Trisha Brown

With the founding of the Trisha Brown Dance Company in 1970, Trisha Brown (1936–2017) set off on her own distinctive path of artistic investigation and ceaseless experimentation, which extended for forty years. The creator of over 100 choreographies, six operas, and a graphic artist, whose drawings have earned recognition in numerous museum exhibitions and collections, Brown’s earliest works took impetus from the cityscape of downtown SoHo, where she was a pioneering settler. In the 1970s, as Brown strove to invent an original abstract movement language – one of her singular achievements – it was art galleries, museums and international exhibitions that provided her work its most important presentation context. A major turning point in Brown’s career occurred in 1979, when she transitioned from working in non-traditional and art world settings to assume the role of a choreographer working within the institutional framework associated with dancing – the proscenium stage.

In her lifetime, Trisha Brown was the recipient of nearly every award available to contemporary choreographers. The first woman to receive the coveted MacArthur “Genius” Grant (in 1991). In 1999, she received the New York State Governor’s Arts Award and, in 2003, was honored with the National Medal of Arts. In 2004, France nominated her with the award of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres. She has received numerous honorary doctorates, is an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was awarded the 2011 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Lifetime Achievement Award.

Today the Trisha Brown Dance Company continues to perpetuate Brown’s legacy through several different initiatives. With “Trisha Brown: In Plain Site” initiative, the company draws on Brown’s model for reinvigorating her choreography through its re-siting in relation to new contexts that include outdoor sites, and museum settings and collections. The company is also involved in an ongoing process of reconstructing and remounting major works that Brown created for the proscenium stage between 1979 and 2011. Alongside these initiatives, the company has begun commissioning new works to be set on the company. This shift in programming seeks to honor Browns groundbreaking spirit of innovations by placing her choreography in direct dialogue with a new generation of artists.

As of: February 2024

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