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Exploring Trisha Brown’s Methodical Approaches to Choreography

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Melanie Allridge

When it comes to Trisha Brown, most people in the modern dance community know who she is, or they know of her because of how iconic she was when exploring new movement ideas in modern dance. She seemed to lead the evolution of modern dance for decades throughout her career, and almost every new work she presented was ground-breaking. The question is then, what about Brown's approaches made her outcomes so successful at each point in her career? To name a few of her approaches, Brown used internal rhythms, postmodernism, accumulations, Locus (her famous cube), and intense examination of musical scores to create her works. Brown created her own choreographic devices and combined them with improvisation and trial and error to create her works. Oftentimes, she had to write down or draw her new concept on a piece of paper before being able to translate that idea into her dancers' bodies. Although each of her approaches was unique and different from the next, I primarily used an interview I conducted with one of Brown's dancers, Mariah Maloney to uncover Brown's recipe for success. This interview, coupled with primary and secondary information from books, performance reviews, and peer-reviewed articles, led me to find one prominent theme between all of Brown's processes. Which is, Brown always kept her dancers' abilities in mind when creating a new work, which brought a sense of comfortability that showed from her dancers. Through this research, I hope to help other choreographers utilize Brown's way of working to find success in their own processes.
University / Institution: Southern Utah University
Type: Performance
Format: In Person
SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)
Area of Research: Arts
Faculty Mentor: Andrea Vazquez-Aguirre
Location: Union Building, EAST BALLROOM (9:20am)