February 1, 2016
‘Vertical dance’ on Meany Hall will celebrate UW World Series retrospective of choreographer Trisha Brown
A University of Washington dance faculty member will walk down the side of Meany Hall on Friday, Feb. 5, performing a dance piece titled “Man Walking Down the Side of a Building.”
The “vertical dance” piece, aptly described by its name, is a creation of famed choreographer and Washington state native Trisha Brown, whose work is being honored by the UW World Series with a retrospective of evening performances Feb. 4-6 in the Meany Hall for the Performing Arts.
Rachael Lincoln, a UW lecturer in dance and assistant artistic director of the Oakland-based vertical dance company BANDALOOP, will perform the piece suspended by ropes along the west side of Meany Hall, facing 15th Avenue NE. She will be assisted by BANDALOOP member Derrick Lindsay, who will belay her as she descends as if walking casually down a street.
Lincoln intends to perform the piece three times — at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Press and the public are invited to watch.
And though rain is ever-present in Seattle this time of year, organizers say only snow, ice or high winds will stop the performance.
Brown, retired since 2013, is a much-beloved and prolific choreographer with more than 100 dance works to her credit. She was the first woman choreographer to receive the prestigious MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” and has a lengthy list of honors and awards to her credit, including five fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. She was born and raised in Aberdeen, Washington, is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2011 was awarded the New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Her works, full of wit and rigor, unfolded on rooftops and rafts and even on the sides of buildings as well as in lofts and galleries, and later on proscenium stages,” The New York Times commented in a recent article. “Like many of her colleagues in postmodern dance, Ms. Brown was inspired by everyday movement. Though rigorous, much of her choreography is silky; instead of being powered by muscles, it seems to flow through the body like liquid.”
The Trisha Brown company, which Brown founded in 1970, will perform four of her pieces — “Present Tense” (2003), “Son of Gone Fishin'” (1981), “Rogues” (2011) and “You Can See Us” (1995) — in three performances, at 8 p.m. on Feb. 4, 5 and 6. Tickets are available online or by calling 206-543-4880 or 1-800-859-5342.
The campus celebration of Brown’s work will continue with master classes for students and the community as a photo exhibit in Meany Hall and a lecture and film about the dance company at the Henry Art Gallery. Learn more about these related events through the UW World Series.
Watch a BANDALOOP video of a 2013 performance of “Man Walking Down the Side of a Building” at UCLA performed by Amelia Rudolph, artistic director of the Trisha Brown Dance Company, who has trained Lincoln in its performance.
Lincoln said she is honored to perform the iconic piece and hopes to capture the “stunning simplicity” of the work.
“After 18 years of dancing in a harness with BANDALOOP,” she added, “I believe the challenge of performing ‘Man Walking…’ will lie in executing its unembellished, pedestrian elegance — without showing how incredibly hard it is to fight gravity.”
For more information or accommodations in covering this event, contact Teri Mumme, UW World Series director of communications and marketing, at 206-685-0995 or firstname.lastname@example.org.