. -- It has been more than 10 years since I've worked full time with narrative. Now I'm trying to
trust my body and listen to that silence, or listen to that music, and give my body a chance. I pretty much
know when I'm pushing it, when I'm forcing things to happen, because I know that the work is not quite
at the right level. Subconsciously, you can muscle it out of your body, but it comes out not to my
satisfaction. With each work -- whether by you or Merce Cunningham or Mark Morris or Twyla Tharp
or Martha Graham -- I try to decode the choreographic thought behind how it was created, its purpose.
And I ask myself, if I were in the audience, what would excite me about this dancer-person, this persondancer? Seeing perfect execution is not enough; you have to be a bit of a voyeur and try to find some
secrets about this person who is dancing.
As a dancer, I am instinctively saying what I can say. I'm always trying to do justice to the piece as a
messenger, interpreter. I work hard to make the material what the choreographer wants. There comes a
moment in the final couple of days when you ask, What is the actual intent here? Then a few seconds
before the curtain, and you're nervous. All the insecurity and fear melts in the excitement, and you know
finally what this piece is about.
TRISHA. -- It's interesting that you look for the purpose of the material. I'm very curious about narrative
now. I just did an opera where, in movement, gesture and action, I had to depict a story. And the one
thing I knew to do, since I knew nothing about it, was to ask, Who is this character? And what is he
doing? And then I could go right to the root of what I had to show. I wonder if that works for you?
MISHA. -- Maybe not for each abstract phrase, but the overall intent. I'm not trying to act out every
phrase by any means. But sometimes there's a mystery about it that gives it a strange kind of bouquet,
and your body language is affected whether you want it to be or not, and that makes it more interesting.
TRISHA. -- Preparing to dance with Merce Cunningham in his ''Occasion Piece,'' did he make the
shapes and the phrasing on a computer, out of his head, or on you?
MISHA. -- I had dinner with him a few months ago, and he said he was already working on my part on
the computer. I think he takes notes from the computer and he arrives at rehearsal with the material that
he intends to set that day. He works pretty fast, probably 8, 10 days to make an 8- to 9-minute piece. He
did his homework, I'll tell you. With Merce there is no confusion or trying this or that. No, no, it's this
way exactly. Very precise. He knew what he wanted and exactly where I would go in space, because, of
course, he knew the position of the Duchamp set by heart. When he works, he works nonstop and very
concentrated for several hours.
TRISHA. -- What about his part?
MISHA. -- He's putting himself in the piece tomorrow. It's like two solos that we're dancing together. I
can make certain decisions about what I'm doing, within his basic vocabulary, as long as I arrive right on
TRISHA. -- What does it feel like to you physically to dance one of Merce's pieces?
MISHA. -- I rehearsed a couple of his pieces when I was with American Ballet Theater, and I took some
of his technique classes. And it's tough on my body. But I forgot how much it hurts. Because I'm kind of
very solid in my torso, you know, in a way we are trained in classical dance. So when he asks for extra
curves and twists, my body screams.
I'm kind of used to it now, but it takes an extra amount of stretching and really forcing myself. But in
this case the pain is a pleasure. When he asked me to perform with him, I was so flattered, but I said,
''Merce, you understand that I can't do certain things. You know, I cannot squat because of my many
knee operations, and I cannot just leap up and down and all that.'' He said, ''No, no, no.'' He said, ''I saw
you dance last year at City Center and at St. Mark's Church and I know exactly what you can do, and I
will never force you to do anything that would hurt you.'' And, indeed, he understood what I could do,
and yet he also posed physical challenges for me.
TRISHA. -- Diabolical?
MISHA. -- Exactly. You know, I first saw Merce dance maybe 25 years ago. This means he was in his
mid-50's, and he was still amazing. He did all the floor and all the aerial, and he was much older than I
am now, and in much better shape.
TRISHA. -- It was an illusion.
MISHA. -- No, no, it was not.
TRISHA. -- I think you do more for modern dance than anyone else in the country. You present it, you
produce it, you introduce a wide public audience to young choreographers and to choreographers in
modern dance in general, which validates it and gives prestige to the choreographers. I know that also
you take the proceeds from some performances and contribute them to another not-for-profit
organization, like a dance foundation or children with AIDS. I don't think people know about it.
MISHA. -- They don't have to. It's good when there is a certain human purpose behind something you
do or commission, when those things are connected. It would be fun to spend a few million dollars to
commission a few things to a few people, if somebody would give it to me. And I have some ideas.
TRISHA. -- What is the organizational model of White Oak? How is it different from traditional modern
dance companies?
MISHA. -- I think it's organized anarchy.
TRISHA. -- And you get away with it?
MISHA. -- Most of the time. Most of the time.
TRISHA. -- Can you describe it?
MISHA. -- First of all, we don't have long-term plans. Which is a nightmare for our presenters and for
theaters where we want to dance. As you know, when you run a company you have to know what you'll
do a year from now. And we don't know. Right now we're putting together November.
