DANCECLEVELAND is right to say so, for this is the final tour being presented by the famous modern dance troupe in its 50-plus years of performing. Way back when, Trisha Brown left the Judson Dance Theater and began creating her own choreography. According to the company web site, she made solo and small ensemble works – no doubt as a fledgling company would – and appeared in small venues around the Soho district in New York City.
Things changed mightily, for TBDC has appeared at top places in this country and around the world. Because of one of its appearances several years ago for DANCECLEVELAND, I took off for New York City and caught the company once again at a performance in one of the theaters in Lincoln Center. Well worth the travel.
DANCECLEVELAND is fortunate and astute enough to have the famed troupe on its final voyage in this particular form. There apparently are questions of how to continue to present the indomitable Brown and her hundred or so dance creations once the company ceases as it is. Brown has named Diane Madden and Carolyn Lucas as associate artistic directors, with the charge of formulating how to proceed.
In the meantime, we will get to see them in final action. Repertory for the evening’s performance will include currently presented pieces that span three decades of her five-decade career.
From 1983, there will be “Set and Reset,” which Brown choreographed to music by Laurie Anderson (“Long Time No See”), with sets, costumes and original lighting designed by renowned visual artist Robert Rauschenberg. The 28-minute work is designed for seven dancers. It has been described as being quintessentially Brown – filled with darting movements while the dancers seem to be incredibly smooth and agile.
Trisha Brown Dance Company, “Set and Reset.” Photo from www.trishabrowncompany.org
“If You Couldn’t See Me” (1994) is a solo that Brown originally created for herself, with original sets, costume and music by – once again – Rauschenberg. This work was later transformed into a duet, which she danced with two dance legends, modern dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones and then with classical ballet favorite Mikhail Baryshnikov. As a solo, the work was danced with the performer facing away from the audience, with her back doing all the alluring and seductive work for which the piece is heralded.
Trisha Brown Dance Company, “If you couldn’t see me.” Photo from www.trishabrowncompany.org
The program will also include the final two dances that Brown created for her company. “Les Yeux et l’ame (the Eyes and the Soul) ” from 2011 is set to Jean-Philippe Rameau’s “Pygmalion.” This 15-minute piece was choreographed for the full company of eight dancers.
Trisha Brown Dance Company, “Le Yeux and l’ame.” Photo courtesy of DANCECLEVELAND
Brown’s last work, “I’m going to toss my arms – if you catch them they’re yours,” premiered in Paris in 2011 and is set to music by Alvin Curran (“Toss and Find”). The work has been described as being, as the title and the music might suggest, both whimsical and disturbing at the same time.
Trisha Brown Dance Company, “I’m going to toss my arms – if you catch them they’re yours.” Photo from www.trishabrowncompany.org
Trisha Brown Dance Company will be presented by DANCECLEVELAND for one night only at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 8 at the Ohio Theatre in Cleveland Playhouse Square, 1501 Euclid Ave., Akron; 216-241-6000; www.dancecleveland.org. Tickets are $20-$70.
Arts / Article