In the early 1960s, Lucinda Childs studied dance with Merce Cunningham and Robert Dunn and in 1962 was a founding member of the Judson Dance Theatre. Like her contemporaries, Childs sought to blur the stark line separating dancers from non-dancers. In Street Dance
(1964), a work that aptly reflected the period, the choreographer had spectators view her performing from windows overlooking a street. When she founded the Lucinda Childs Dance Company in 1973, her performances were marked by a limited series of movements. Because these movements were repeated in differing configurations and speeds, they isolated and showcased the body of each dancer. The danced segments Childs created for the opera Einstein on the Beach
, by Robert Wilson and Philip Glass (1976), were a direct result of this research.
It was from this point onward that music began to play a pivotal role in her works. Prior to 1976, her choreographies were without musical accompaniment. For example, Dance
(1979) interlaced the repetitive structure of Philip Glass’s score with recurring movements. Sol Lewitt created the stark set décor and film that complemented the work. Childs continued her collaborations with Frank Gehry and John Adams (Available Light
, 1983) and Robert Mapplethorpe and Michael Nyman (Portraits in Reflection
, 1985). In addition to the repertoire developed for her own company, Childs choreographed works for numerous ballet companies (Les Ballets de l’Opéra de Paris, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet, Les Ballets de l’Opéra de Lyon, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Geneva Opera Ballet, etc.) In 1992, she began directing both classical and contemporary opera productions. In 2004, Childs was named Commandeur de l’Ordre de la Légion d’honneur by the French government.
[Documents available in the collection about Lucinda Childs...]
[Documents available in the collection by Lucinda Childs...]