"We were overthrowing the notion of the narrative" Philip Glass on Dance, his collaboration with Lucinda Childs and Sol Lewitt.

This conversation with Senior Performing Arts Curator of the Walker Center, Philip Bither accompanied a performance of the Work in June 2011.

Lucinda Childs, whose collaboration with Philip Glass and Sol Lewitt ruffled a few feathers in its time!
Childs has such magnificent poise and focus in her dancing… I guess you’d have to if your choreography looked the way hers does ;)

One man expressed his opinion that Twyla Tharp’s well-known 1986 work “In the Upper Room,” which also uses Glass music, borrows from “Dance.” (In truth, there is a similarity or two, but I’m not so sure about a connection.)

Childs brought her microphone to her lips. “I’m not responding,” she said, wisely. “I’m just saying thank you.” Mike down. Next question.

Minimalism. It also works as etiquette.

from the article “Just ‘Dance’: Work by Lucinda Childs captures the essence of the art form”

By Sarah Kaufman, Friday, April 22

"Dance" is a three way collaboration. There’s movement by Lucinda Childs, music by Philip Glass, and a film by visual artist Sol Lewitt.

In 1979 audiences reacted angrily, questioning if it was even dance. Childs and Glass remember the catcalls, and Glass says even worse.
"We actually had people throwing things at us," he said. He remembers seeing a dancer with egg smeared on his leg.
"We were simply doing what we did. We weren’t trying to make people angry," he said. "What was surprising about it was how much in advance of the norms of dance and music that we had gone to. I personally didn’t know we had done that."
"Philip and I never actually discussed it," said Childs. "You just sort of move on, and rise above it. It seems to me that someone who was there to throw eggs had purchased the eggs in advance," she smiles.
"Of course, you don’t come to the ballet with eggs in your pocket," laughed Glass.

Philip Glass and Lucinda Childs speak on their piece “Dance”, a collaboration they did in 1979 with film maker Sol Lewitt.  There’s a revival happening this year, check out the whole article here


Dance 1979

Dance - Choreographer, Lucinda Childs.

It’s interesting to hear her and her colleagues speak of the challenges of performing this minimalist style, the endurance, the concentration required.  I feel exactly the same way about performing Glass’s music!

I’m also really interested in her everyday, vernacular kind of movement language.  I suppose that is also parallel with the simple harmonic language the Philip Glass uses in all his works.

How lucky they are, two like-minded souls to have found each other!