Trisha Brown Dance Company - Two Views
'Set and Reset', 'Geometry of Quiet', 'Groove and Countermove'
October, 2003 -- Sadler's Wells, London
Image of 'Geometry of Quiet' by Chris Callis
By Petra Tschiene
This week’s performances at Sadler’s Wells mark the 5th appearance of the Trisha Brown Dance Company as part of Dance Umbrella since the company’s debut in 1983. “Set and Reset”, which was premiered the same year, is one of the choreographer’s masterpieces and brought international recognition to Trisha Brown as a leader of abstract choreography. Set to a score by Laurie Anderson the dancers make their way across the stage in carefully structured solo-, duo- and ensemble sections that avoid geometrical lines. The weightlessness conveyed by the dancers stays in contrast to the black and white film snippets that are projected collage style onto three-dimensional screens above. The combination of score and movement proved quite hypnotic and found myself surprised when it ended.
The recent creation “Geometry of Quiet” could not have been more different. Salvatore Sciarrino’s poetic flute music serves as backdrop for a series of intimate duos and trios with the dancers moving through held poses and balances and only occasionally speeding up. Two large pieces of white cloth on either side of the stage are used to hide dancers or serve as alternative backdrop. Although the soft lighting enhanced the overall impression of tranquillity, I found my attention wandering after a while. It is probably one of those pieces that it's better to watch several times to appreciate. There simply did not seem to be enough movement for my taste.
“Groove and Countermove”, the final work of the evening, shows Trisha Brown’s creativity from yet a different angle. Dave Douglas’s lively jazz score allows the whole ensemble to let their hair down, dressed in rainbow coloured rather unflattering outfits that contrast with the black and white backdrop of black ink drawings. The energetic choreography plays with the concept of counterpoint between one dancer and the company and between the dance and the music. It shows off the abilities of the 9 superb performers with its witty fluid movements. This piece also ended to soon for my liking.
I would love to see more of Trisha Brown’s work in the future. According to the programme notes the company has initiated the Legacy and Preservation Program, to ensure that future generations have access to her artistry.
by Ben Cox
This review was runner-up in Round 1 of our Dance Umbrella Posting Competition.
Edited by Stuart Sweeney
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