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Interactive Gateway Dance



In the sixties, proscenium stages were replaced by churches and gymnasiums, parks and rooftops as postmodern choreographers explored new environments for their dances.

All movement can become dance, even the sway of a palm tree, a tennis match, or a lady walking down the street.

- Carrie Lebarron

Site Specific Dances

Judson Dance Theater choreographers Steve Paxton and Trisha Brown rebelled against using traditional dance movements and instead chose movement from observing sports. Movement was also taken from everyday activities and pop culture. Through observing people in engaged in activities on campus, such as sports games, workshop students learned that dance could be found anywhere.

Sports Observations

Judson Dance Theater choreographers investigated alternative spaces for performance. Site-specific dances were performances utilizing non-traditional spaces such as the walkways, fountains, and staircases. Students worked together to choreograph site-specific dances in response to a selected location on the ASU campus. This video clip demonstrates how the physical properties of each environment influence the dance.


In the 1960s Dance Happenings were the in thing. Judson choreographers challenged traditional performance venues (which cost money) advocating that dance could happen, anytime, and anywhere. Watch how workshop students created very different dance happenings. One group used available options in the space, including the recycling bin, while the other group focused their attention to the features of the stairwell.

Any Movement

Postmodern choreographers looked beyond traditional dance forms and techniques for new ways of moving. Dance movement could any movement, as limitless as the body's potential.

It was really fresh and new for me to actually just pick up a pillow and sit it on my lap instead of trying to do some fancy spin and just do it like a natural action. I realized that was more interesting.

- Carrie Lebarron

Gesture Investigations

Pedestrian movements such as driving, itching, and brushing hair redefine what could be considered dance. Homework for the week required dancers to observe everyday human movement and to select three gestures to bring to next class. These movements were sequenced and incorporated into a movement phrase.

Circle Dances

In the 1960s Deborah Hay created Circle Dances, consisting of very basic movement (skipping, swaying, and jumping) so that everyone could perform the dance not just trained dancers. It looks so simple, yet that is why circle dances feel so good. Watch students groove along with the music and jump when they feel like it.

New Sports

Steven Paxton created the dance Flat by gathering sports photos and dropping them on the floor, then randomly ordering them. Trisha Brown was fascinated by the rules of sports games. In this video clip students combine the movements, rules, and player positions of many different sports including swimming, football, and boxing- its a whole new ball game!


Postmodern choreographers redefined the dancing body with their belief that any body could dance. Virtuosity and the "right look" were replaced by performances featuring untrained dancers as well as musicians, visual artists, and even props.

There are dancer partners all around us, we just need to open our eyes to really see them.

-Leanne Schmidt

Remy Charlip

In the workshop, we continued the exploration of community and getting to know each other. Dancers learned about the work of Remy Charlip, particularly the autobiographical dance created with Lucus Hoving. They completed a form, which asked them to identify their own movement habits and preferences, worked to develop autobiographical solos from this text and then shared them with the group.

Evolution Dances

Deborah Hays philosophy that all things in this world, in their simplest form, are a unit of many cells and in so doing unite humans with animals and nature (called Cellular Consciousness) was discussed. Students explored this concept in a guided improvisation on the motions of evolution. During the process students discovered organic shapes and actions.

Walking in Groups

Judson Dance Theater choreographers were interested in inter-group relationships, almost more than the steps themselves. Yvonne Rainer choreographed the dance We Shall Run in 1963 that consisted of groups of people running in different formations. In the workshops students practiced group awareness as they walked across the room in a line. Keeping their focus forward they needed to attune their senses to the whole group and travel as one unit.

Any Method

Before Merce Cunningham, John Cage and the Postmoderns, music and story were primary sources of structure and inspiration for dance. The challenge to this longstanding convention opened a new world of possibilities for dance making.

I really like using words and visual imagery to think of movements. Writing things down is a great way to organize my ideas and remember things, and it is also true for recording movements. I plan to do more writing in the future when planning dances.

- Rachel Ryan

Planet Dances

In the 1960s Anna Halprin merged dance performance and dance therapy. Students experienced one of Anna Halprins ritual dances by running in a spiraling circle at different speeds. Watch the power of dance as students dedicate who they were running for at the beginning the ritual.

Prop Explorations

Judson Dance Theater choreographers played with movement tasks involving objects as a way to make new, untraditional movement. View the different solutions students found for maneuvering props from one person to the next and across the room. This activity prepped students for learning Yvonne Rainers dance Chair/Pillow.

1960s Issue Dances

In the 1960s many artists, including Judson Dance Theater choreographers were using their work to make political, social, and environmental statements. Students worked in groups brainstorming and researching an issue (Vietnam War, Womens Rights, and Civil Rights) and created dances presenting both sides of the complex issue.

Interactive Gateway Scrapbook

Experience the Interactive Gateway project from start to finish. This Scrapbook is an accumulation of pivotal phases of the research project. See students dancing, choreographing, reflecting, improvising, socializing, and creating dance happenings. Take a look behind the scenes with photos of webcasting and our dance specialist at work including the choreographer of Chair Pillow Yvonne Rainer.

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