Set and Reset
Choreography by Trisha Brown
One of Trisha Brown’s masterpieces, Set and Reset is a playful exploration of visibility and invisibility, edge and instinct, featuring an original, electronic score by Laurie Anderson and visual design and costumes by Robert Rauschenberg. Propelled by hypnotic rhythms and dressed in luminous fabric, dancers dart and catch each other, while moving in and out of transparent cinematic images. Commissioned by BAM for the 1983 Next Wave Festival, Set and Reset features the fluid movement and sharply defined configurations that became a hallmark of Brown’s work and was hailed by The New York Times as “surely the most beloved and irresistible work of postmodern dance.”
Choreography by Paul Taylor
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
An esplanade is an outdoor place to walk; in 1975 Paul Taylor, inspired by the sight of a girl running to catch a bus, created a masterwork based on pedestrian movement. If contemporaries Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg could use ordinary “found objects” like Coke bottles and American flags in their art, Taylor would use such “found movements” as standing, walking, running, sliding and falling. The first of five sections that are set to two Bach violin concertos introduces a team of eight dancers brimming with Taylor’s signature youthful exuberance. An adagio for a family whose members never touch reflects life’s somber side. When three couples engage in romantic interplay, a woman standing tenderly atop her lover’s prone body suggests that love can hurt as well as soothe. The final section has dancers careening fearlessly across the stage like Kamikazes. The littlest of them – the daughter who had not been acknowledged by her family – is left alone on stage, triumphant: the meek inheriting the earth.