High Line Art, presented by Friends of the High Line, and the Trisha Brown Dance Company are pleased to present Trisha Brown's seminal work Roof Piece as part of High Line Art's spring 2011 program. The event marks the culmination of the 40th anniversary of the Trisha Brown Dance Company and the first time the piece will be performed in its original context, outdoors on rooftops, since its premiere in 1971. Trisha Brown's Roof Piece will be performed on roofs of buildings surrounding the southern section of the High Line on June 9 and 10 at 7:00pm, and twice on June 11 at 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. A rain date is scheduled for Sunday, June 12th.
Ten dancers will be situated on different rooftops, each within sight of the next dancer in the line. The first dancer will begin the performance by improvising movement signals that will be transmitted to the next dancer on the nearest roof. Each dancer will continue this pattern, passing the original movement like links in a chain. Halfway through the performance, the sequence reverses direction. The piece does not have a single ideal vantage point, and it will not be possible for audience members to view all of the dancers at the same time. The audience is encouraged to wander the High Line and its adjacent street level area in order to experience the dancers in the full urban landscape. Babette Mangolte, the photographer of the original performance in 1971, will also be documenting this version in photography and film.
Lauren Ross, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Curator and Director of Arts Programs at Friends of the High Line, says "We are honored to partner with Trisha Brown Dance Company. The High Line is an unusual venue that brings performance out of the theater proper and places it directly into the urban landscape, a radical transformation in large part pioneered by Ms. Brown and her peers over forty years ago. Roof Piece seemed the perfect work to stage in and around the park. This piece feels as fresh today as it did when it was first performed."
On Saturday, June 11, the Trisha Brown Dance Company will lead three, 40-minute movement workshops titled Roof Dance Relay, as part of Friends of the High Line's Saturday Play series, a weekly arts program for families. Drawing inspiration from Roof Piece, families will experiment with sending and receiving movements to one another, exploring Trisha Brown's particular style with three of the company's dancers. The workshops will take place on the High Line under The Standard New York at 10am, 10:40am, and 11:20am and are free to the public on a first come, first served basis.
Trisha Brown is an icon of postmodern dance. With strong Minimal roots, Brown creates performances that defy traditional dance pedagogy and fuse it together with aspects of the visual arts. Her practice breaks down complex movement into its most basic form, and often experiments with the concept of space and physics, even choreographing pieces on vertical planes. By keeping movements and notions simple, Brown has challenged and reshaped the definition of dance.
About the Artist
Trisha Brown was born and raised in Aberdeen, Washington. She moved to New York City in 1961 and became instantly immersed in the Judson Dance Theatre. In 1970, Brown formed her company and made the groundbreaking work, Man Walking Down the Side of a Building, one of the many site-specific works created in, around and hovering over the streets and buildings of her SoHo neighborhood. Her first of many collaborations with Robert Rauschenberg, Glacial Decoy, premiered in 1979, followed by Set and Reset in 1983 with original music by Laurie Anderson. Ms. Brown has created nearly 100 dance works since 1961 and was the first woman choreographer to receive the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Other honors include two John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships, a New York State Governor's Arts Award, and the National Medal of Art.