"Dance" by Lucinda Childs
The upper East Side Manhattan-bred choreographer, Lucinda Childs, is one of the most admired avant-garde performer-choreographers of postmodern dance. Among her accomplishments and honors: recipient of l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government, choreographer for Mikhail Baryshnikov, collaborator with Merce Cunningham, Robert Wilson, Philip Glass, Frank Gehry, Robert Mapplethorpe, founding member of the Judson Dance Theater in the '60s, commissioned by companies including the Paris Opéra Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet, Lyon Opéra Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, the Geneva Opera Ballet, Ballet du l'Opéra du Rhin, and the Boston Ballet. And for the past five years she has quietly lived year-round in Chilmark.
"My grandmother came in the '40s," Ms. Childs says. "My parents loved the Island, and they bought a house in Edgartown. One day I came back and was amazed at how wonderful it looked. It was so beautiful, especially up-Island. I love it here."
Claiming she finds ample creative inspiration, and admitting she goes unrecognized - "and that feels comfortable" - Ms. Childs says, "I don't feel isolated here. I've met a lot of dancers, people I've met through The Yard, and artists in general."
After this weekend, however, the modest up-Island resident who is known for giving definition to a style of elegantly minimalist, contemporary dance will most likely have blown her local cover.
"Dance," Ms. Childs's merging of live and filmed dancers, with the original film by artist Sol LeWitt and score by Phillip Glass, will be performed at Martha's Vineyard Performing Arts Center on Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26. Considered a pivotal American masterpiece, the historic collaboration between Ms. Childs, Mr. LeWitt, and Mr. Glass, marks its 30th anniversary with this restoration.
A technical achievement executed decades before the age of multi-media presentations, the performance displays Ms. Child's geometric simplicity of movement set to Mr. Glass's complex composition. Dancers, including a soloist taking the counterpart role to the filmed image of Ms. Childs dancing 30 years ago, perform the hour-long piece in front of Mr. LeWitt's film. The interplay between shapes, movements, even the altered sizes of the filmed dancers create patterns of shape and movement, repetition and variation with the live dancers.