Set and Reset

Photo by Johan Elbers, courtesy of Dance Magazine archives

As a member of the ground-breaking dance collective Judson Dance Theater in the 1960s, Trisha Brown carved out a reputation as a highly innovative choreographer. Over six decades, she created a diverse body of works, using a process-oriented approach and rule-based structures.

Brown's choreography stands out for its quick bursts of energy, collapses of weight, use of pedestrian movement and loose, yet controlled motion of the limbs. This is exemplified in her highly acclaimed work, Set and Reset (1983).

For this exhilarating piece, Brown collaborated with Robert Rauschenberg to construct translucent costumes and wing panels. Though the movement was set, she sought to harness the spirit of improvisation, with unexpected group partnering and dancers nearly crashing into each other, all to Laurie Anderson's driving score.

Check out this archival footage of Set and Reset with commentary by historical scholar Susan Rosenberg.

Also, take a look at Candoco Dance Company's restaging of Set and Reset in 2011.

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