At Trisha Brown, a New Voice Creates a ‘Symphony of Layers’

“The floor is not the floor,” said choreographer Judith Sanchez Ruiz at a recent rehearsal. Trisha Brown Dance Company. “It’s a place to bounce back and keep going. Feeling Up. “

Sanchez Ruiz is the first choreographer other than Brown himself to create new work in the company’s 53-year history. In the scene of “Let’s Talk About Bleeding”, Premieres May 2nd at the Joyce Theater, the six dancers are caught in a vortex of momentum, the agitation becomes slippery and the weight finds a sense of air. At that rehearsal, the studio floor suddenly felt soft, warm and supple.

Fittingly with her presence, 51-year-old youthful Sanchez Ruiz bounced back a bit when speaking.

Cuban-born, Berlin-based Sanchez Ruiz’s commission was not a random decision. As a member of the company from 2006 to 2009, Sanchez Her Luis formed the group, continued dancing and developed teaching methods after working with Brown, who passed away in 2017.

As a child, Sánchez Ruiz studied gymnastics, then ballet, then modern dance, and at the age of 11 entered Havana’s National School of the Arts. Like her dance history, “Bleeding” contains multiple starting points and is, in her mind, pictorial. With the piece featuring musical direction and composition by Cuban composer Adonis Gonzalez, she created what she calls a “symphony of layers,” she said in a video interview from Switzerland, where she was teaching.

“I put many subjects on different layers,” she continued. “It’s like a cake. There’s a story in it that creates meaning and a poetic constellation. It’s like a ‘constellation orgasm,’ we say.”

Despite knowing that Lucas was a fan of her work, she was shocked when she was approached by the Trisha Brown Company as their first guest choreographer. “Encaje” Lucas said: If she really enjoys this as much as I do. ”

Lucas recalled a 2003 meeting the company had about its future when the idea of ​​commissioning new choreography was introduced. “Trisha was talking about how alumni think about creating new works, but also that alumni need to be committed, invest time and energy, and build their knowledge as choreographers. “It was very clear to her,” Lucas said.

For Lucas, Sanchez Ruiz, whose time with the company was relatively short, seemed to embrace both sides of Brown’s desires. “There was a kind of beautiful marriage to this idea of ​​Judith being an alumnus, but over time she was placed in this category of bright-minded choreographers,” she said. Judith has worked really hard to create her work, her voice and her vision, just relentlessly.”

The title of the work says it all. “because I I’m still bleeding,” Sánchez Ruiz said. “My friend said, ‘Everyone quit contemporary dance and you’re still moving.’ It’s very difficult, but it’s not on my mind. I keep going. I’m not a materialist I’m really an artist at heart I don’t need a house with a pool to be happy I’m dancing I’m happy I’m I create art and I am happy.”

Last September, she asked Trisha Brown’s dancers to show them what they had in their bodies. It was a squeezing process. To what extent, if any, did Brown’s movement and repertoire stick? “From there, I started transforming it in my vision.”

Sanchez Ruiz’s dance is physical, fast and based on years of research. Since she left her Trisha Brown company, Two important training methods, reflected in her choreographic approach. One is technique-based, allowing off-kilter bodies to be grounding yet instinctive. The other is an improvisational workshop titled “Your Own God”.

Throughout the process of Bleeding, presented at Joyce alongside two of Brown’s productions, For MG: The Movie (1991) and Rogues (2011), she incorporates both methods, Created an episodic and impressive work. , almost a fantastical world. Men scoop their elbows. A woman emerges from the floor like dirt, and Mr. Sánchez Ruiz says another dancer is standing at Relevé.

“It’s like two kinds of women from different eras,” she said. “One is still on the ground, trying to grow and find something to feed himself. And the other is already in place, but so fragile that it can topple over at any moment.”

While “Bleeding” doesn’t directly reference Brown’s work, it does have a key moment in what Sánchez Ruiz calls “The Bridge,” which touches on her legacy. “I left one scene to squeeze,” she said, referring to an experiment with dancers last September. Now it’s kind of an uproar.It creates some obstacles.”

“Bleeding” dancer Jennifer Payan said the connection between Sanchez Ruiz and Brown was for her “trying to find this improvisational impulse and rhythm in Trisha’s work.”

“It’s not the same, of course, but that funkyness brings a familiarity to her work,” she added. “Like improvisation, the feeling of being still alive is important.”

When Sanchez Ruiz left the company in 2009, she said, Need a solo? what do you need? ‘ And she said, ‘No, I don’t need a solo,’ she said. I actually had a very good role and loved it. ”

I was 35 years old when I joined the company, and I have a 2-year-old child. Her travels put a strain on her marriage, leading to a divorce. By the time she left, she was interested in her own work and excited about her pursuit.In 2010 she founded her own company and a year later Sasha Her Waltz and Moved to Berlin to dance. But it was not suitable. She wasn’t dancing enough. “There were so many dancers,” she said. “I come from a company where we were when she was nine. Everyone was important. All were soloists.”

Becoming an independent choreographer was not easy. But with all that Sanchez Ruiz has been through and her intense choreographic research, she feels extra pressure at the prospect of creating dances for the Trisha Brown Company. No. “In a sense, what do you mean by greater pressure?” she said. “who you as an artist? ”

She recalled a conversation she had with Brown when she was still a member of the company. You’re also a choreographer, so you’re going to learn this.

“It was so great,” said Sanchez Ruiz.

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