Remembering Trisha Brown (1936-2017)
March 21, 2017
Dear dear Judy,
Every fleeting, unexpected, luminous movement brings Trisha to my heart and mind…. the birds at the feeder, the wind slamming the door, dust particles shining on the window. But most of all, some absurd conviction that our work would keep us physically together forever, dispersing all the vulnerabilities we embraced.
It was in the early 60s when I was a painter choreographing for the dancers who would become the momentum of the Judson Dance Theatre. As Trisha later said, “dancers are vulnerable,” it was an insight I explored with a pure, kinetic determination. So it was that experimenting with our group brought me into performance itself. The kinetic dynamic always driving my painting became physicalized and embodied. My early life and work with with Judson dancers remains the inspiring template.
– Carolee Schneemann
Merce Cunningham (and collaborators) made Summerspace in 1958 which said almost everything there was to say about modern dance choreography, how it could be complete, say everything (and nothing), be perfect. And then Trisha Brown (and collaborators) made Newark (Niweweorce), in 1987, which unfathomably found a doorway to another choreographic superspace, finally. A different, more modern (radical) perfection. Seemingly complete, once again. Since then we modern/contemporary makers have been trying our best to expand, move experimental choreographic language forward, with very little success. We keep trying.
RIP Trisha Brown. A feral dancing goddess.
– Ralph Lemon
Summer, early 80’s, stepping out of the elevator onto the pristine wood at 541 Broadway – Trisha in red lace bra and cotton black sweats cut off at the knee dancing glamorous and passionate, dancing wild, dancing new, Trisha dancing – caught in the daily love and rigor of her magnificent movement-making.
Poolside in a blue bikini Trisha whispers: “I just love dancers, they’re so vulnerable.”
Thank you Trisha for changing us.
– Vicky Shick (Trisha Brown Dance Company member 1980-1986)
This is some ways I know her. In the studio with her moving together, a back and forth of ideas and of selves. Past dancers sharing a history worked on with her that is in their selves. On stage gesturing for her to come and take a bow next to us and her hand in mine. Sitting next to her on the tour bus, looking at an amazing picture book of geishas with wide eyes. Having tea with her and talking about ghosts we have seen. Seeing in her work the human being and connecting to that. Moving always moving. This is some ways I remember her.
– Stacy Spence (Trisha Brown Dance Company member 1997-2006)
I was fortunate to meet Trisha in the late 70’s, and was deeply affected by her role as a pioneer in the field of contemporary dance. We are very proud that she was an honoree at Danspace Project’s 2003 gala and served as a Board member from 2006 and as Emeritus Board member from 2010 to 2016. She had such a piercing intelligence, was stupendously honest, and graced us all with her infectious laugh. Thank you Trisha!
– Laurie Uprichard (Danspace Project Executive Director 1992-2007)
On behalf of the Board and staff of Danspace Project, we offer our heartfelt condolences to Trisha Brown’s family and her extended dance family. Trisha’s luminous genius, her lithe mind, and her impossibly fluid dancing body was a gift to us all. Thank you, Trisha.
– Judy Hussie-Taylor (Danspace Project Executive Director & Chief Curator)