My Seven Seconds of Anyone-Can-Do-It (but Not Really) Dance

In the same vein, but with a much different subject, he was planning to slow down “Trio A,” a work defined by its anti-virtuosity and refusal of the spectator. (Even when facing front, the dancer never looks directly at the audience.) Each seven-second phrase, recorded at 1,000 frames per second, would stretch to about five minutes in the final work, an installation that opens at Danspace Project on Friday, June 23. The shoot would take place over four days in December at Baryshnikov Arts Center.

Video

Watch Yvonne Rainer in ‘Trio A (Geriatric Version)’

Ms. Rainer performs her own work.


By DAVID MICHALEK on Publish Date June 16, 2017.


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I accepted the invitation right away, still half-expecting to find out it wasn’t intended for me. I danced for 20 years, nine on-and-off professionally, but had been on an indefinite hiatus for nearly three. I was taking dance class occasionally but had stopped performing altogether. I didn’t quite consider myself a “former dancer” — that felt too conclusive — but I was on my way.

Hence my delight at this message from Ms. Rainer. In 2015, while writing about her latest piece — at 82, she’s still making and performing in new work — I learned parts of “Trio A” at a workshop taught by her and Emily Coates (a member of her company, the Raindears). I never imagined, though, that I would dance it in a context other than a class or my living room. Or that I would be part of a cast including Jodi Melnick, David Thomson, Richard Move and so many other performers I admire — even for just seven seconds.

Yet seven seconds of “Trio A” isn’t nothing. Created at a time when…

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