MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 1991

Trisha Brown


New York, New York

Age: 55 at time of award

Deceased: March 18, 2017

Published July 1, 1991

Trisha Brown is a choreographer and a dancer whose work is known for its structural rigor and supple kineticism.

As artistic director of the Trisha Brown Company, Brown has been a seminal force in the post-modern dance movement.  A founding member of the experimental Judson Dance Theater in 1962, Brown branched off to establish her own New York-based company in 1970.  Influenced by avant-garde ideas about dance as a reflection of the dancer's internal rhythms, Brown sought unusual contexts for the human body.  Her early dances were created for alternative spaces that include rooftops and walls and utilized ropes and pulleys to engage, and often defy, gravity.

Since 1979, Brown has collaborated on numerous large-scaled productions with Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Judd, Laurie Anderson, and other artists and musicians.  Her best-known ballets include Line Up (1977), Set and Reset (1983), M.O. (1995), and El Trilogy (2000).  She also has designed, directed, and choreographed the opera productions, Monteverdi’s l’Orfeo (1998) and Sciarrino’s Lui Mie Traditrici (2002).  Brown’s works have been performed throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Japan, China, Australia, and the former Soviet Union.  An accomplished visual artist, her drawings have been shown at major international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale.

Brown received a B.A. (1958) from Mills College.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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