Brown, Trisha,1936–2017, American dancer and choreographer acclaimed for having revolutionized modern dance in the late 20th cent., b. Aberdeen, Wash. After studying dance at Mills College (B.A., 1958), she moved (1961) to New York, where, as a founding member (1962) of the innovative and influential Judson Dance TheaterJudson Dance Theater,
a loose collective of dancers, musicians, and visual artists that produced an influential series of avant-garde performance pieces at Judson Memorial Church in New York City's Greenwich Village between 1962 and 1964.
..... Click the link for more information. , she was at the center of American avant-garde dance. Brown formed her own company in 1970. Her early works, e.g., 1971's Walking on the Wall, Roof Piece, and Accumulation, were experimental, inspired by everyday movement and often utilizing "equipment" such as ropes, pulleys, and harnesses, or set in unusual locations such as rooftops, rafts, and the sides of buildings; they were frequently without music. Extremely inventive, Brown was noted for a choreography of pure and liquid movement employing a rigorous formal structure, and she frequently worked in dance cycles. From 1979 on, Brown collaborated with Robert RauschenbergRauschenberg, Robert
, 1925–2008, American painter, b. Port Arthur, Tex., as Milton Ernest Rauschenberg. He studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, with Josef Albers at Black Mountain College, and at New York's Art Students League.
..... Click the link for more information. , Donald JuddJudd, Donald Clarence,
1928–94, American artist, b. Excelsior Springs, Mo. His sculpture, allied with the minimalist school of the late 1960s (see minimalism; modern art), has the appearance of industrial fabrication.
..... Click the link for more information. , and other contemporary artists, and with composers such as John CageCage, John,
1912–92, American composer, b. Los Angeles. A leading figure in the musical avant-garde from the late 1930s, he attended Pomona College and later studied with Arnold Schoenberg, Adolph Weiss, and Henry Cowell.
..... Click the link for more information. and Laurie AndersonAnderson, Laurie,
1947–, American performance artist, b. Chicago. Originally a sculptor, she was influenced by Philip Glass and other avant-garde composers in the early 1970s and soon turned to the creation of multimedia performance art.
..... Click the link for more information. . Beginning in the 1990s, she sometimes worked with classical music, while continuing to create such solos for herself as If You Couldn't See Me (1994), expanded into the duet You Can See Us (1996) with her frequent collaborator Mikhail BaryshnikovBaryshnikov, Mikhail
, 1948–, Russian-American dancer and choreographer, b. Riga, Latvia (then in the USSR). He studied in Riga and performed with the Kirov Ballet (1966–74).
..... Click the link for more information. . Other well-known ballets include Line Up (1977), the postmodern classics Opal Loop/Cloud Installation (1980) and Set and Reset (1983), M.O. (1995), and the jazz-based El Trilogy (2000). She also designed, directed, and choreographed opera productions, e.g., Monteverdi's Orfeo (1999). Over her career, Brown created more than 100 dances. In 2013, due to illness, she withdrew from the leadership of her company and announced a three-year international farewell tour. The company subsequently refocused on teaching Brown's technique and presenting her dances in intimate, site-specific performances.
See S. Rosenberg, Trisha Brown: Choreography as Visual Art (2016).
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Brown, Trisha(1936– ) choreographer, modern dancer; born in Aberdeen, Wash. After training in experimental dance, Brown became one of the founders of the Judson Dance Company in 1962. Recognized for her "equipment pieces," she formed her own company in the early 1970s and in 1990 became the first woman choreographer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.