The emergence of Judson Dance Theater in New York City in the 1960s is often cited as the beginning of what has become known as “postmodern dance,” coinciding with a moment when the boundaries between dance and other artistic practices were becoming increasingly permeable and fluid. The work produced during this time (and frequently performed at Judson Church) has had a profound effect on the way both audiences and artists conceive of the role of performance and the body in contemporary culture.
Presented as part of the New Museum’s RE:NEW RE:PLAY Performance Residence Series, “Rethinking the Imprint of Judson Dance Theater Fifty Years Later: Movement Research in Residence” provided the focus for a four-month-long residency with Movement Research on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the first performance at Judson Dance Theater (July 6, 1962).
Prior to this event, Movement Research (MR) solicited questions from the greater MR community regarding the imprint that Judson Dance Theater (1962–64) continued to make on contemporary performance. These questions were shared with the audience, debated, discussed, and voted upon. Ultimately, four questions were selected by attendees as focus topics for further investigation by artists nominated by the Movement Research community and attending audience to lead a series of week-long performance, including open rehearsals and audience talkbacks, taking place across the span of several months at the New Museum. These artists shared their findings for further discussion and debate in a final presentation on December 16. An additional series of discussions and performances (including a talk with Yvonne Rainer, Aileen Passloff, and Wendy Perron on October 28) provided context and further research as they reconsidered the legacy, mythology, and influential permutations that continued to echo from the Judson Dance Theater (1962–64).
“Proposals for ‘Rethinking the Imprint of Judson Dance Theater Fifty Years Later'” was moderated by Carla Peterson (Artistic Director, New York Live Arts) and was presented as part of “ Rethinking the Imprint of Judson Dance Theater Fifty Years Later: Movement Research in Residence at the New Museum,” under RE:NEW RE:PLAY Performance Residency Series.