TRISHA. -- I'm scheduled through 2002!
MISHA. -- I know we are going to Europe. But we have no concrete plans for January and February yet,
because that gives us freedom; if something interesting comes up, we can switch to that project. I would
probably slash my wrists if I had to decide now where and what to dance a year from now.
TRISHA. -- How do you make choices about what you and the company will dance? We have ethnic
diversity in modern dance, but we don't have esthetic diversity so well established. And we tend to
lionize one great choreographer in both ballet and modern as well. This is the Christian system, you
know: there's only one way. But I see you as a questing spirit. You choose choreographers from across
the spectrum. They are all sorts -- young, midcareer established, masters, unknown, commissioned,
repertory, new work . . .
MISHA. -- Well, because I didn't grow up in this country, when I started to dance, we knew there were
three important American women: Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis and Martha Graham, the three
giantesses of the contemporary movement. And nothing else.
After I arrived in the States, I started to see everything. But for me, watching an evening was a strange
experience, my mind was split in two. I was trying to figure out who were these people and how they
were dancing and what was the genesis of their movement. I never saw anything like it. I was so
hypnotized by the dancing that it took me a few years to separate the dancing from the choreography and
to gain enough mental stamina to appreciate the evening over all.
Some things were easier than others. For example, a Graham was easier for me because it had a
narrative, and that was familiar, although it was in a very esoteric language. But ''Appalachian Spring'' is
''Appalachian Spring'' and I knew the story. But with people like you and Merce or Lucinda Childs, I just
ask-- -TRISHA. -- What is this?
MISHA. -- Yeah. I was totally mesmerized by the way those dancers were and how they looked -- how
plain a body can be, and how beautiful at the same time. At that moment I said I want to do this at some
TRISHA. -- You've already had a long career with many facets to it: a celebrity for 25 years since
defecting from the Soviet Union, a career in classical dance with American Ballet Theater and New
York City Ballet, the artistic directorship of A.B.T., the formation of White Oak. And then there's the
physical difficulty that you deal with -- the pain from your surgery and the brain space that takes on a
daily basis, especially when you're dancing. Do you ever wonder, ''How can I deal with all this?'' There's
your talent, and this huge construction has been built around your talent. Do you think about that?
MISHA. -- I think I'm fortunate to know so many truly remarkable people. And I learned so much from
them, and even those who didn't become close friends shared a kind of intense sort of creative process,
no matter how successful it was. I've had my share of duds, but every experience was extraordinary.
TRISHA. -- I don't feel I can have a dud. If I don't make a good choreography, I think I'll be dismissed.
MISHA. -- Oh, I was in quite a few.
TRISHA. -- It gets easy?
MISHA. -- No, not easy. Especially when you work in a big company, unlike White Oak, and have to
dance one piece until the season is over, sometimes for years. And your heart is not quite there. And you
have to really discipline yourself.
TRISHA. -- How do you think we keep going? Are we obsessed?
MISHA. -- We do it because there's nothing better to do. I'm serious. Because there's nothing more
exciting than that. Life is so boring, that's why we are so driven to that mystery of creation. Nothing is
better than those few minutes before the premiere when the stage opens, and you put yourself on the
spot [sighs].
TRISHA. -- The intrigue of finding your way through making a new piece, the total newness of it, the
unknown-ness of it, the dedication of all the people around . . . It was really wonderful when my
company started performing ''Five Part Weather Invention'' at Jacob's Pillow a few weeks ago. The
musicians were improvising, though certain internal things were precooked -- there was a score. They're
looking at the dancers going fast and hard and all this richness is coming out, and they get excited
because there is a deep collaboration happening between the dancers and the musicians. A miracle.
Another miracle, Misha.
MISHA. -- It is moving, it is moving. And sometimes everyday life becomes very laborious vis-a-vis the
experience of being part of the creative process. But of course both are worth it.
TRISHA. -- In my case I'm asked now, ''Are you still dancing?'' And my answer is, ''Well, I danced two
weeks ago, so you could say I'm in early retirement.'' Or, ''I'm dancing at Lincoln Center on Aug. 13, so I
know that I'm dancing at least until the 14th.'' But that kind of tenuous relationship to one of the things I
do best is very frightening to me. And I wonder if you deal with that?
MISHA. -- Sometimes, over morning coffee, I ask myself how long it will all last. I'm not a
choreographer, so do I still want to be part of the stage experience when I'm no longer a performer?
TRISHA. -- How do you deal with that predator, fame?
MISHA. -- The press has been really kind to me in terms of leaving me alone as just a human being. I
accept certain realities of the public interest, but how I live, my private life, I wouldn't tell them anyway.
I really live a boring bourgeois existence. I have a few small hobbies, but I'm particularly trying to be a
good dad. My biggest fear is that I'm not being good enough. I worship my children and my family, and
try to be 100 percent a father, but it's just not enough for me.
