Join Us for a Celebration of Trisha Brown's Revolutionary Approach to Dance

Le Grand Continental was huge for us—and we are so happy that we spent this past summer, preparing and rehearsing for the amazing performances that over 8,000 saw a week ago in Pioneer Courthouse Square. However, we are now back to our regular business of bringing exciting contemporary dance to Portland’s stages, and we cannot think of anyone better to start off with (after LA Dance Project) than Trisha Brown.


It’s the 15th anniversary season of the White Bird Dance Series, but it was 12 years ago when we launched our second series, the White Bird/PSU Dance Series, with Trisha Brown’s company. Why? Trisha Brown’s revolutionary spirit has imbued all her choreography, and it is that spirit that has guided our series, now renamed Uncaged, ever since.  She made a name for herself in the 1960’s with her maverick approach to dance. Dance, for her, could be anywhere at any time—on roof tops and walls, in the most unlikely performance spaces, as well as in theaters. Her movement first seemed unchoreographed in its spontaneity and physicality. She often used silence, ambient noise—and then she collaborated with progressive composers such as Laurie Anderson, John Cage, Alvin Curren, and more recently, jazz composer David Douglas. In the past years she became fascinated with baroque opera.


  Photo of Trisha Brown by Jean Pagliuso


Now absent from Portland for 10 years, the Trisha Brown Dance Company is returning to us, and we are truly excited to celebrate the great artist in the coming week with performances, workshops, and even a talk by celebrated art historian Susan Rosenberg at PICA. Trisha’s unpredictable approach to movement has inspired many of Portland’s best choreographers, such as Linda Austin, Tahni Holt, Tere Mathern, Mary Oslund and Minh Tran. Our performances this coming week reflect the wide range of Trisha’s choreography, from the earliest Watermotor, to her famed Foray Forêt, with a live marching band playing offstage (we have the prize-winning Oregon Crusaders with us), to one of her operatic pieces, culminating in a U.S. premiere of her work that premiered in Europe to great acclaim a year ago, with title as unconventional as Trisha herself, I’m Going to Toss My Arms—If You Catch Them, They’re Yours.


We are delighted that Reed College, PICA and Conduit are all joining with us in our celebration. Reed Professors Minh Tran and Hannah Kosstren have developed a curriculum on Trisha’s revolutionary movement and position contemporary dance. Conduit is hosting a dance workshop taught by one of Trisha’s gifted dancers on Saturday, October 13. And PICA (Portland Institute for Contemporary Art) will be sponsoring, with White Bird, a talk by art historian Susan Rosenberg on the strong links between Trisha’s visual art (she is a wonderful graphic artist) and her choreography—it’s free, next Saturday, 1-2pm at PICA’s striking new space at 450 SW 10th Avenue.


Please join us for a wonderful week in tribute to one of America’s, and the world’s, most important artists, Trisha Brown.

We want to extend special thanks to our close friends and White Bird founding board members Nancy and George Thorn for sponsoring the three performances by the Trisha Brown Dance Company.