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Artists of the Grand Union

Although Grand Union only existed for six years, its impact is far-reaching because of the influential artists involved. The four dancemakers covered in this Playlist—Trisha Brown, David Gordon, Steve Paxton, and Yvonne Rainer—performed here after the collective’s demise, while two others (Barbara Dilley and Douglas Dunn) were Pillow students. All are discussed in a PillowVoices podcast and a book by Wendy Perron, as well as an upcoming PillowTalk—to be presented both onsite and online.

12 performances

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Artists of the Grand Union

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Clive Thompson DanceCompany

Four Cornered Moon, 1985

This excerpt represents the many works that David Gordon made for groups other than his own—a list that includes American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and White Oak Dance Project.

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Playing 1 of 12

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Trisha Brown Dance Company

L’Amour au théâtre, 2017

One notable aspect of this work was the backdrop, drawn from Trisha Brown’s own visual art.

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Playing 2 of 12

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Trisha Brown Dance Company

Les Yeux et l'âme, 2011

This was the opening work on the last Pillow program presented by the Trisha Brown Dance Company during Brown’s lifetime.

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Playing 3 of 12

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Martha @ The Pillow

Debate 2002 / Three Seascapes, 2002

In her Pillow debut, Yvonne Rainer appeared as herself alongside Richard Move as Martha Graham—an unforgettable pairing.

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Playing 4 of 12

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David Gordon / Pick Up Performance Company

Private Lives of Dancers, 2002

David Gordon described this work as “the fictionalized goings on in a dance company,” layering real-life observations with total artifice.

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Playing 5 of 12

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Trisha Brown Dance Company

Five Part Weather Invention, 1999

This excerpt is from a world premiere by Trisha Brown, accompanied live by trumpeter Dave Douglas.

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Playing 6 of 12

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Steve Paxton

Improvisation Project, 1998

For fans of contact improvisation, this is a real treat—a brief explanation of what defines the form, articulated by one of its primary movers.

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Playing 7 of 12

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David Gordon/Pick Up Performance Co(s)

"One Part of the Matter" from Parts of a Retrospective and A Work in Progress, 1996

This collage of David Gordon works features his wife and muse, Valda Setterfield, and son Ain Gordon.

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Playing 8 of 12

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Trisha Brown

If You Couldn't See Me, 1994

In this final solo that Trisha Brown made for herself, the dancer never faces the audience, hence the title.

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Playing 9 of 12

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Steve Paxton

Some English Suites, 1992

Steve Paxton’s physical virtuosity is still in evidence in this solo performed in his early 50s.

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Playing 10 of 12

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Trisha Brown Dance Company

Lateral Pass, 1986

With a solo section performed in front of the main curtain, this work features some amazingly intricate timing.

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Playing 11 of 12

Trisha Brown Dance Company

Set and Reset, 1986

Although it premiered elsewhere, this groundbreaking collaboration between Trisha Brown, Robert Rauschenberg, and Laurie Anderson traces its beginnings to a commissioning grant from Jacob’s Pillow.

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Playing 12 of 12

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