When An Artist’s Newest Works Are Her Last. . .

(L to R): Stuart Shugg, Nicholas Strafaccia, Neal Beasely, and Samuel Wentz. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

On Thursday, January 31, the second day of the Trisha Brown Dance Company’s season at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, it was announced that Brown, because of health problems, had retired as artistic director of the company she founded over forty years ago, and would choreograph no more dances. Consider these words bordered in black—mourning for the works she might have continued to give … [Read more...]

Dancing around the Bride

Dancing Cunningham, October 26. Front (L to R): Melissa Toogood, John Hinrichs, Emma Desjardins. Rear: Marcie Munnerlyn, Brandon Collwes. Photo: Constance Mensh

“May I have the next dance, Marcel?”  “But of course, John!”  “Thank you. By the way, Bob and Jap hope to have a chance too. Merce, of course, is already leaping about somewhere.”  Dancing around the Bride: Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg and Duchamp, the stunning exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (through January 21), affirms the close artistic and personal connections among John … [Read more...]

Re Winterbranch: The Comment That Grew

Winterbranch in 1971 performance. Carolyn Brown leaping. Photo: James Klosty

If you happened to read “East to West to East,” my Arts Journal response to Benjamin Millepied’s new company, L.A. Dance Project, soon after I posted it on October 29 (which was shortly before I lost power and connectivity), you will find some small but crucial changes in the early November updates. They occur in my passage about the lighting for the group’s staging of Merce Cunningham’s 1964 … [Read more...]

East to West to East

(L to R) Nathan Makolandra, Morgan Lugo, and (aloft) Charlie Hodges in Benjamin Millepied's Moving Parts. Photo: Stephanie Berger

A choreographer who has just formed his own small company must be very, very brave to make Merce Cunningham’s 1964 Winterbranch the centerpiece of its debut program. Benjamin Millepied is certifiably brave. Starting a group in Los Angeles and naming it the L.A. Dance Project is already adventurous. I’m an Angeleno by birth, with the scent of eucalyptus and Pacific salt air embedded in my … [Read more...]

Forty Years of Magical Thinking

Building a Bower: Les Yeux et l'âme. Photo: Deen van Meer

Labels like “ordinary” and “everyday” have often been pasted onto Trisha Brown’s movement, especially when someone is alluding to her early work as a member of the iconoclastic Judson Dance Theater. But when has anything she’s ever made been ordinary? Walking may be ordinary, but getting a dancer (to whom she was married at the time) to walk down the side of a very tall building is not your usual … [Read more...]