Dancer, choreographer, filmmaker and writer Yvonne Rainer (born 1934, lives in New York) is widely acknowledged as having played a key role in revolutionising post-war dance, inspiring generations of performers. In the sixties and early seventies, initially as part of the Judson Theater in New York (alongside Trisha Brown, Simone Forti and Steve Paxton), Rainer made dance works that were concerned with social and political form. Her choreography incorporated ‘ordinary’ movement and ‘neutral’ performance, rethinking the performer-audience relationship.
This exhibition is the first to present live performances of Rainer’s dance works alongside other aspects of her practice: theoretical and lyrical writing, sketches and scores, photographs of performances, documentary and experimental films, and an audio recording of one of her early performative lectures. Together these convey a vivid picture of Rainer’s production from 1961 to 1972, and its proximity to the visual arts of the time, notably to minimalist sculpture.
A highlight of the exhibition is a 45-minute dance programme performed four times daily. Dancers trained for the occasion by Rainer and her long-time collaborator Pat Catterson will perform her celebrated works Trio A (1966) and Chair Pillow (1969), as well as the UK premieres of the very rarely seen Talking Solo and Diagonal (both 1963).
The exhibition is curated by Catherine Wood, Curator of Contemporary Art and Performance at Tate Modern, and made possible through the generous co-operation of the Getty Research Institute. The live performances are organised with Martin Hargreaves, Programme Leader at Trinity Laban Conservatoire.
Due to limited audience capacity for the live performances, the exhibition will open for the first time on Friday 11 July at 11am.
Yvonne Rainer: Dance Works is at Raven Row, 56 Artillery Lane, E1 7LS until 10 August 2014.
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