In two weeks, In Motion, In Place: Trisha Brown Dance Company in Fairmount Park will bring three free works by a pioneering artist to Philadelphia’s favorite outdoor spaces for the first time.
Susan Rosenberg, Consulting Scholar at Trisha Brown Dance Company, describes the late Trisha Brown as “one of the most acclaimed and influential choreographers and dancers of her time. […] Today the Trisha Brown Dance Company continues to perpetuate Brown’s legacy through its Trisha Brown: In Plain Site initiative. Through it, the company draws on Brown’s model for invigorating her choreography re-siting in relation to new contexts that include outdoor sites, and museum settings and collections.”
This initiative (of which In Motion, In Place is a part) pairs indoor and outdoor sites with select pieces from Brown’s repertory. Each work is restaged in a dynamic relationship to the setting, amplifying Trisha Brown’s effortless affinity for naturalizing movement to the physical environment.
Ever a resourceful and dexterous innovator, Brown “said she felt sorry for spaces that weren’t center stage— the ceiling, walls, corners, and wing space. Not to mention trees, lakes, and firehouses,” Wendy Perron recently wrote in Dance Magazine. “She caused a revolution by… turning to the spaces that other dance-makers don’t.” In parks, museums, and public squares, among other sites, audiences are engaged in the intimate, up-close experience of Brown’s choreography through specially chosen excerpts from the repertory.
With In Motion, In Place, the Fairmount Park Conservancy is thrilled to work with a number of partners to turn the rooftops around Logan Circle, the grounds of historic Mount Pleasant Mansion, and the newly opened Strawberry Mansion Reservoir at The Discovery Center into the stage for three works by the Trisha Brown Dance Company.
Logan Circle, also known as Logan Square, is one of the five original green squares that William Penn planned for Philadelphia in the late 17th century. Home to the iconic Swann Memorial Fountain, today the square-turned-circle sits at the center the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which is considered the gateway to Fairmount Park and home to the majority of Philadelphia’s leading cultural and public institutions.
Logan Circle offers some of the best vantage points to view Roof Piece, which will take place along the rooftops surrounding the park.
MOUNT PLEASANT MANSION
Situated on high above the Schuylkill River, Mount Pleasant is rich in Philadelphia history: The grand country estate was built in the mid-1760s by Scottish sea captain John Macpherson and his first wife Margaret. The estate was passed from owner to owner over its long history, including Benedict Arnold, until finally the City of Philadelphia acquired it as part of Fairmount Park.Today, it is managed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and offers easy access to Boxers’ Trail.
The wooded grounds of Mount Pleasant make it an ideal site for Foray Forêt, which is the French word for forest.
THE DISCOVERY CENTER
Originally a reservoir that provided drinking water for Philadelphians, this 37-acre oasis is now home to the Discovery Center. The city closed the reservoir more than 50 years ago, which in turn allowed nature to take over, attracting birds and wildlife from all over. Today, the Discovery Center is the homebase of Audubon PA and Outward Bound School of Philadelphia and through its amenities and public programs invites the Strawberry Mansion community and visitors from all over to experience the outdoors and wildlife within city limits.
Trisha Brown Dance Company will perform Raft Piece on the reservoir while floating on custom-built rafts by Philly Scenic Works.
In Motion, In Place: Trisha Brown Dance Company in Fairmount Park has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. It is presented by Fairmount Park Conservancy with the cooperation of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and other partners. Learn more here.