|Opal Loop / Cloud Installation #72503 -- photo (c) Babette Mangolte 1980|
Health Troubles Cause Trisha Brown to Leave Her Dance Company
by Daniel J. Wakin, The New York Times, January 31, 2013
Official release on the Trisha Brown Dance Company's future plans
“Proscenium Works, 1979-2011” Tour Kicks off at BAM; TBDC will Pioneer New Model for Presenting Choreographic Works of ArtTrisha Brown Dance Company Web site
New York, NY, January 31, 2013— Trisha Brown Dance Company (TBDC) today announced plans for the future course of the company and of Trisha Brown’s oeuvre.
TBDC’s plan offers a new vision for extending the life of a single-artist dance company. It includes the Board’s plans for artistic succession; a farewell tour of works made for the stage, seen one last time in their original context; the company’s plans for the ongoing presentation of Brown’s masterworks in both site-specific and museum contexts; and the preservation of Brown’s papers, film and video archive, sets, and costumes.
“As we considered how to keep Trisha’s work alive in the world, we were compelled to ask, ‘How can we innovate in a way that is worthy of a revolutionary artist like Trisha?’” said Kirk Radke, President of the TBDC Board. “We had to find a new model: one that honors Trisha’s spirit, her playfulness, her continual rethinking of her work, her stature as a visual artist. This plan does that. It is a bold reimagining of how the public experiences the work of a great choreographer.”
As previously announced, Brown has choreographed her last two works for the company. Effective February 1, 2013 she will take the title of Founding Artistic Director and Choreographer. Brown has named Diane Madden and Carolyn Lucas as Associate Artistic Directors.
“Diane and Carolyn have worked with Trisha since 1980 and 1984, respectively,” said Barbara Dufty, Executive Director of TBDC. “They are the ideal people to reconstruct Trisha’s work for the tour and to repurpose her works for life beyond the stage. As we move into our next phase, they provide continuity and impassioned leadership for the company.”
The company kicks off its three-year, international “Proscenium Works, 1979-2011” tour with its 2013 BAM season (January 30-February 2). The tour will showcase Brown’s major stage works for one final time in the proscenium format, complete with the significant components created by Brown’s collaborators including Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Judd, Laurie Anderson, Terry Winters, Elizabeth Murray, Nancy Graves and others.
In April 2013, as part of the tour, the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA will present “Trisha Brown: The Retrospective Project,” engaging numerous platforms to explore Brown’s past and current work. The project includes site-specific works (Roof Piece at the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Getty Center, Floor of the Forest at the Hammer Museum, Man Walking Down the Side of a Building, location TBA); eight proscenium choreographies; the innovative use of archival materials; and dancer-to-dancer education programs. Collaborating with the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Hammer Museum, local performers and several university entities, the CAP UCLA project exemplifies the potential for the dynamic interplay of Brown’s seminal works and methodology within public and museum settings.
In 2015, TBDC will shift toward a new model of presentation. The artistic team will create a blueprint for institutions to present TBDC in a highly curated, interactive context. Non-proscenium-based performances, screenings, dance education, exhibitions, and dialogues will be programmed with the goal of engaging a broader audience than the theatrical dance audience alone. Museums and institutions will extend Brown’s legacy as a choreographer and visual artist. Institutional partners for TBDC’s next phase will be announced in late 2013.
“The visual art world has long had a model for sharing its master works with the public—and for re-engaging with those works, investigating them anew, so that they remain vital,” said Diane Madden. “We hope to forge a similar model for choreographic works. Given her profound connection to the visual arts, Trisha is at the very forefront of this approach, as well she should be. Her work in particular can be curated in much the same way as a visual art exhibition, with the goal of engaging and educating the public on how to see the work’s contexts and influences.”
As the new artistic team, Madden and Lucas will program and reconstruct Brown’s works for the “Proscenium Works, 1979-2011” tour. In dialogue with other artists and institutions, they will also re-imagine and re-position Brown’s choreographies in site-specific and non-proscenium spaces. They will undertake the necessary and exciting work of gradually transforming the company from a dance-creation and touring company to the integral source for carrying Brown’s legacy forward—as dancers, historians, interpreters, curators, and educators.
The artistic team will also oversee the preservation and utilization of TBDC’s vast archive. Since the early 1980s, Brown has documented every step in her creative process on video; this archive will provide an abundance of material for curators. The archive includes sets, costumes, and scores by some of the pre-eminent artists of the era as well as Brown’s notebooks and sketchbooks.
In addition, TBDC will also channel select archival materials into an interactive online media library. Significant funding has already been secured for this project. To be curated in the style of a museum exhibition, the media archive’s express purpose is to engage users in creative dialogue with the work in yet another non-theatrical space.
“Throughout her career, Trisha has been very concerned about space,” said Carolyn Lucas. “She has continually questioned the conventions she feels are ‘hanging all over a theater space.’ It’s going to be incredibly exciting to start taking these works outdoors and into galleries—and very true to Trisha.”