Dancing at the Edge of Balance with the Alexander Technique

Trisha Brown is internationally known for her experimental choreographic genius. Since 1962, Brown has been creating dances in New York City, initially as a founding member of the famous Judson Dance Theater, and later, with her present group, the Trisha Brown Company. She has created a very individual way of moving for her company, which has developed through a process based on structural rigor and supple kinetics. Her works explore inner space in relation to outer space. Dancers dance at the edge of balance, almost falling, daring to fall, but not quite. The mystery is all there. For the educated eye, the spectacle is thrilling; for the general public it is an experience they will not forget.

In an interview at the UCLA Center for the Performing Arts, Brown speaks about the importance of the Alexander Technique in the training of dancers: "I think we need a variety of skills…the Alexander Technique helps to integrate the individual dancer plus all the systems that he or she has been exposed to." When asked about the goal of the Technique for dancers, Brown explained that "It is important to tell a student that there is a different way of moving free of grit force, interruptions, habitual patterns, of tension. They need to learn to stop that."

In integrating the Alexander Technique in the training of her dancers, Trisha Brown has followed her esthetic mission, and confirms this by saying that "When you watch my company perform, you see that there is an alertness in the dancers which is instinctual physical behavior, learned dance patterns, and a looking, and a seeing, and a being which is relating to the satisfaction of arrival and departure. The awareness is thrilling!"

An excerpt from an Interview originally published in ACAT-West News

Copyrighted by Jean-Louis Rodrigue 1986.

 

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