Excerpts and exercises from the work of Steve Paxton, Judith Dunn, and Trisha Brown, with commentary
Neubauer Plaza, outside
Lisa Kraus began dancing at the age of six with Jane Dudley, an early Martha Graham dancer. Her career has included performing with the Trisha Brown Dance Company, choreographing and performing for her own company and as an independent, and teaching at universities and arts centers. Since 2004 she has written reviews, features, and essays on dance for internet and print publication and since 2006 has presented the work of other artists as Coordinator of the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series. She continues to restage Brown’s work at venues including the Paris Opera Ballet and Venice Biennale. Her restaging of a Brown work for Paris Opera is captured in the film In the Steps of Trisha Brown, which won the Jury Prize at the 2017 International Festival of Films on Art of Montréal.
Kraus began writing to communicate about this experience and has been published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Dance Magazine, Dance Research Journal, and more. She was a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Dance Criticism and in 2011 co-founded thINKingDANCE, an online dance journal and dance writers’ training scheme. In 2015 she was Keynote Speaker for the Dance Critics Association Conference and in 2017 served as critic-in-residence at the Asia Pacific Dance Festival.
At Bryn Mawr since 2006 she has developed extended projects and special programming with artists and groups including the Khmer Arts Ensemble, John Jasperse, John Kelly, Meredith Monk, Rennie Harris Puremovement, and Susan Rethorst. She designed and produced Trisha Brown: In the New Body, a yearlong festival of the innovative choreographer’s artistry supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, involving partnerships with Pennsylvania Ballet and the Barnes Foundation. Her current project, ear-whispered, is the most extensive survey to date of interactive installations and performance works by Tania El Khoury, a “live artist” based in Lebanon and Great Britain.
For her choreographic, writing, and presenting projects, Kraus has been awarded Fellowships and project support from funders including the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
In the Solo Forest, Kraus will improvise with structures by Steve Paxton and Judith Dunn, and dance fragments of works by Trisha Brown. She will talk about pedestrian movement, standing, falling, and other concepts associated with “release,” and consider the evolution of Brown’s approaches to physicality.
Photo: Lois Greenfield