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VIDEO: First Look At Trisha Brown Dance Company's 50th Anniversary Season at The Joyce Theater

Foray Forêt, which premiered in 1990 at Lyon Biennale de la Danse in France, marks the beginning of Brown’s elegant and mysterious Back to Zero cycle.

After a two-year postponement, the Trisha Brown Dance Company will celebrate its 50th anniversary at The Joyce Theater (May 24-29) with an historical season commemorating Brown's extraordinary partnership with visual artist Robert Rauschenberg. Over the course of five decades, Brown and Rauschenberg maintained a rich creative dialogue, drawing inspiration from each other while investigating the visual and the kinetic. The Joyce program features two pivotal works: Foray Forêt, with original costumes by Rauschenberg, and Astral Converted, featuring Rauschenberg's costumes and mobile set of lighting towers.

Foray Forêt, which premiered in 1990 at Lyon Biennale de la Danse in France, marks the beginning of Brown's elegant and mysterious Back to Zero cycle in which she pulls back from external virtuosity to explore simpler forms. Through the activation of gestures set off before the mind is engaged, Foray Forêt builds on a vocabulary of subconscious moves described by Brown as "delicate aberrations."
The revival of Astral Converted, set to original music by John Cage, features Rauschenberg's metal frame towers that house the lights and are built from automotive supplies. The towers are activated by motion sensors to detect the dancers and respond to their movement. At once serene and highly physical, Astral Converted is the culminating piece in Brown's Valiant Series; it premiered at the National Gallery of Art in 1991 as an adaptation of Astral Convertible (1989).
In celebration of the 50th anniversary season, the company will feature former and current dancers including Cecily Campbell, Marc Crousillat, Kimberly Fulmer, Hsiao-jou Tang, Leah Ives, Amanda Kmett'Pendry, Kyle Marshall, Patrick McGrath, Jennifer Payán, and Stuart Shugg.
Trisha Brown (1936-2017), artistic director and choreographer, was born and raised in Aberdeen, WA. She graduated from Mills College in 1958, studied with Anna Halprin and taught at Reed College in Portland before moving to New York City in 1961. Instantly immersed in what was to become the post-modern phenomenon of Judson Dance Theater, her movement investigations found the extraordinary in the everyday and challenged existing perceptions of what constituted performance. In 1970, Brown formed her company and made the groundbreaking work, Man Walking Down the Side of a Building, one of many site-specific works created in, around, and hovering over the streets and buildings of her SoHo neighborhood. Her first of many collaborations with Robert Rauschenberg, Glacial Decoy, premiered in 1979, followed by Set and Reset in 1983 with original music by Laurie Anderson. Brown created nearly 100 dance works, including several operas. Also recognized as a visual artist, her drawings have been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions including Documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany, MoMA in New York, and Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Brown was the first woman choreographer to receive the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Other honors included the Brandeis University's Creative Arts Medal in Dance, two John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships, a New York State Governor's Arts Award, and the National Medal of Arts. Brown was named a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France in 1988, elevated to Officier in 2000 and to Commandeur in 2004. She served on the National Council on the Arts from 1994 to 1997. Brown was honored with the prestigious Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for making an "outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind's enjoyment and understanding of life." In 2013, she was honored with the BOMB Magazine Award, and received the 2015 Honors Award given by Dance/USA.

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