Trisha Brown Dance Company (TBDC) is a post-modern dance company dedicated to the performance, and preservation of the work of Founding Artistic Director and Choreographer, Trisha Brown. Established in 1970, TBDC has toured throughout the world presenting the work, teaching and building relationships with audiences and artists alike.
Photo by Lois Greenfield, 1990
Brown engaged collaborators who are themselves leaders in music, theater, and the visual arts, including visual artists Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Judd, and Elizabeth Murray, and musicians Laurie Anderson, John Cage, and Alvin Curran, to name a few. With these partners, Brown has created an exceptionally varied body of work, with premieres and performances for NYC audiences and international counterparts.
When Brown retired as head of her Company in 2013, the Board appointed longtime Company members Diane Madden and Carolyn Lucas as Associate Artistic Directors with the mandate that they present her dances in a variety of spaces, indoors and out, proscenium and alternative; develop, deepen and expand the Company’s educational initiatives; and treat the Company’s archive as a living organism to be used to better understand her work, in particular, and dance in general.
With the announcement of Brown’s retirement, TBDC embarked its Proscenium Works, 1979-2011 tour, celebrating Brown’s works for the proscenium stage worldwide. About 90,000 audience members over the course of 181 performances throughout 5 different continents had the opportunity to see the work, in 14 states in the US and 17 different international countries. In addition, TBDC has started touring Trisha Brown: In Plain Site, working closely with presenter worldwide in creating a specific program for the venues or sites they select, adapting Brown’s broad range of works into a site-specific performance experience. Special focus is put on the audience engagement at each venue, breaking down access barriers, and providing a more intimate experience to an audience that includes families and people less familiar with modern dance. Engagements in the current season include appearances at The Venice Biennale, Italy, Fondation Cartier, Paris, France, Tanzquartier Wien, Austria, Dancing Athens Festival, Athens, Greece, University of Florida/Performing Arts, Duke Performances, New York University Abu Dhabi, UCLA Center for the Arts, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, Cape Fear Community College, Coker College, and UC San Diego.
The Company’s Education and Outreach program includes worldwide workshops, master classes, and lecture demonstrations. Licenses of selected works are given to carefully chosen educational institutions and professional companies worldwide, and works are regularly restaged on dance students and professional companies. TBDC is Founding Partner of Gibney Dance Center’s downtown location in New York City, teaching regular classes for students in New York City. TBDC is in its second year of residence at Bard College, which includes a year-round teaching presence, drawing inspiration from Brown’s interdisciplinary and collaborative process. At Bard College TBDC is teaching the work of Trisha Brown in courses in dance technique, repertory, and creative practice across forms. In addition, Bard College houses the full Company for an annual full-company residency, allowing for more in-depth engagement initiatives on campus. This season TBDC further partners with several institutions of higher education worldwide, including New York University, California State University San Marcos, La Manufacture (Switzerland), Duke University, Centre National de Danse Contemporaine Angers (France) and Belgium’s professional training program P.A.R.T.S. Recent licensing and restaging projects include Lyon Opera Ballet, Stephen Petronio Company, Paris Opera Ballet, Candoco Dance Company (London), London Contemporary Dance School, Mills College, University of Washington Seattle, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and Yale University.
In 2009, TBDC created the Trisha Brown Archive. TBDC holds significant archival material, including master performance footage of over 90 original works as well as “building tapes” – videos made while Brown created these works. With the generous funds from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, TBDC has built a content-rich database for the Trisha Brown Archive, which holds close to 3,000 items from over 40 years of Brown’s artistic work. The Archive further consists of sets, costumes, press, photos, Company records and scores by some of the pre-eminent artists of the era. Archival material is used during the Company’s rehearsal processes and integrated into TBDC’s performance engagements to create a historical context for the work that is seen on stage, and displayed in stand-alone exhibitions worldwide.