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Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this! Brown was one of my favorite choreographers. I was saddened to learn in 2012 that she would no longer be making dances due to illness and that her company would stop performing, and further saddened to learn that her company would cease performing her "proscenium" works in 2016. Now I'm even sadder. 

 

 

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The most important takeaway from Alastair Macaulay's obit in the Times:

 

"But Ms. Brown’s work is not easily codified, and its language may prove elusive to dancers from generations who did not know the casual body language of the last century. All dance legacies are fragile; hers may prove especially so."

If the Brown repertory is to survive, it may have to follow the example of the Cunningham repertory, which now finds its primary residence in France.

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Like Cunningham, our best view of Brown's legacy may be in the work of her descendants -- she has been an incredible influence on several choreographers and a whole generation of dancers.

 

Several years ago, Deborah Jowitt had this to say about the transition between the founding generation of American modern dance and the then new post-modern cohort:

"Supple, casual, grounded, a bit shambly, athletic, full of subterfuges, the basic style or look has as many substyles as did the pulled-up, large scale, muscles-in-stress look that was new and fashionable 30 or so years ago."

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An appreciation by Joan Acocella:

 

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/postscript-trisha-brown

 

Strangely enough, what Acocella refers to as the "corny exaltations" of classic modern dance may be precisely why those repertories have survived in one form or another. (I'm referring now to Ailey, Graham and Limon. And, for the record, I don't consider their work "corny".)

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7 hours ago, miliosr said:

An appreciation by Joan Acocella:

 

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/postscript-trisha-brown

 

Strangely enough, what Acocella refers to as the "corny exaltations" of classic modern dance may be precisely why those repertories have survived in one form or another. (I'm referring now to Ailey, Graham and Limon. And, for the record, I don't consider their work "corny".)

 

I'm not sure that Acocella thinks of that repertory as "corny" either, but Brown and her colleagues had had enough of its heroics. 

 

"Yvonne Rainer, David Gordon, Douglas Dunn, Lucinda Childs, Steve Paxton, Deborah Hay, Simone Forti, most of them belonging to the so-called Judson Dance Theatre or the improvisational collective known as Grand Union, or both—fought their way free from what they saw as the corny exaltations of classic modern dance and began making the wry, dry, and often conceptual dance that came to be known as postmodern."

 

Rainer's "No Manifesto" was a clear statement of their attitudes back then "no to moving, or being moved."

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Here's a quote from the chapter on the Judson school and allied movements in Deborah Jowitt's (excellent!) "Time and the Dancing Image" that makes a similar point, but without the loaded "corny":

 

"[Carolee] Schneemann was deprecating what many in the dance world praised: that by the fifties, modern dance had built conventions as elaborate as those of ballet. The most popular and most copied styles tended to present the dancer as tragic hero, suffering victim, pawn of passion, celestial acrobat." [p. 310]

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It is indeed an excellent book -- I used it in dance history classes frequently.  Jowitt is so good at giving you the sense of what it was like at the time.

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