Joyce Theater

Trisha Brown: Posing Problems across Time and Space

By Megan V. Nicely

Trisha Brown redefined choreography as the art of posing problems to be investigated through dance. However, when she first began presenting work, some were skeptical if it even fell into the concerns of the dance world. She responded, “I was a choreographer and I was dealing with elements of choreography” (Brown 1981). Conversations amongst her artistic circle in the 60s and 70s, such as John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, and Robert Morris, were about “gravity and velocity and distance and real physical things I was dealing with” (Brown 1981). Her objective? “I wanted to make a very good dance” (1982).

Interview with Liz Gerring

Conducted and excerpted by Laura Diffenderfer

Where did you start with Horizon?  

The idea was to see how many different things could happen at once—but without descending into chaos. When I made this piece, the company was going through some changes and I was going through some personal things, so I was sort of looking towards the horizon. Not just seeking answers, but asking: Where am I going and where I am heading? There’s stillness and calmness out there in the future or unknown. I think that is what Horizon is to me.

I experience your work as being meditative. Does it feel that way to you?