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Trisha Brown is one of the innovators of post-modern dance in the United States. In 1962, she was one of the dancers who founded the collective Judson Dance Theater. The collective was made up of an avant-garde group of dance artists in New York.
During the 1960s, they challenged standard definitions of dance, rejecting ballet and modern aesthetics in favour of collective creation and improvisation. They believed that anyone should be able to dance and that any type of movement could be considered dance.
In 1970, Brown was involved in the creation of the improvisational dance company, Grand Union. That same year, she started her own troupe, Trisha Brown Company.
During the first part of her career, Brown rejected the performance conventions of music, lighting and costumes. She also avoided creating choreography that told stories. Instead, she experimented with the geometric shapes created by moving bodies, as well as with movements, such as walking, that were borrowed from everyday life.
Brown often created site-specific work (pieces performed outside or in other non-traditional places). Her piece Walking on the Wall (1971) featured dancers using mountain-climbing gear to defy gravity as they walked along the side of a building.
In later work, Brown has choreographed to classical music. In 1996, she reworked a solo into a duet, You Can See Us, for herself and ballet icon Mikhail Baryshnikov. Her 2003 work Present Tense premiered in Cannes, France, and featured aerial dancing.
Banes, Sally, ed. Reinventing Dance in the 1960s: Everything was Possible. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003.
Aeschlimann, Roland. Trisha Brown: Dance and Art in Dialogue, 1961–2001. Andover, Mass.: Addison Gallery of American Art, 2002.