Trisha Brown Dance Company (US)

Early Works

Tanz im August

Trisha Brown became a protagonist of postmodern dance with her dance miniatures. One goal of her minimalist works from the early 1970s onward was to create pure motion – neutral, free of associations, neither purpose-oriented nor pantomimic. Beginning with a simple rule and its adaptation, her "Early Works" develop complex structures, motion sequences that grasp the body as a kinetic sculpture moving through space. Before Trisha Brown’s return to the more conventional performance context of the theatre, her works were presented in museums and galleries. But despite the echoes of White Cube, Formalism, and Abstraction, there was always room for humour in her work. The performers in "Spanish Dance" (1976) raise their arms like they might be flamenco dancers, but instead of displaying their virtuosity they shuffle, with tiny steps, into line, their facial expressions stoic. In "Accumulation" (1971) a new gesture is added to a motion sequence each time it is repeated, as in a game of "I Packed My Suitcase", while in "Sticks" (1973) the dancers simply balance a stick on their heads without fanfare. Trisha Brown’s "Early Works" offers a selective re-encounter with iconic works of dance history – and with one of the choreographers who shaped its progress.

Trisha Brown Dance Company Dancers are Neal Beasley, Tara Lorenzen, Megan Madorin, Diane Madden, Leah Morrison, Tamara Riewe, Stuart Shugg, Nick Strafaccia and Samuel Wentz.
Made possible by National Endowment for the Arts,  American Masterpiece: Dance initiative, administrated by The New England Foundation for the Arts

Locus (1975)

Premiere: 541 Broadway, New York City, April 6, 1975

Original Cast: Trisha Brown, Elizabeth Garren, Judith Ragir, Mona Sulzman

Length: 18 minutes

Sound: Ambient, environmental

Group Primary Accumulation  with movers (1973)

Premiere: Spring Dance Festival, sunken plaza of McGraw-Hill Building, New York City, May 16, 1973

Original Cast: Trisha Brown, Carmen Beuchat, Caroline Goddenn, Sylvia Palacios; carriers: Douglas Dunn and David Gordon

Length: 20-30 Minutes

Sound: Ambient, environmental

Scallops (1973)

Premiere: Festival d’Automne, Musee Gallera, Paris, France October 6, 1973

Original Cast: Trisha Brown, Carmen Beuchat, Caroline Goodden, Sylvia Palacios

Length: 10 minutes

Sticks (1973)

Length: 3-10 minutes

4 Variations of this Piece

Accumulation (1971)

Premiere: New York University, New York City, October 22, 1971

Original Cast: Trisha Brown

Performer: Leah Morrison

Length: 4 ½ minutes

Sound: The Greatful Dead, "Uncle John’s Band"

Spanish Dance (1973)

Premiere: Sonnabend Gallery (420 West Broadway), New York City, March 27, 1973

Original Cast: Trisha Brown, Carmen Beuchat, Caroline Goodden, Sylvia Palacios, and Penelope

Performers: Tara Lorenzen, Megan Madorin, Leah Morrison, Tamara Riewe and Diane Madden

Sound: "Early Morning Rain", written by Gordon Lightfoot and performed by Bob Dylan

Leaning Duets (1970)

Premiere: In and Around 80 Wooster Street, New York City, April 18, 1970

Original Cast: Trisha Brown, Jared Bark, Carmen Beuchat, Ben Dolphin, Caroline Goodden, Richard Nonas, Patsy Novell, Lincoln Scott, Kei Takei, Unknown

Length: Variable

Sound: "Verbal instructions about balance, give and take of weight, and imminent danger".

Equipment: Rope devices with handles

Leaning Duets II (1971)

Premiere: The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, March 30, 1971

Original Cast: Trisha Brown, Carole Berman, Carmen Beuchat, Victor Brocapas, Ben Dolphin, Mark Gabor, Caroline Godden, Susan Harris, Mike Howard, Jon Kalina, Ginger Michels, Richard Nonas, Leslie Orr, Darby Ortolano, Fernando Torm, and four Unknown Dancers

Length: Variable

Sound: Some dialogue between the pairs of dancers to maintain balance

Equipment: Wooden back supports attached to ropes

Figure 8 (1974)

Premiere: Contemporanea Festival, Rome, January 2, 1974

Original Cast: Carmen Bauchat, Trisha Brown, Caroline Goodden, Sylvia Whitman

Length: 2 minutes

Sound: Metronome

Corners Duet / Excerpt from Line Up

Premiere: Festival Musicales de la Sainte Baume, Aix-en-Provence, France, August 1, 1976

Original Cast: Trisha Brown, Elizabeth Garren, Terry O'Reilly, Steve Paxton, Wendy Perron, Judith Ragir, Mona Sulzman

Duration: 60 minutes

Trailer: Choy Ka Fai


A project by: Trisha Brown


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