Yvonne Rainer, Ushering in Postmodern Dance

In our August issue's History: Lesson Plan, we learn about Yvonne Rainer. Rainer is a New York City–based choreographer who was a leading member of Judson Dance Theater, the 1960s avant-garde dance collective that rejected modern dance. In 1965 Rainer wrote her famous "No Manifesto," a public dismissal of the qualities that exemplified then-current concert dance styles: spectacle, glamour, virtuosity.

Rainer in Trio A. Photo by Herb Migdoll, courtesy of Dance Magazine archives.

Watch Rainer in Trio A (1955), which epitomized the minimalist aesthetic of modern dance. This solo is a continuous four-and-a-half-minute phrase, in which Rainer avoided eye contact with the audience while performing an assorted array of arm gestures; walking patterns; small jumps; subtle articulations of the head, shoulders, hips, hands and feet; and frequent changes of facing and direction.

For more on Rainer, subscribe to Dance Teacher and receive the August issue.

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