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Lucinda Childs

Vehicle (background)

Alex Hay and Lucinda Childs, rehearsal with the Ground Effect Machine
Lucinda Childs was 26 years old at the time of 9 Evenings. Since 1963, this former member of the Judson Dance Theater has choreographed a dozen or so dance pieces in which objects give rise to movement:

“I used materials as objects, combining dance phrases with movement activity in relation to objects. To eliminate this idiomatic contradiction, I chose to have the movement governed by the materials and subject to the limitations of their physical qualities. I experimented with movement events in relation to objects. I then altered and extended these events in time and space, connecting them in a specific sequence until a kind of logic emerged which indicated a necessary design for the dance.” (1)

She would use this approach in 9 Evenings, since technology allowed her to create objects endowed with independent movement and to transform this movement into sound. The potential for dancers to generate their own accompaniment through movement began to be explored during the mid-1960s (cf. John Cage’s Variations V), and we are now accustomed with the developments that computers would offer them. (2)

Clarisse Bardiot © 2006 FDL

(1) Lucinda Childs, “Lucinda Childs: a portfolio,” Artforum, Vol. XI, no. 6 (Feb. 1973) p.50-56.

(2) On the relationships between dance and digital technologies, see Johannes Birringer, Media and Performance: Along the Border (Baltimore/London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998).