I remember somebody said people in art shouldn't have children. I agree and disagree; we are very
selfish animals. Stanislavsky said that art needs sacrifice. Yes, but the sacrifice falls on the shoulders of
spouses, lovers, husbands, everybody around. But the person who is the artist actually doesn't feel that
way. And sometimes, when the children start to call me Mommy, I realize that I'm away from home too
Of course, I am not an orthodox parent -- Lisa [his wife] is an angel mother. She's phenomenal and I
adore her. She gives our family its structure. I have four children, the oldest is 18, the youngest one is 5.
I worry that my children don't have enough experience in art. They kind of, like every young person in
this country, get attached to a television.
TRISHA. -- Can you take the passion and intelligence that has informed you about one art form and
transfer it to another discipline, like photography?
MISHA. -- Well, it's one of my small hobbies. I hit on photography because I cannot draw, I cannot play
instruments [Trisha mimes playing a piano] well, a little bit. That's about it. I took up photography
probably 15 years ago. I do it on a very, very small scale; one picture out of 10 rolls is working. I
photograph my children a lot and my friends. I have a little Nikon and a nice Leica, and they are my
companions. On trips I make sure to go out alone and take photographs.
When I was in my teens, I took all these magazines, you know, Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, and I saw
the photographs of Alexey Brodovitch, a very famous art director and photographer. Irving Penn was
and still is my idol. And the first Magnum photographers. I got to know the work of Eve Arnold and
Richard Avedon. All these photographers were such romantic figures; they gave this life to the images,
which is such an extraordinary kind of noble and quiet work in solitude. And there is, of course, chance
and there is a lot of craft involved, and the result is you have a moment in history, and a moment in
people's lives.
TRISHA. -- Do you like the fact that it's a form of solitude?
MISHA. -- Of course. I always thought it would be nice to be a writer or something. Too bad I cannot
write. It's nice to be an artist. Too bad I cannot draw. I can't do what you do, when you're ready to draw,
you can go to your studio and do it. You are a person who creates all the time. I think about the
interpretation of a piece, but I'm not a choreographer.
TRISHA. -- I have so little time to draw, but I love it very much. So, it's curious.
MISHA. -- That's probably sort of where I was when I took up golf 10, 15 years ago. I'm a very high
handicapper, like 15, 16. Sometimes I go at 6 or 7 in the evening to the golf course and hit golf balls. I'll
hit 20 badly and two really well. These two, in a certain way, clean up something in you. There's a
certain feeling of perfection, and it's not that hard. I mean, certain things could be figured out in life by
hook or by slice, you know? So to speak, in golf terms.
TRISHA. -- Do you ever think to yourself -- and this has happened to me -- I have this amazing body
that's become an art machine, an art object that, well, it's almost like it's not mine.
MISHA. -- Funny, I never felt that, because I have always had a complex about my body, because, until
I was 16, 17, I was very short. I was really working hard on my classical technique, and I thought why
all this work? I wouldn't be able to dance those dances anyway because I would be too short. I was
scared that I would be 5-5 or 5-4, and that would be at the end of it. The only thing would be character
roles. And I looked in the mirror and said, yecch.
I'm not extremely tall now. That's why I have problems with my knees. Because I was really pushing;
because my hips were kind of tight, square. And I was pushing my knees to extend, you know. And I
had hurt myself enough when I was in my teens -- 12, 13, 14, 15 -- that I just didn't look and say, oh,
how beautifully I dance. My turnout was not enough. My extension was not. I was really strong, because
I participated in sports. I played soccer. I took gymnastics. And I was in a way more coordinated and
stronger than my classmates. But my body was not perfect for ballet.
TRISHA. -- But how do you feel now? Because you are at the top of the dance field.
MISHA. -- Now I think I look weird, too, for modern dance; I'm not beefy enough. Traditionally,
modern dance is based on big men -- Jose Limon, say, and Paul Taylor and Merce. But I'm grateful that
my body is still there and still allows me to do things. I get a bit panicked when when I get hurt. I hate to
cancel performances, and for years I haven't. But it's scary.
TRISHA. -- How do you deal with that?
MISHA. -- I have a wonderful physiotherapist who works with me every day. When I perform, it's a
minimum of three hours on the table.
TRISHA. -- It's a lot.
MISHA, -- Well, of course, I use the time to read.
TRISHA. -- Do you have to change the way you're dancing to avoid the injured zones?
MISHA. -- The choreographers I work with pretty much know what I can do, that octave that I can go
up and down. And in that area I am 100 percent. I can do anything.
But maybe one day my body will shut down and say I cannot. This means the work may be more
experimental, maybe with the spoken word, maybe just with movement. I would like to do something
with Richard Forman, perhaps work again with David Gordon and, of course, have a second chance to
collaborate with you. I think I can contribute something, and it doesn't have to be dance dance. There are
a lot of things I still have to discover, and I'm happy that this urge is still there.