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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In Context: Trisha Brown Dance Company

The Trisha Brown Dance Company comes to BAM January 28—30 with Set and Reset, PRESENT TENSE and Newark (Niweweorce). Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of articles and videos related to the show. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought below and by posting on social media using #TrishaBrown.

Program Notes

Trisha Brown Dance Company (PDF)


Dance, Valiant & Molecular (BAM blog)
"On the surface, Trisha Brown’s proscenium dances are kinetically intriguing and relatable, formed of waves of roiling, fluid phrases. But dig down, and the intellectual rigor and self-imposed rules factoring into their creation reveal Brown’s fascinating thought processes..."

“Step-By-Step Guide to Dance: Trisha Brown” (The Guardian)
Particle vs. wave dance. Addition and multiplication dance. Get to know the many sides of Trisha Brown.

“Misha and Trisha, Talking Dance” (The New York Times)
Trisha Brown and Mikhail Baryshnikov trade stories about dance, photography, and golf.

Trisha Brown and Yvonne Rainer (BOMB)
“I am well aware there is more to dance than elegant vocabulary,” says Brown. “It ain’t ‘boy meets girl to music’”

Watch & Listen

Trisha Brown Informance (YouTube)
Brown discusses notions of invisibility and geometry in Set and Reset.

Insight: On Trisha Brown’s Set and Reset (YouTube)
Brown’s work is based on five instructions: line up, play with visibility, travel the edge of the space, act on instinct, and keep it simple.

Pioneers of the Downtown Scene: Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown, and Gordon Matta-Clark (YouTube)
A portrait of innovation in 1970s New York.

Worthwhile Words

“I obscure, erase, ride over gestures […] I retain a modicum of privacy while on full view in performance by purposely complicating an uncanny moment, feeling certain the audience can’t see it all.”—Trisha Brown

Now your turn...

What did you think? What’s most iconic about the icon? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #TrishaBrown.


  1. An excellent performance; now if only BAM would install comfortable seats for 21st Century audiences to sit in, it would all be perfect.

  2. Brilliant! Astonishing! Wonderful!

  3. Trisha Brown's choreography never fails to induce awe and wonder.

  4. 1. Foxed and foxy--vintage and voluptuous -- my second favorite
    2. Tinker toyful ingenious--melting crayons --my favorite
    3. I'd had enough. Clearly the bronze in an olympic field

    Act 2 blew me away.

  5. Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow. Gushing. Gotta stop. Sorry. But it's Trisha Brown Dance Company! Surely you understand? I attended their performance Friday evening, and I have been savoring it ever since. Her choreography never gets stale. It thrills me. Several months back, I made a comment on my blog about a dance company, saying that had there been more precision in certain places, it would have elevated the performance. Trisha Brown's dancers have elevated the art of nonchalant precision to the point that even their curtain calls are a pleasure to watch. I have seen them dance many times, so the program was not new to me. The pairings of experimental music/visual artists is always exciting. Last night it was Newark (Niweweorce) that spoke to me the most: Donald Judd's walls of color and heavy, intermittent tones were a physical presence -- offsetting the perfectly formed movements of the dancers, who were themselves almost sculptural. I am excited to see where the company goes next. The idea of site specific dance performances intrigues me, but I will always have a weak spot for their proscenium pieces too. I appreciated the Member Mingle before the performance. It was a super chance to chat with BAM staff and fellow members. It also bears noting that my first ever BAM performance was in 1996. I had just moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn, and a dance friend invited me to Trisha Brown at 25: Postmodern and Beyond. I had never seen the dance company perform, and BAM had not previously been on my radar. I have been hooked on both ever since!

  6. Yes. As each piece played out, this is the word that repeatedly comes to mind. Everything in Trisha Brown is alright with the world. And these dancers, they care too. They don't look like they're trying - it's effortless construction and delivery. I only wish they could have done three different programs, I would've gone to all three. What luck we have to be near this institution to be able to see companies like this. BAM, did you notice how packed it was? How you had to hold off the start of the show to get everyone in? Your patrons are clamoring for this. Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Mark Morris, Robert Swinston, Jessica Lang, Pina's Tanztheater, Annie B-Parson, Martha Graham - if you build the program, we will come. And this: the opera house is wonderful for these masters, but we're willing to go where you'll have them. Flood the season with great dance, and we will absorb. But back to this. TBDC should be proud, and I'm glad I and my fellow audience members nearly wouldn't let them leave with all of our applause.

  7. I was very disappointed in the so called performance. Trish Brown should hide her head in calling the performance DANCE. It was nothing more than an watching my children exercise in school yard. I really didn't now that sitting and laying on the stage for long periods on time is referred to as "Dance". Also the annoying sounds in the last set "Newark" reminded me of "This is an emergency broadcast, stay tuned for an message from your broadcaster".
    I have seen Trish Brown many times and I wish that I didn't see her last evening.

  8. My wife and I were very disappointed. The dancers were fine, but the dances were not. Let me count some of the ways. The video projection in the first piece seemed entirely irrelevant and quite uninteresting. I suppose that was the point, though I fail to see what it achieved. As the screens rose from the stage, overhanging the dancers, I thought it was strange, and actually insulting to the dancers, to distract the audience's focus from the stage to the ceiling. Perhaps worse, the choreography was initially interesting, but soon became repetitive and oddly unemotional. It just didn't go anywhere. Finally the so-called music in the 3rd piece was truly dreadful. It was reminiscent of an MRI. When, on occasion, it paused, the relief was palpable. Unfortunately it returned, again and again. We've liked this company in the past. Not this time.


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