Friday, 22 October 2010

Trisha Brown Dance Company at the Tate Modern – October 18th

Trisha Brown reformed her dance company about a year ago, and her dancers were performing some of her early works from the 1970s over the weekend at the Tate. Loved the first piece – it involved 4 women going through a preprogrammed series of movements, and 4 men rather nonchalantly occasionally moving them into different orientations or positions - such as standing, lying down, leaning against the wall and so on. The piece was 20 minutes long, and there was a droll moment near the end where 2 of the women had been positioned lying on the floor in a way that meant their preprogrammed movements brought their lips into contact with each other. The dancers did very well to restrain their mirth.

My impression of the dance was that it was partly about the power of men over women, a view particularly heightened by the casualness with which the men were moving the women around, and the apparent passive submission of the women to this. I talked to one of the company after the performance, who was surprised by this observation – she thought it was much more about the deterministic power of movement to overcome the capricious intervention of men.

In general the Tate Modern seems to be getting better and better at curating dance pieces, and the turbine hall and galleries make a great location.

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