Gravity-defying dance performance to be presented by UCSC Arts & Lectures

The work of dancer/choreographer Trisha Brown is well known for its lack of respect for the laws of physics.

Throughout Brown's artistic career that has spanned more than three decades, her dancers have literally walked on walls and down the faces of buildings. Twisting in midair, they have climbed up and down each other in simulation of a spiral staircase. As the Seattle Times noted in a recent review, "entire dancers abandoned the earth for what felt like extended periods of time during" during the U.S. premiere of her piece, "Present Tense."

The Trisha Brown Dance Company will perform "Present Tense" along with two other dynamic works on Wednesday, February 23, at the Henry Mello Center in Watsonville. The show begins at 8 p.m.

"Trisha Brown is quite famous for her gravity-defying choreography," noted UCSC Arts & Lectures production coordinator Moon Rinaldo. "'Present Tense' uses daring aerial choreography, which is essentially borrowed from the circus. Suspended in space, her dancers seem to come out of thin air."

Brown's company will also perform "Groove and Countermove," a mesmerizing homage to jazz, and "Geometry of Quiet," a piece lauded by the Village Voice for the "calm austerity" that "pervades her stunning new dance."

"In 'Groove and Countermove,' the dancers are each dressed in a solid color so that together they form a full-spectrum rainbow," said Rinaldo. "As they come together and split apart, it's as though they are embodying the paths of refracted light falling over the stage."

The first woman to receive a coveted MacArthur Foundation "genius" award, Brown became one of the leaders of New York's experimental Judson Dance Theater in the 1960s--a revolutionary movement that changed modern dance forever. After forming the Trisha Brown Dance Company in 1970, she began collaborating with such artists as Robert Rauschenberg, Laurie Anderson, Nancy Graves, Fujiko Nakaya, and John Cage.

In 1987, Brown received both a Dance Magazine award for "25 Years of Sustained Innovations" and the Laurence Olivier Award for "Most Outstanding Achievement in Dance." Brown was inducted as an Honorary Member of the Academy of Arts and Letters in 1997.

The Trisha Brown Dance Company can be found performing regularly at the landmark opera houses of New York, Paris, and London, as well as numerous theaters throughout the world.

"Brown is really the queen of postmodern dance-she was integral to defining the American avant-garde movement and her style has stood the test of time," said Rinaldo. "Her choreography is quintessential sixties cool-elegantly minimal and poetic in an urban sort of way."


For more information, contact the UCSC Ticket Office at (831) 459-2159.