Lucinda Childs

World premiere: 11 November 1979, Brooklyn Academy of Music

Two dancers on an empty stage. A projection of the two dancers in the background.

Dance © Sally Cohn

Simple, almost sparse movements – fluid and highly dynamic, with countless repetitions and variations – characterise “Dance”. This piece by choreographer Lucinda Childs premiered in 1979 and amalgamates dance, music by Philip Glass and projections by Sol LeWitt into a meditative rapture.

“Dance” is considered to be the central work in the oeuvre of American choreographer and dancer Lucinda Childs. Premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1979, the production has been touring internationally ever since. Childs combines the exploration of pure dance in its physical essence, with no thematic focus, and its manifestation in a reduced movement vocabulary of quick runs, jumps and turns with the minimalist, forward-driving music of Philip Glass. Projections by Sol LeWitt redouble, magnifiy, condense and comment on both bodies and movement. 

In 2009, Lucinda Childs reconstructed the piece with her rejuvenated ensemble. Since then, “Dance” presents an encounter between the original ensemble, including Lucinda Childs herself, on screen and the dancers of the current company on stage – creating an exciting performative dialogue. Past and present of “Dance” and its protagonists merge, telling the story of the work’s history and continuing to write it. The central point and culmination is a powerful, highly focused solo that used to be danced by Lucinda Childs. It interrupts the fast-paced, even relentlessly driving element of the choreography for a short moment only, before it continues in its rapture. 

Lucinda Childs was born in New York City in 1940. In 1963, she began her career as a dancer, choreographer and co-founder of the Judson Dance Theater in New York. Ten years later, in 1973, she founded her own company, for which she has created more than 50 works so far. She forged long-standing partnerships with artists like Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Sol LeWitt, John Adams and Frank Gehry. She was introduced to the Berlin audience through Nele Hertling’s work at the Academy of the Arts. Since 1980, Lucinda Childs has been directing and choreographing works at major opera houses and for ballet companies such as the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris, the Bavarian State Ballet, the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Los Angeles Opera or the Opéra national du Rhin. She has received numerous awards and distinctions: She was declared a Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and received the Gold Lion at the 2017 Dance Biennale in Venice as well as the 2022 Dance Magazine Award. 

A production of The Blanket.
With the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels.

“Dance”, originally choreographed in 1979, was reconstructed in 2009 with a commission from the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, and additional support from The Yard, a platform for performing artists on Martha’s Vineyard. “Dance” by Lucinda Childs was made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts’ American Masterpieces: Dance initiative, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts. The 2009 reconstruction was produced and represented by Pomegranate Arts and it toured globally until 2018.
The Blanket extends a special thank you to the incredible team at Pomegranate Arts for their vision and commitment to Lucinda Childs, her company, and this work over the past 12 years.