Review: At Trisha Brown, a New Voice With a Family Resemblance

When choreographer Trisha Brown died in 2017, the survival of the company she founded decades ago was uncertain. Will her work, the pinnacle of contemporary dance, survive? Will viewers still want to see them?

So far, so good. New dancers continued to join the company, performances were plentiful and strong, and both the group and a sample of Brown’s work looked healthy at Tuesday night’s Joyce Theater. For the first time, the group gave a premiere not by Brown.

It’s a difficult task. Braun imitations are of little value, but require a mutually beneficial relationship with Braun’s work (that dynamic often lacks in other company committees without founding choreographers). even if). Cuban-born choreographer Judith Sanchez Ruiz, who was chosen for the job, danced in Braun’s company and developed her own choreographic voice, mainly in Berlin. Her premiere, Let’s Talk About Bleeding, is a success in this sense.

The similarity is less apparent on the surface than in the sense of an active, questioning mind expressed through the sensual, let’s see, physicality of where this takes us. But while all of Brown’s work is logic and flow, “Let’s Talk About Bleeding” is highly episodic and has many layers.

A scene of two men leaning against each other with their elbows emphasized is followed by a scene involving two women, one standing precariously. , to make the shape of a cat’s cradle. In another instance they gently bump into each other. Interesting in itself, it is difficult to ascertain how it fits together other than as a mountain (Programme). ” is called.)

All of this is accompanied by a dramatic score by Adonis Gonzalez-Matos. Composer On the piano, skillfully strike the entire keyboard. At times, the choreography works in opposition to the musical uproar, ending with floor-bound dancers slowly moving between spoon positions. Other times, the choreography reacts so faithfully that the dancers thump while the score reacts.

The least persuasive is the way you speak. In unison, the dancers speak snippets of text such as “I want to see the room” and “Get over it”. Later, one of his dancers, Burr Johnson, tells something between an inner monologue and a meditation on self-actualization, telling us that the monster he needs to face is just a little girl.

This is one of the few moments I thought about. Especially in the solo section, the dance has an improvisational vibrancy that distinguishes it from Brown’s work in a provocative and exciting way in its ferocity. But comparisons are inevitable, and Sánchez Ruiz’s work follows Brown’s example of versatility, but without specific clarification.

These differences are heightened by Brown’s repertoire of programs. Here are two of her works derived from her simplified “back to zero” cycle. In “Rogues” (2011), two dancers (both her Johnson and her Cecily Campbell are excellent on Tuesday) utter a swaying, wind-blown phrase, “Let’s go, let’s go.” , let’s go together” play a complex game.・It swirls wildly without losing its fundamental softness.

“For MG: The Movie” (1991) is not a movie, but it is unusually cinematic for Brown. Some of that quality comes from his Alvin Curran score, which alternates between piano themes suitable for French cinema and sounds of machinery and traffic. But much of the drama is structural. Johnson stays on stage the whole time, the pillars don’t move, and Spencer Wady jogs back and forth, tracing patterns of sketches of circles and right angles. Surprise comes from stage edges and sudden synchronicities.

Even in these relatively minor works, Brown’s brilliant spirit still shines through. But that source is gone. “Get over it,” you could say, and some versions of that advice are wise. There are no guarantees as to how the works of will communicate or measure with those of Braun. “Let’s Talk About Bleeding” is a great start to that conversation.

Trisha Brown Dance Company

through Sunday at the Joyce Theater. joyce.org.

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