2016 Bridge Project
In association with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Ten Artists Respond to Locus
September 10-October 15, 2016
2016 Bridge Project: Ten Artists Respond to Locus, was a multidisciplinary exchange with dance history inspired by the work of dance pioneer Trisha Brown. In partnership with local curators, HMD commissioned a diverse group of ten artists to learn Brown’s iconic dance Locus and create new works in response. HMD presented the ten premieres, along with a performance by local dancers of Locus itself, in the YBCA Forum Friday October 14 & Saturday, October 15, 2016.
Locus Solo. Choreography by Trisha Brown (1975). Direction by Diane Madden. Performed by Hope Mohr. This reconstruction was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award ("Izzie") for Best Reconstruction.
Significance of the Program
Trisha Brown Dance Company’s Director of Education Nico Brown said, of HMD's Locus project:
It transmits [Brown’s] work in its purest and most direct form, from body to body; and it shifts the work from being a purely historic entity towards an immersive experience of the mind of a tirelessly inventive artist. It takes the work off the shelf, and gives it new life in contemporary minds.. . . We are inspired by the ingenuity of Hope Mohr Dance, and we look forward to fully realizing this collaboration.
The Locus project coincided with the historic transition of the Trisha Brown Dance Company’s out of their farewell tour and into preservation of Brown’s legacy. The program also provided an opportunity to pay homage to Mohr’s roots (Mohr is a former TBDC company member).
Curators and Commissioned Artists included (discipline and nominating curator in parentheses):
- Xandra Ibarra (performance art/Keith Hennessy)
- Affinity Project (theater/Erika Chong Shuch)
- Cheryl Leonard (new music/Pamela Z))
- Amy Foote (new music/Adam Fong)
- Peiling Kao (choreography/Dohee Lee)
- Gregory Dawson (choreography/ YBCA)
- Larry Arrington (choreography /HMD)
- Gerald Casel (choreography/HMD)
- Tracy Taylor Grubbs (visual art/HMD)
- Frances Richard (poetry/HMD)
Public Workshop & Audition: September 10 & 11, 2016
The Locus project began with a workshop open to the public in which Diane Madden, TBDC’s Co-Artistic Director and Brown’s longtime muse, teaches Locus. Madden will select four participants from the workshop to perform the dance in YBCA’s Forum October 14-16 (alongside the premieres from the project’s ten commissioned artists).
Public Lunchtime Talk by Diane Madden, Co-Artistic Director, TBDC
A free public talk about the work of Trisha Brown.
Wednesday September 14th at 1 PM at the Joe Goode Annex.
About Trisha Brown and Locus
Trisha Brown’s experiments with space, gravity and the orientation of the body have challenged the way we define performance for over fifty years. Her 1975 solo Locus bridges past and present choreographic thinking and bridges dance and other disciplines. The score for Locus is “the most important of Brown’s [early] works” and “connects her choreographic work to concurrent visual arts practices.” (Walker Art Center) To make Locus, Brown designed an imaginary cube for each performer with points corresponding to the alphabet. Dancer gestures spelled out sentences from an autobiographical statement written by Brown; from there, performers spilled into improvisation. Key elements of Locus’ score remain relevant to artists today: cross-media experimentation with linguistics; the relationship of structure to content; and the integration of artist and environment. Locus is a multidisciplinary platform for discussions about the progression of artmaking over the past forty years.
Resources for Discussion/Research
Visual score of Trisha Brown's Locus.
Peter Eleey, “If You Couldn’t See Me: The Drawings of Trisha Brown,” Originally published in Trisha Brown: So that the Audience Does Not Know Whether I have Stopped Dancing, exh. cat. (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2008).
Mona Sulzman, “Choice/Form in Trisha Brown's ‘Locus’: A View from inside the Cube, Dance Chronicle, Vol. 2, No. 2 (1978).
Choreographic Transmission in an Expanded Field: Reflections on Ten Artists Respond to Trisha Brown's Locus, TDR/The Drama Review (2018)
"The Bridge Project: Ten Artists Respond to Locus" was a solid program of smart variations and inspirations showcasing some of the Bay Area's most inventive artists and performers."
David Moreno, "Bridge Project, Ten Artists Respond to Locus", October 2016
Courtney Escoyne and Wendy Perron, "Trisha Times Ten", October 2016
Dance View Times
Rita Felciano, "One Plus Ten Equals One", October 14, 2016
"The Bridge Project has pushed my formal exploration of dance. I am forever grateful to have participated in this program....The [2016 Bridge Project] really changed my approach to thinking about dance and its history. [Trisha Brown Co-Artistic Director} Diane Madden's gentle approach to the body and her mode in working with people from different disciplines was life-changing for me. She was kind and patient while sharing her expertise with artists who were not trained in the field of dance. I was able to see dance as something more than a disciplinary (meaning as in something that restricts, disciplines, punishes to create form) and instead I was able to see that dance could join various ("untrained") bodies to think about movement in complex and nuanced ways that intersect with visual arts." --Xandra Ibarra, commissioned artist in the 2016 Bridge Project
"I see the Bridge Project as a counter-balance to th[e] propensity towards isolation [in the Bay Area]. It keeps us connected and aware of a broader history and larger artistic community. Its facilitators provide artists with tools and a space to deepen their understanding of their own artistic inclinations and intent. I suspect that this rigor and clarity with respect to intent increases our potential to engage in meaningful exchanges outside our immediate community." --Karla Quintero, Participant in the 2016 Bridge Project
Photo of Trisha Brown by Lois Greenfield. All rights reserved. All other photos on this page by Margo Moritz.
Ten Artists Respond to Locus was made possible in part through support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Zellerbach Family Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, San Francisco’s Grants for the Arts, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Sakana Foundation.