(Photo by David Pinheiro Silva)
"Planes" (Portugal, 2011) @ Serralves in the cycle “Trisha Brown: Early Works” presented as part of the Improvisations/Colaborations season.
In April, the Trisha Brown Company is offering Oporto residents the chance to chart an itinerary through Serralves Museum and Park that will enable them to discover some of Brown’s key works.
This spatial recontextualisation of Brown’s choreographic works – a distinctive characteristic of her Early Works, which continue to stand out in terms of their vitality and contemporary relevance – provides new insight into the works and their presentation spaces.
The programme includes 12 key “Early Works” (from 1968 to 1974) by Trisha Brown - an extraordinary choreographer who pertains to a group of artists who, in the 1960s, pioneered one of the most ambitious experiences of the 20th century, in terms of inter-disciplinarity and improvisation in art.
Created in the 1960s and early 1970s, Early Works transgress the boundaries of dance. They result from a new form of physical and conceptual experimentation, improvisation and intersection between the performing and visual arts and intermingling between art and “everyday life”. These early works by Brown are also designed for unconventional spaces (such as galleries, gyms and apartment rooms) and for outdoor spaces (parks, streets, terraces or building façades) in an attempt to bring art closer to people’s lives and offer spectators broader possibilities of viewing her works.
In Early Works, Brown develops “Equipment Dances” (which imply the construction and use of structures – e.g. Floor of the Forest); “Structured Pieces” (dances that emanate from a simple rule and permutations thereof – e.g. Sticks or Figure Eight); and “Accumulating Pieces” (an initial repeated movement, complemented by a second movement wherein the phrase is repeated, to which a third movement is added… - e.g. Accumulation or Raft piece). It was also in this period that Brown created trompe l’œil works, that defy gravity and toy with the spectator’s sense of perspective, e.g. the emblematic Planes.
Viewed as a whole, the works from this period are more rigorous and joyful and the movement is “pure” and abstract.
During the approximately 2-hour itinerary (each work lasts between 3-20 minutes), TBDC will present Floor of the Forest, (1970); Accumulation Duet, (1971); Scallops, (1973); Raft piece, (1973); Sticks I & II, (1973); Figure Eight, (1974); Spanish Dance, (1973); Sticks; Leaning duets I, II, (1970, 71); Falling duet, (1968); Skymap, (1969); Planes, (1968). The itinerary begins in the rooms of the Museum, continues through the Park, the tennis Court, the Lake…. and then returns to Serralves Museum.
Developing upon the idea that “Improvisations / Collaborations” foster the intersection of experiences and collaborations between different artists, members of the TBDC will teach two of these works – Planes and Floor of the Forest – to a group of 11 performers from Oporto who will perform them with the Dance Company and then continue for a short period of time after the Company leaves the City. The TBDC will thus create the opportunity for young dancers to address questions of theory and practise and experiment with some of Trisha Brown’s seminal works and incorporate them within their own personal artistic trajectories. These works will be presented daily at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Museum, between 26 April and 1 May.