Trisha Brown Company

The concept of New Dance is central to Trisha Brown's work as a dancer and choreographer. She came to New York City as a young dancer in the 1960s.

Tips on Drawing

Early Works 1966-1979

She sought out the leading environment for the development of a new dance that was created as an alternative to and as a critique of the modern classical ballet, as it i.a. was created by Martha Graham. The new dance had a stronger interface with the performative part of the visual arts than with the music. In New York, Brown met innovative choreographers and performance artists such as Simone Forti, Anne Halperin, Yvonne Rainer and Robert Morris.

The driving force in creating new expressions is often a need to be able to find an alternative to forms and feelings that the most ambitious artists begin to feel are too well established and thus emptied of potential for further development. The beautiful movements performed by professionally trained and well-trained dancers were complemented by the new dance which in particular based its choreography on two principles: firstly it was based on ordinary movements, secondly it was designed according to the principle of structured improvisation.

These two principles did not place the same demands on the dancers' physique and classical training. The new dance was also concerned with removing the feeling that the dance's choreography was a deliberate and felt expression of a dancer's (and the audience's) traditional, cultured notion of what was beautiful movement. The new dance is a liberation from classical and traditional artistic dance. The new dance is of course not formless, while its form, its course and articulation through movement over time are determined by given factors. It uses the body's physical structure, floor and wall as a physical reality - and last but not least when it comes to Trisha Brown - gravity. The dancer performs Tasks, ie tasks.

The choreography is created through an analysis and interest in what must necessarily happen when simple tasks and movements are performed in a different situation than usual. For example, what happens when dancers have to put on a pair of trousers and a sweater when they are hung up horizontally in a net one meter above the ground (Floor of the Forest)? Or how does it feel to see a dancer walking vertically down a wall, hanging in a wire, while trying to walk vertically on the horizontal wall and having to press his legs against the wall so that the horizontal body does not lose "ground contact" and begin to swing free (Man Walking Down the Side of a Building)?

In the earliest work on the exhibition - Homemade from 1966 - we see how Trisha Brown dances with a film projector on her back. She remotely controls the movie playback with a thread release, then suddenly we see a flickering movie image on the walls behind her. Her movements are accompanied by the film images that appear in unexpected places. Where the film image is projected depends on the dancer's movements and the positions of the dancer and the projection change in relation to each other.

When experiencing work by Trisha Brown, it is important to understand the logic and structure of the system. In the work entitled Accumulation, the expression consists in the fact that she begins with a simple hand movement and then this develops through accumulation into increasingly complex and complex movements that follow one another systematically. Sometimes she moves alone, standing or lying on the floor, other times in a group of four dancers in synchronous movements on the floor. In these works, there is a systematic accumulation of related movements and the dance does not end until all possible modes and directions of movement have been tested. So it is not over until the lying body has bent up the knees, turned the knees to the right, to the left, the body rolled, twisted and spun around on the floor.

An interview with curator and art critic Klaus Kertess with Trisha Brown is shown on one of the four screens. We advise the audience to start by watching this interview.

This exhibition is shown in parallel with the Jan Groth exhibition in the Lyche Pavilion. Jan Groth is a friend of Trisha Brown and his work has clear points of contact with the Browns. This exhibition is part of Drammens Museum's presentation of avant-garde performance and dance art. It continues the lines from the exhibitions Phenomenal Bodies (Lyche Pavilion 2002) and Peter Moore in Nøstetangenrommet (2004).

Åsmund Thorkildsen

Museum director and curator of the Solo project in the Nøstetangen room

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