Visiting Artist Response: Trisha Brown
My Visiting Artist Response is done on Trisha Brown, one of the most important modern dance pioneer, dancer, choreographer, and artist. She is one of the artists that was most noticed during the postmodern era alongside with other famous choreographer such as Yvonne Rainer and Steve Paxton, and is considered one of the experimental choreographers who showcased her work in the emerging Judson Group. Her fascination with the limits of her body and use of different spaces and defying and cooperating with gravity, led to her many unique creations that to this day stands out in the dance world.
This year in the dance world in the Twin Cities, it is hailed as the Year of Trisha, with a reconstruction of Set and Reset/Reset by the University of Minnesota dance students that summarizes the classic Trisha Brown movement vocabulary, live drawing performance by Trisha herself of So the Audience Does Not Know When I Have Stopped Dancing, the reconstruction of Planes exhibition at the walker that runs through July 20, and a performance by the Trisha Brown Dance Company at the Northrop Auditorium on University of Minnesota campus.
Currently I’m a part of her reconstruction Planes that is at exhibition at the Walker Art and I had the opportunity to meet her and rehearse with her. Although she is not known as a visual artists, she has collaborated with many, and Planes in particular is a multi-media live performance exhibition that will interest different spectrum of artists. The installation consists of a 20 ft tall wall with holes the size of a person’ hand located all over the fall. Each performance includes 3 performers that move at the speed of tai chi, which combined with the video projection of aerial view of cities and images that give discombobulated feel to the viewer. The performers wear a two panel colored jumpsuit which depending on which side the performers are climbing on the wall, will either blend in with the wall, or stand out of the wall giving a tumbling sensation to any gazer’s eye.
The installation was a progressive one, first with the experimentation of the body at a vertical wall, that led to images of climbers rolling on plane, to a falling image that is enhanced with the visual projection. The piece being 17 minutes long, it is exhausting as a performer. Because as a dancer I am used to going with or against gravity, to appear as though gravity does not exist was a new challenge. Rather than when letting a limb go on the wall, it is important not to immediately let gravity take over, but to pretend as if you were in space yourself, hence when I let go an arm, dropping it vertically would ruin the illusion.
I have several opportunities to watch the installation myself and the illusion that the art piece was able to project was pretty amazing.