The dance world lost a legend this past week, when choreographer Trisha Brown passed away at age 80. A leader of postmodern dance, her work had dancers doing everything from walking on the walls of New York City’s Whitney Museum to signaling to one another across Soho rooftops.
Ballet dancers don’t often get to try their hand at Brown’s liquid movement, but in 2013, the Paris Opéra Ballet performed her 1979 Glacial Decoy—the first work she made for a proscenium stage. It was restaged by Lisa Kraus, a former member of Brown’s company; and Carolyn Lucas, the co-associate artistic director of Trisha Brown Dance Company.
The fascinating rehearsal process was captured in Marie-Hélène Rebois’ documentary, In the Steps of Trisha Brown. The excerpt above shows a portion of their performance.
For ballet dancers, Brown’s more pedestrian choreography can be a challenge, and it’s a far cry from tutus and pointe shoes. But the POB dancers tackle the movement—danced in silence, with projected slides behind them—with confidence. Dressed in sheer, flowing white gowns, they let the weight and impulse of each movement propel them, like a current running through their bodies. Brown’s choreography brings out a whole new side of them.
For a glimpse of what rehearsals were like, check out the clip below: