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Nature meets culture downtown

Fifty years of Judson Dance Theater are celebrated by veteran artists and those inspired by the group.

Judy Hussie-Taylor, director of the Danspace Project, presents a 10-week tribute to its roots, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the pioneering experiments at Judson Memorial Church. "So many of the artists originally involved are still making work, teaching, touring; they're engaged right now.

That seemed exciting and extraordinary," says Hussie-Taylor. These figures, now in their 70s, revolutionized dance by shifting its focus from narrative to "pedestrian" or "natural" movement.

On Saturday, Steve Paxton, founder of Contact Improvisation, will explore ideas about dance and choreography now. Barbara Moore will show slides of her husband Peter Moore's vintage images, and Joanna Steinberg, a scholar and curator, will discuss the political and artistic history of Judson Church. Yves Candau, a Toronto-based dancer, will demonstrate material Paxton's been developing for years. Stephen Petronio reprises Paxton's 1970 "Intravenous Lecture."

Other Judson icons appearing this fall include Yvonne Rainer, Deborah Hay, David Gordon and Simone Forti, each commissioned to make new pieces. Clarinda Mac Low celebrates her late father Jackson's 90th birthday Sept. 12-15; the elder Mac Low developed poems that were really scores for Forti and other Judsonites. "We're so lucky that Lucinda Childs and Meredith Monk were available for one-night-only events, Sept. 17 and Nov. 19," says Hussie-Taylor.

Also included are younger artists inspired by Judson ideas: Trajal Harrell, Stacy Spence (who performed with Trisha Brown) and curators Patricia Hoffbauer, Melinda Ring and Juliette Mapp.

Coincidentally, several of the same artists will appear at the Museum of Modern Art in November; Paxton and others will gather at Danspace on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 10, to reflect on these performances.



If you go




Judson Now

Through Dec. 1

Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church

131 E. 10th St.

Free-$18, 866-811-4111

www.danspaceproject.org

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